Knowledge region

Focus Knowledge Region

The challenges posed by the knowledge society are the same for all CENTROPE partners: knowledge and its efficient utilisation become a key competitive factor. A vital task of economic and employment policies today lies in the safeguarding of a form of location development that is more and more geared towards research and innovation. The emerging common research and education space of the EU plays its part here as well, since it entails an increasingly tough competition for research funding, top-level scientists and students.

What would therefore seem more logical than shaping the transition to a knowledge-based economy together, especially since cross-border cooperation can become a catalyst for the influx of scientists, students, R&D-oriented enterprises and capital from all over the world? Cooperation ventures in the fields of research and education, strategic alliances between universities, improved possibilities of know-how transfer between research and industry as well as the promotion of entrepreneurial innovation contribute directly to the emergence of technology and research clusters and hence further the potential of economic success of the Central European Region.

A series of transnational events and network meetings will address key-players dealing in CENTROPE’s main fields of knowledge to identify enablers or barriers for cooperation and discuss next steps to be taken to interlink regional activities. This implies the linkage of academic activities as well as the help to apply existing technology know-how in industry. Euroregions like Öresund or the Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen Triangle may act as best practice models.

CENTROPE Capacity identified 5 major topics:

  1. Innovation support and research cooperation in CENTROPE
  2. Energy Efficiency in CENTROPE
  3. E-Mobility in CENTROPE
  4. Biotechnology in CENTROPE
  5. Information & communication technology in CENTROPE

Innovation support and research cooperation in CENTROPE

Existing competences, knowledge and skills as well as cultural richness are an unmatched treasure for competitiveness of the CENTROPE cooperation area. CENTROPE is increasingly emerging as a research paradise featuring 36 universities (incl. art academies and universities of applied sciences) and more than 1800 research institutes in all four countries. An analysis of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union shows that these R&D institutes are highly active in international R&D projects all over Europe.

Ensuring state-of-the-art research and development ranks at the top of the political agenda in all CENTROPE sub-regions: These efforts have been very effective in particular locations. However, on international level CENTROPE has not yet accomplished to bundle its potential to become THE ultimate research area in Europe. Thus, it is our ambitious aim to frame a strategy on how to transform CENTROPE into a European knowledge model area.

With the initiative “centrope technology transfer” (centrope_tt) key-players of all regions have therefore started to develop new tools (centrope_tt R&D map, centrope_tt voucher, centrope_tt social network analysis …) to provide more transparency and to release first impulses towards a strongly interlinked CENTROPE Technology Region.

Energy Efficiency in CENTROPE

Reducing energy consumption and eliminating energy wastage can be considered as one of the most important goals for the future development of the European Union as it reflects a worldwide task to decrease the dependency on fossil fuels and CO2 emissions and to meet the commitments on climate change made under the Kyoto Protocol.

Furthermore, renewable energy and energy efficiency can be seen as a crucial basis for an independent economy. At the end of 2006, the EU promised to cut its annual consumption of primary energy by 20% by 2020. To achieve this goal in CENTROPE, it is necessary to mobilise decision-makers and market operators and to enforce know-how exchange between institutions/companies/universities and research units, especially in energy-intensive sectors such as construction, manufacturing, energy conversion and transport.