On April 18 – 20, 2018, IES’s representatives together with Vidzeme planning region and other RDI2CluB project partners from Finland, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, as well as external experts from Latvian Food Cluster, Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia, the city of Äänekoski in Finland and Norwegian University of Science and Technology participated in a Benchmarking visit to Netherlands to seek the knowledge on the development of bio-economy clusters and innovation ecosystems while visiting one of the European best practice cluster-foundations focused on bio-economy, “Biobased Delta”.
The main aim of the trip was to gain insight into the creation and development of bio-economy clusters and innovation ecosystems by learning from the experience of one of the leading European clusters in bio-economy, Biobased Delta, and to benchmark these examples to the RDI2CluB partner regions. During the three-day visit, the prerequisites for the development of the bioeconomy innovation system at the city, regional and national levels were learned as well as a confirmation was obtained that Triple Helix model of innovation between enterprises, the research and education sector, as well as decision-makers, is an essential condition for the successful development of a bio-economy innovation ecosystem in the region.
The head of Biobased Delta Cluster as well as the representatives of the chemical company SABIC in the Netherlands, Biobased Economy Experts Center and the Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (ZLTO), at the same time being cluster`s members, shared their vision on how to strengthen private and public sector cooperation in the development of the biobased industry. Biobased Delta strongly believes that the bio-economy is one of the most promising sectors of the future, but its development is a long-term process that also involves changing the mindset of people. The key to successful development of the industry lies in the cooperation between the business sector, public administration, knowledge institutes, NGO sector, financial institutions, municipalities, and citizens, enabling the development of innovative solutions. An opportunity to visit two production facilities which belong to Biobased Delta consortium (Nieuw-Prinsenland Suiker Unie/Cosun and Delft Bio Process Facility) was highly appreciated to identify the company`s business models, service identification procedures, and development paths and perspectives.
During the trip, the partnership assembled to discuss status quo in bio-economy area development in each of the partners` region as well as the development of innovation eco-system and bio-economy clusters and point of interest. Right after the visit to Biobased Delta, an interactive workshop was organized to discuss lessons learned and how it could be applied to regional ecosystems in RDI2CluB Partnership. Benchmarking visit can be considered as a mutual benefit for both RDI2CluB partnership and also for Biobased Delta representatives. During the experience exchange, hosts were given an opportunity to learn more about bio-economy and cluster development in Baltic Sea Region countries and forge new collaboration possibilities.Lessons learned as well as valuable experience in the development of the bio-economy ecosystem in the Netherlands will help to create the Joint action plan for bio-economy cluster and innovation ecosystem development in each partner region.
Benchmarking visit was a part of the project "Rural RDI milieus in transition towards smart Bioeconomy Clusters and Innovation Ecosystems" (RDI2CluB) implemented by 12 partners from Finland, Norway, Latvia, Poland and Estonia within the framework of Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme 2017 – 2020, with European Regional Development Fund and Norwegian national funding.
Find out more about the RDI2CluB project here
RDI2CluB project website
Find out more about Biobased Delta here