All good things must come to an end. I was in Vienna last week with Vlastimil Vesely and our CITT partners to present our results at “ICT Centrope”, the project’s final conference. The event was well attended. I’m pleased to say we ended the project on a high note.
Featured in the photo from left to right are me, Zuzana Lettner and Katharina, and Vlastimil Vesely. Zuzana (VITE) was our original project coordinator, but roughly halfway through she project she left for her maternity leave. Christoph Henrichs took her place and did an excellent job of finishing up the project. Thanks also to Bernhard Schmid, who took the photo.
My colleagues did a good job of summing up the conference and so for that, I will refer you to the ICT Centrope web site.
It’s one thing to dream about changing the world with your revolutionary business idea. It’s quite another thing to convince an investor to put up the money. Your supporters might praise your idea, but they won’t provide you 40 hours of labor each week until you offer them a paycheck.
Money has a way of making things real.
Part of our job, with CITT, has been to share a dream. Centrope designates the border regions of four countries (AT, HU, CZ & SK). The distances are short, but the cultural differences are big. This region has great potential for innovation, but most of this knowledge is locked away in research labs, divided by increasingly abstract national borders.
CITT’s dream is to knock down those borders. Fortunately, we are not the only ones at work on this vision. If CITT and similar projects are successful, the results will be measured in new products, new companies, new jobs and new opportunities.
This is a big dream, and big dreams need money.
Continue reading ‘What Jeremie means to nowEurope & CITT’
Since we’ve been talking about how clusters work, whether they work, and how to start one, it’s worth having a closer look at one of the most successful European examples. The so-called Silicon Fen, located around Cambridge University, has nurtured roughly 25% of all UK tech startups. Seven percent of all European venture capital is invested in Cambridge.
‘Can regional clusters be engineered
?’ is an intriguing case study authored by Professor William Webb, Head of H&D and Senior Technologist at Ofcom. The article appeared in Ingenia Online, the journal of Britain’s Royal Academy of Engineering.
I’m afraid the news is not too optimistic for those for those of us hoping for quick, tangible results. According to Webb, the Cambridge Cluster emerged organically, took 15 years to become noticeable and required a further ten years to become a well-established phenomenon. However, the article does identify a number of best practices which we can apply here in the Centrope region.
I have just read the following information that I would like to share with you:
The European Commission is now in the process of preparing the next ICT research Work Programme for years 2011-2013. In view of this, the Software & Service Architectures and Infrastructures unit is updating the research community’s vision for the area, identifying key technological challenges and research priorities, and establishing a research agenda for the coming years.
This is achieved through consultation with external experts, with industry and with academia, while additional input comes from a number of initiatives that are developing roadmaps and research agendas for Software and Services, such as ‘Future Internet’ (http://www.future-internet.eu/).
The main objectives of this consultation are to identify the key technical challenges, the success factors, the expected impacts, and to derive a list of research foci and priority actions to be implemented. For this, a wide range of aspects should be addressed including technological issues, research challenges and standardisation approaches. The timeframe to be considered for this Work Programme is 2011 to 2013.
The consultation can be accessed at http://www.eu-ecss.eu/contribution_list_2010.
It will be possible to add contributions starting from 21/09/2009 until 02/11/2009; after this date, the consultation will be closed, and the resulting ideas and suggestions will be used as a valued input for the next research Work Programme.”
I am convinced that our CITT partners and readers should actively contribute!
In recent years, various cluster organisations in many different sectors have been created in Austria. Especially for Austrian SMEs, those clusters have been a great help and local businesses have profited from the exchange of knowledge, cooperation and opening to the international market. In my last post I talked about a bottom-up approach through which Austrian IT clusters formed a common network by their own initiative. Today I will take a look at an Austrian cluster platform that is organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth.
Clusterplatform Austria is an initiative to create a common platform for existing clusters and networks across all sectors in Austria. Its purpose is to bring together separated clusters, which often work relatively independently from each other. One of their activities consists of organising workgroups for various topics such as “clusters and their role in the Austrian innovation policy” or “Connecting the Austrian cluster policy to Europe”. The platform thereby aims to strengthen the innovation and international competitiveness of Austrian enterprises, especially SMEs. Another focus is establishing a connection with R&D institutions as well as increasing supra-regional cooperation of cluster initiatives and federal and provincial cooperation. The platform wants to contribute to the development and realisation of Austrian research-, technology and innovation policy as well as create a link to EU cluster activities.
Continue reading ‘Introducing Clusterplatform Austria’
I guess sometimes we tend to forget the ambitious goal the CITT project is aiming at. We are trying to find models and possibilities to provide a framework, which enables SMEs, universities and public bodies to cooperate within four neighbouring countries.
But even within one relatively homogeneous country like Austria, networks between clusters have to deal with various issues such as varying institutional settings in the participating states, different approaches of the respective managements, differing regional economic structures and differing policies of federal countries. Also, even though network projects are often viewed positively by all parties, financial resources are limited.
Despite all these obstacles, the Austrian initiative I would like to introduce to you has had a successful start. This example demonstrates on a smaller, national scale what relevance and remarkability the CITT project has being kind of a pioneer project on the international level.
Continue reading ‘Introducing Digital Network Austria’
Technology transfer is a complex process. The supporting online solutions should be clear and precise, user friendly and efficient. The IT industry offers a range of products which could offer various solutions. Technology transfer solution should provide an collaboration platform, utilising databases in stand-alone or client/server modes.
Two groups of products and services offer appropriate solutions:
External services – provided by an external company such as ISPs (internet service providers), by enhanced product portfolio with business communication and administrative functions.
Applications and solutions to be implemented into corporate IT infrastructures. I will now examine a handful of these solutions, including the platform we have adopted for our project (CITT) which is called the Central European Technology Exchange (CETEX).
Continue reading ‘Potential technical solutions for Technology Transfer processes’
I had the privilege of attending the CITT project meeting at Bratislava on June 6, 2009. This experience led me to consider what is the optimal model for building a cluster.
In running clusters, we can see two basic models. One is strongly business oriented, where a cluster is almost like a holding company with central leadership. It has its own business department. Individual cluster members are rather like branches of this holding company, responsible for specific parts of a well-defined business deal.
The second model is more like an ad hoc network of independent organizations, where members cooperate on various projects. Not all members have to collaborate in all running projects. I should point out that in the Czech Republic, this second model is supported by structural funding.
Continue reading ‘Two basic models for building a cluster’
This is the second part of the SWOT analysis performed for the CITT project. (Part one is here.) This post examines the external factors: opportunities and threats.
Continue reading ‘Does Centrope have the potential for an ICT cluster? (part two)’