URBAN INNO Final Conference: Innovation Potential presented in Opatija

CyberForum 30.05.2019

The final conference of the Interreg CE project URBAN INNO was held on 23-24 May 2019 in Opatija, Croatia, within 42nd International ICT Convention MIPRO 2019.

The first day of the URBAN INNO final conference, 23 May 2019, was the opportunity to present the project and its main outputs to wider audience, primarily from the IT sector, including academics, researchers, professionals and experts coming from various national and international institutions and companies. This open day event gathered 50 participants, not only from the URBAN INNO partnership. The agenda included 2 guest lecturers: Mr. Ante Lučić (A-link ltd, Croatia) and Mr. Nicola Doppio (Trentino Innovation Hub, Italia).

Keynote on the future of smart city management

After opening remarks and introduction made by project manager Ms. Tina Ragužin, Mr. Ante Lučić held the opening act with his presentation ‘Human Capital, Work and Educational Perspectives on SmartCity Initiatives’. Mr. Ante Lučić is an entrepreneur and HR consultant, the founder of A-Link, a Zagreb-based consultancy specialized in HR, intellectual capital, education and the future of work. The key note address 'Human Capital, Work, and Educational Perspectives on Smart City Initiatives' provided key technological and social insights regarding the latest trends which define the future of work and education, putting them in context of the current smart city initiatives of the city of Rijeka, Croatia. The lecture attempted to evaluate how HR, work and education may be affected by a number smart city projects, most of which are based on data availability to enhance smart descision making on different levels.

URBAN INNO Project achievements

One of the greatest achievements on the project level – a Toolbox of smart urban innovation participatory methods and tools, was presented by Mr. Matjaž Gerl from E-zavod (Slovenia), also a leader of the project thematic work package within the platform was developed. Basically, this Toolbox contains steps, procedures, descriptions, advices and tips which help to engage end-users (citizens, consumers) into urban innovation process: urban development strategies, smart urban solutions, services or technologies. The Tool is one of the major project outputs published as an on-line tool - www.user-participation.eu, as well as in printed version (in form of the cards).

Interesting Pilot pitches show potential of citizen participation

After the presentation of URBAN INNO toolbox, the so called Pilot Pitches Run session was on turn. This session purpose was to present all 9 pilots and to share regional experience gathered during their development process, based on user participation. As an introduction to pilot presentations, another guest lecturer was invited. Mr. Nicola Doppio from Trentino Innovation Hub (IT) held a presentation ‘An introduction to design sprint innovation challenges’. Mr. Nicola Doppio manages projects related to users involvement in innovation, open innovation between companies and research institutions, and design thinking. Nicola's presentation focused on insights and lessons learned over 5 years of users engagement in R&D and innovation of digital products and services. He also presented current practices of prize-driven open innovation initiative connecting companies and research and education institutions (Innovation Challenges), and a practical Guide to help innovation agencies in design new Innovation Challenges (www.innochallenge-project.eu).

The pilot pitches were moderate by Mr. Marco Combetto from project partner Trentino Digitale S.p.A. (IT) responisble for the pilot project work package. Here is the list of the regional pilots that have been presented, with focus on user engagement, lessons learned and positive changes they have obtained.

  •     Košice pilot: Creating the agri-food digital marketplace upon end-users‘ inputs in Košice region, presented by František Janke, Technical University of Košice, SK.
  •     Vas county pilot: Story of a successful Digital Innovation Hub in Western Hungary, presented by Attila Joós and Molnár Zoltán, Pannon Business Network, HU
  •     Vorarlberg pilot: Collaborative Business Model: Quadruple Helix Perspective to Modelling Business Processes, presented by Bojana Suzić from Fachhochschule Vorarlberg, AT.
  •     Burgenland Pilot: A Motivational Pitch for the Energy Strategy, presented by Carina Halper from Forschung Burgenland, AT.
  •     Karlsruhe Pilot: Shaping the vision of energy efficiency with the support of citizens, presented by Christin Eckerle, CyberForum, DE.
  •     Rijeka pilot: Citizen participation – key enabler for optimal city governance, transparency and trust, presented by Damir Medved, Ericsson Nikola Tesla d.d., HR.
  •     Maribor pilot: Engaging users in improvement of e-services, presented by Vesna Avguštinčič and Tadej Kurent from Municipality of Maribor, SI.
  •     Kielce pilot: Modern technologies in urban clusters, presented by Joanna Rudawska from University of Jan Kochanowski/Kielce Technology Park, PL.
  •     Trento pilot: Design thinking as an instrument for smart innovative city government: The Trentino pilot experience and results, presented by Marco Combetto from Trentino Digitale spa, IT.

Final internal meeting marks the end of a succesful INTERREG CE project

May 24th, the second day of the URBAN INNO final conference, was dedicated to internal affairs and was closed for external audiences. The work package (WP) leaders and associates summarized and presented results of 3-year-long efforts, and discussed eventually opened issues.

At the very end of the conference, URBAN INNO project manager Ms. Tina Ragužin thanked the partners for great cooperation, results  and experiences, and wished for new opportunities to collaborate again in the near future.

The aim of the EU project URBAN INNO, is to make Central Europe more innovative and competitive by improving the innovation potential of small and medium-sized urban ecosystems. Participatory methods and tools are essential components of the project, which include citizens in particular in urban innovation processes (www.interreg-central.eu/urban-inno).  

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