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Contenu archivé le 2024-05-28

STARring a trans-regional network of REGIOnal research-driven marine clusters

Periodic Report Summary - STARNETREGIO (STARring a trans-regional network of REGIOnal research-driven marine clusters)

The competitive advantage of the EU in the maritime industry sector has to be sustained and depends mainly on the sector's performance, its flexibility and continuation of competitiveness. In this regard, shipbuilding is an important and strategic industry in a number of EU member states and for the European Community as a whole. RTD investment for boosting the sector is needed and has to focus on the development of critical and dynamic technologies both for products and production processes, helping the maritime industry compete successfully in global markets and benefit from the exploitation of the so called 'motorways of the sea'.

The STARNETregio project has been conceived to increase the overall capacity of regional players in the regions Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), Slovenia and the County of Rijeka (Croatia) to invest in RTD and carry out research activities concerning the marine industry, in specific the shipbuilding and port equipments, intended to strengthen and develop the sector's scientific and technological basis and ultimately, the economic growth of the regions.

This endeavour has been achieved by encouraging and supporting within the regions, based on the triple helix model, the performance of 'regional research-driven clusters', associating universities and research centres (RTD), enterprises (industry cluster) and public regional authorities (PA), and enhance coordination and cooperation among these regions.

The project, started on January 2008, has been implemented during a 30 months period in four main consecutive and complementary phases:

1) establishment of the institutional cluster framework and thorough mapping of regional development plans and RTD key actors;
2) cross-regional analysis of regional development plans and RTD actors, aiming at setting the basis for a future trans-national collaborative research environment;
3) knowledge transfer through mutual learning processes and mentoring activities;
4) development of a joint action plan for improving the integration process.

The elaboration of the shared Transnational Research Agenda (TRA) was one of the most important results as a consequence of an extensive discussion of the members of the Technical Steering Committee and the Liaison Offices representatives as well as of an integration of collected data from the three Regional Research Agendas, above mentioned. TRA aims at identifying and setting up concerted research strategies necessary for answering to the sector's industrial needs and is the basis for defining common RTD policies and programmes that support their efficient implementation and accomplishment. TRA summarises common interests and needs of the three territories, focusing on activities to be further developed for boosting the shipbuilding and leisure boat industry performance and for contributing to regions development.

Moreover, addressing the issues laid down in the Blue Book for Maritime Policy and building on the results included in the STARNETregio shared TRA, a Framework Agreement has been signed among 6 of 11 STARNETregio partners, including all local relevant policy makers and innovation practitioners in the field of concern. The Framework Agreement stipulates a collective vision for the regions' development towards a competitive and sustainable maritime economy and stresses the importance of upstream (networking and cooperation among the regions) and downstream activities (cooperation among stakeholders within the region) in the maritime sector. Along with the Framework Agreement a Joint Action Plan (JAP) has been set up. The JAP, which is the ultimate project result, represents a roadmap for measures/actions to be further developed and implemented by the STARNETregio partners after the project's end through the expansion of previous and ongoing coordination activities.