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Incompass Project

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info@incompassproject.eu · www.incompassproject.eu
Regional policy improvement for financially sustainable creative incubators units
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NEWSLETTER ISSUE 05 | JUNE 2014

EDITORIAL

PROJECT PROGRESS

CCI: WHAT'S NEW?

ABOUT INCOMPASS PROJECT

EDITORIAL

Incubators are not what they used to be

Michele Coletti | Innovation Policy Adviser - Provincia di Milano

When we started this project a couple of years ago, business incubators were, for several of us, a mythical institution in which thanks to the esoteric skills of their key people, some magic phenomena such as the creation of successful enterprises could happen. The only problem that appeared to affect the smooth operation of these incubators was that in most cases they needed substantial public support.

We have travelled across Europe to visit all sort of places hosting startups hoping to find the recipe for the perfect magic, i.e. the effective and self-sustainable incubator possibly devoted to the Creative and Cultural Industries. Like in nuclear fusion, the challenge here is to get out of the reaction more output than the required input. We must be honest, we could not find it, but we discovered an array of experiences with differing levels of success which were always very interesting. The personal view of the author is that the more the places we visited were different from our pre-conceived idea of what an incubator should look like, the greater the sustainability of the initiative.

In particular, we started the project with the idea that incubators are about office space and services, and we were looking for the perfect combination of this. Gradually we discovered that offices are not necessary in the era of virtual teams, so we focused our attention on the services provided, and then again we had to reconsider this point because knowledge is much more accessible than it was used to be and there is not an easy way to provide professional services and business coaching at cheap price without subsidizing it.

Today, the most successful incubators are those that create an ideal environment for motivating and nurturing start-ups and young dynamic firms without too many constraints and boundaries. In these places, if there are offices, they don’t look like offices, if there are services, they don’t look like services, because the whole concept of supporting the creation of a new firm is to provide a safe and stimulating environment in which everything required can be found, and it is not about a list of services. In other words, hosted start-ups feel at home and take care of themselves and often each other rather than relying on the expertise of a pre-selected group of providers.

How could this evolution happen so quickly? There are several factors that most likely pushed services in this direction: on the supply side, the economic crisis obliged public administrations to carry out spending reviews, so business incubators that were previously entirely or partially funded with public money could no longer get the same level of support. On the demand side, there has been a surge of interest for start-ups, so those starting up a business have created the demand for more entrepreneurship support facilities than the public sector could offer. The increasing availability of cheap work space (again because of the crisis) was another key element of the equation.

Today, successful incubators are partnering with public and private institutions to develop new facilities for startups in other places. This is a very positive phenomenon because it shows that incubator managers have advice to offer not only to entrepreneurs, and that probably the role of policy-making should shift from dictating and developing a standardised type of facility to identifying the best practices and co-opting them.

In this regard, the InCompass project has hopefully had a non-negligible role, and even though we haven’t identified the "best incubator of the 3rd millenium", we have spotted and disseminated a number of very interesting initiatives which can inspire people from all over the world. How do we know that? Well, the project website stats reveal that the highest number visitors come from China and US, followed by the EU countries (mainly those involved in the project). Needless to say, it is a reason of pride to be a reference also for those living in the most entrepreneurial countries in the world.

 

PROJECT PROGRESS

STUDY VISITS & THEMATIC SEMINARS

Medway Council hosts study visit in Rochester and London. 25-27 February 2014


From 25th till 27th February, Medway Council organised the 7th Study Visit of the InCompass project. 27 participants from 11 countries came to the UK for a week to look at different incubator models in Medway and London.

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Pannon Business Network hosts thematic seminar in Szombathely, Hungary. 3-5 June 2014



From the 3rd of June till 5th of June, the Hungarian partner of the InCompass project, Pannon Business Network (PBN) hosted the thematic seminar. The main goal of the meeting was to analyse and discuss the learnings of the study visit in Aviles, Spain, back in November 2013, just as to decide on the main focus of the Final Conference later 2014.

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RIGs

Delft University of Tech - 30 Jan 2014


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Chamber of Achaia, Patras - 29 Apr 2014




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MI.LO. Milan and Lombardy, Italy - 6 May 2014




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Delft University of Tech - 27 May 2014



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Sofia RIG’S activities within Incompass Project



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EVENTS

From Brussels with love: some interesting observation for InCompass.22 May 2014

Thursday 22 May, 450 participants in INTERREG IVC projects from 26 countries, including a number of experts in thematic capitalisation and selected speakers in thematic workshops, gathered together at the event ‘Policy learning, policy sharing’ in Brussels. The event was held in the Wild Gallery; a composite of four spaces designed according to a modular system in the former principal seat of the Diamond Board.

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Two days with a focus on cultural and creative industries. 6 - 7 March 2014


6-7 March 2014 were 140 people in Malmö to take part in seminars and discussions focusing on national and regional development work in the cultural and creative industries.

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CCIs: WHAT'S NEW?

SOFIA ON FOCUS

Business incubators and co-working spaces in Sofia
Along with the public initiatives launched by Sofia Municipality, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) begin to play main role in the city life. Some NGOs provide co-working spaces which offer flexibility to young artists in terms of location, space, and time.

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Creative/Cultural industries in Sofia
In preparation for the 4th meeting of the Regional Implementation Group (RIG) of project InCompass, Mrs. Lilia Georgieva - Project Coordinator on behalf of Sofia Municipality and Mr. Yuriy Vulkovsky – External Expert turned the attention of the RIG’s focus groups on developing zones for creative industries and their role as a tool to support the candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture in 2019.

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Zone Culture Fest in Sofia municipality
Within InCompass project and the initiation for candidature of Sofia for European Capital of Culture in 2019 a Festival Zone Culture Fest has been conducted.

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Cross Creativity – Creativity and Culture at the Core of Innovation
The 19-20 June 2014 Cross Creativity, the big event about innovation, culture and creativity of Regione Lombardia, was held in Milan with a focus on Innovation, Creativity and Start-Ups.
During the two days of pitching, workshops, meetings with investors, information on future calls, testimonials and speech to inspire new ideas and paths, an important workshop (hub Connection) among international incubators, hubs and coworking spaces was included in the agenda.

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Good4 Start Up The Future Award

The “Good4 Start Up The Future” Award aims to support business projects and professional development by young talents which are related to the food sector and designed to ensure sustainable development from an economic, environmental and social point of view.

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KTU Design Centre Hosts Kaunas Design Week

On 5-10 May Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) invited Kaunas community to celebrate creativity at Kaunas Design Week events.

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Week of Innovative Regions in Europe 2014

The ‘Week of Innovative Regions in Europe’ (WiRE2014) will take place this year in Athens (June 12-13th) under the auspices of the Greek EU Presidency. Since 2010, the Week of Innovative Regions in Europe (WIRE) Conference Series serves as a key instrument in setting the European Regional Agenda and provides the most significant forum for policy dialogue on Regional Strategies, Innovation and Growth.

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Vodafone to set up $50m HQ and startup incubator in Christchurch

Christchurch's new Innovation Precinct will play host to Vodafone New Zealand's $50 million South Island heaquarters.

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New incubator for Abu Dhabi

A new hub for entrepreneurs is due to launch in Abu Dhabi, after twofour54 signed an agreement with Flat6Labs and United Markets International Holding.

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New Janssen Labs Incubator may Bring Up to 50 Companies to South SF

Tiny biotech startups will have a new place to germinate in the San Francisco Bay Area. Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Labs division is opening a new 30,000 square foot incubator in the biotech-rich suburb of South San Francisco.

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Domi Station incubator opens for business

A former warehouse off Railroad Avenue has been reborn as a place where ideas take shape and new businesses get their start.

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ABOUT INCOMPASS PROJECT

The InCompass project aims to support the self-sustainability of creative incubator units and enable them to develop and share innovative methods to move away from a general dependence on public funding. Co-financed by the EU’s European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC Programme, the project objective is to inform on and stimulate collaborative development of local, regional, national and EU policy and thereby increase the capacity to create more spaces for experiment, innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative industries, and to enable them to provide a driver for sustainable growth and job creation as stated in the Lisbon Agenda.

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About INTERREG IV C

INTERREG IVC provides funding for interregional cooperation across Europe. It is implemented under the European Community’s territorial co-operation objective and financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Operational Programme was approved in September 2007 and the period for INTERREG IVC will last from 2007-2013. The programme budget amounts to EUR 321 million (only European Regional Development Fund’s resources).

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PARTNERS' PROFILE



DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (OTB)


Icon coordinatorCoordinator: DR. ARIE ROMEIN | A.Romein@tudelft.nl
Jaffalaan 9, 2628 BX Delft, The Netherlands | www.otb.tudelft.nl

OTB Research for the Built Environment is officially a department of the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology (DUT). It currently employs ca. 130 staff. OTB specializes in research and consultancy concerning planning, urban development, housing, and transport.

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PBN GYOR


Icon coordinatorCoordinator: ÉDER ÁKOS | akos.eder@pbn.hu
Official Office: H-9027 Győr, Gesztenyefa utca 4. | www.pbn.hu

PBN (Pannon Business Network Association), as regional business development organization, aims at strengthening the economic performance of small and medium sized businesses in the western Hungarian region.

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FUNDACIÓN MUNICIPAL DE CULTURA - AVILÉS

Icon coordinatorCoordinator: JOSÉ RAMÓN RODRÍGUEZ | jrrodriguez@ayto-aviles.es

The Cultural Municipal Foundation of the Aviles City Council is an independent public body responsible for developing local cultural policy, belonging to a local authority. By statutes, the president of the Cultural Foundation is the Mayor of the Municipality, and by decree, this position is assumed by the Counciler for Culture.

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InCompass Project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC programme.
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