Furthermore, Birgit Weihs-Dopfer from Standortagentur Tyrol shared her experiences as an Associated Partner. The motivation of the Standortagentur Tyrol to become an Associated Partner was to expand their networks internationally and to exchange experiences and learnings with other development agencies across Europe. Also, the benefit for local companies was highlighted: They have the opportunity to join in international, innovative projects, working together with new partners from different European countries.
Figure 1: Ludwig Karg interviewing Mrs. Birgit Weihs-Dopfer from Standortagentur Tyrol on her experiences as being an Associated Partner
Harnessing the corona crisis as an opportunity to employ innovative co-creation formats, the JPP SES workshop involved interactive group sessions on Associated partner expectations in which all participants were sent into three groups, representing:
1) Regional development centres and energy agencies
2) SMEs and other businesses
3) Academia and research institutions
Within these groups we worked with a collaborative online whiteboard tool, which allows to use different design-thinking methods virtually. We used puzzle pieces that shall match the expectations of one group with the offerings of regional development centres and energy agencies.
Afterwards, the expectations towards Associated Partners within the single groups were matched with the contributions presented by the Associated Partners from group #1. The audience co-created innovative formats for networking within the JPP SES community according to the matches. The results are presented in Figure 6. Some examples include joining the JPP SES living lab program, a Hackathon/Connectathon for researchers and development agencies, regular (online) meetings on a half-year basis on specific topics or further matchmaking events.
Figure 2: Results of the matchmaking session on innovative formats. Blue: offering by (potential) Associated Partners from the Regional Development and Energy Agency domain; Red: expectations towards Associated partner by SMEs and other businesses, Green: expectations towards Associated partner by academia and research; Black: innovative formats for networking within the JPP SES.
During the events’ lively discussions, new connections were created which will now be strengthened in upcoming events, such as for instance during our JPP SES online conference, which will be held in autumn 2020.