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Regional Alliance in the Halle (Saale) region

The Regional Alliance in the Halle (Saale) area combines all important stakeholder groups in connection with innovation and technology transfer including, amongst others, several cities, research institutes, higher education institutions, chambers of commerce as well as regional politics and SMEs. Building upon a study on the impact of science on the regional industry, an action plan has been developed to implement the recommendations of this study. As the study confirmed, the regional innovation potential in the region is quite high, while the regional, national and international (scientific) visibility and impact is underperforming compared to other areas in Germany. Therefore, most of the actions implemented focus on better innovation marketing.


Alliance members

  • Univations GmbH
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Halle-Dessau
  • University of Applied Sciences Merseburg
  • Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
  • Technologiepark Weinberg Campus
  • Technology and Start-Up Centre Halle Ltd.
  • Bio-Centre GmbH Halle/Saale
  • Merseburger Centre for Innovation and Technology
  • Landkreis Saalekreis
  • City of Halle/Saale
  • MMZ Mitteldeutsches Multimediazentrum Halle (Saale) GmbH.

Click on the names above for more information on the organisations or download the one-paged alliance info-sheet here.


Success factors

The first important milestone of the Regional Innovation Alliance in Germany was a general agreement to take a fact based approach to develop suitable actions. Therefore, the consortium agreed to participate in a benchmarking study comparing the innovation impact of science in more than 30 different regions in Germany. The consortium showed a very high commitment and agreed to pay collaboratively (20.000 EUR) for the study conducted by “Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft”. The rational was to receive a comprehensive and realistic picture of the regional innovation infrastructure and its impact on the regional economy. Based on this, recommendations for actions that help to compensate regional weaknesses were drawn.



Challenges

Due to the structure of the region (rural area with only few major cities) and a high concentration of innovation potential in those cities, most of the stakeholders worked together on a bilateral level before. The major challenge in the beginning of the alliance was to identify stakeholders, that showed a high potential for serious commitment and to convince these partners to collaborate on a broader level as before. While the management level of those organisations showed a high interest from the beginning on, it was important to implement processes to transfer this commitment into the working level. To do so, it was important to develop a new brand name and a lead-idea for the Alliance all stakeholders could agree upon. Once this was achieved, the alliance was able to maintain this commitment on all levels and to implement the actions developed.

Main Outcomes and Impact

While most of the actions developed are based on the recommendations of the study, a set of intermediate actions has been developed to bridge the time while the study was conducted. Those actions were based on synergies of the consortium. Examples are:

  • Joint presentation of the Alliance at different external events (e.g. Long night of science)
  • Joint events (e.g. Technology transfer event TransHAL)

 Currently, different mid- and long-term oriented actions are being implemented. Others have been implemented already. Examples of those actions are:

  • Vision statement of the Alliance
  • Several Funding Applications on regional level
  • Alliance Website
  • Joint Applications on EU level

The alliance is led by:

Univations logo

 

 Key success factors:

  • High commitment of a core group of stakeholders (on management AND working level)
  • Expansion of cooperation on regional scale (including surrounding municipalities)
  • Focussing on feasible actions and creating synergies between all stakeholders

 

Key challenges:

  • Identification and drafting of relevant stakeholders willing to cooperate sustainable
  • Development of equal commitment in a large group of stakeholders
  • Drafting of a joint lead-idea for future collaboration
  • Overcoming hierarchy levels (commitment of management AND working level)
  • Development of a sustainability strategy for the post project funding period
  • Institutionalisation of working processes

 

Key benefits for stakeholders:

  • For SMEs: Benefits for SMEs in the alliance arise on two levels. While those SMEs participating actively in the alliance now have strong relationships to participating HEIs and research institutes as well as the possibility to participate in the developed of joint applications, other SMEs profit indirectly from the participation of the regional chamber of commerce.
  • For HEIs: Participating HEIs (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg and University of Applied Sciences Merseburg) are gaining experience and practical knowledge in cooperating with SMEs to realize sustainable and efficient knowledge transfer. The long term actions developed in the Alliance are focusing on the visibility of the innovation outcome and therefore have a great impact on the reputation of the participating research institutes and HEIs.
  • For other organisations: Other participating organisations such as the City of Halle and the City of Merseburg or the regional chamber of commerce benefit directly form the increased reputation of the region through the implemented actions and indirectly from the increased Horizon2020 readiness of the regional businesses (through the learning materials produced within the project). Additional benefits were (1) usage of regional innovation study, (2) awareness of programs and funding opportunities (esp. Horizon 2020), (3) general increase of innovation awareness and innovation potentials in the region and (4) opportunities to find adequate cooperation partners (businesses, industry, research).