EXPLORE Annual Stakeholder Event presented the developments under the EXPLORE project and demonstrated how the identified R&D results, with the help of European and national or regional funding, can be applied to industrial innovation ecosystems to boost industry competitiveness. The event took place on 22 October in Brussels, marking the end of the project’s first year. This happening gathered many participants from the companies, R&D organisations, European institutions, regional and national authorities, technological platforms and industry organisations.
EXPLORE project aims at this goal by promoting the use of knowledge in developing advanced products and services to address manufacturing industries’ challenges and needs. The project will promote and support the industrial exploitation of R&D results, mainly by gathering resources to disseminate them (identifying new opportunities for demonstrators and pilot lines) and prepare commercial exploitation.
The European Commission representatives (DG Research and DG Enterprise and Industry) explained the actions taken at EU level, while the representatives from the Basque Country and Lombardy presented the important work they made at regional level to help the industry. This was followed by a case study from a successful Portuguese SME – CEI Zipor. The EXPLORE Coordinator highlighted the results achieved so far and made an introduction to the project’s second year, that will focus on matching needs of the regional industries with available, exploitable R&D results. Lastly, a representative from the EU_KNIGHTS project shared their experience in integrating key enabling technologies to contribute to the re-industrialisation of Europe.
A lively Q&A session followed. Participants concluded that boosting industry competitiveness is a must and that efforts on the European and regional/national levels must complement each other. However, everything starts from clearly identifying the market needs. This fruitful event allowed EXPORE to expand its network and gain a more comprehensive perspective on how to tackle the challenges in the exploitation process.