The Jury of the EURADA Awards has decided the winners of the 2018 edition: East Marmara Development Agency (MARKA) as the Best Development Agency, and both Agence du Numérique from Wallonia (ADN) and the Galician Automotive Cluster Foundation (CEAGA) share the prize in the Non-Member category. These awards recognise every year best practices carried out by European Development Agencies. The winners get the recognition from expert peers, as the jury is composed precisely by development agencies who are members of EURADA’s Board of Directors. In the fourth edition, the awards recognise the high level impact implemented by public development agencies to support the economic growth and competitiveness of companies in their territories.

The jury declares that the Best Development Agency of the year 2018 will be awarded to East Marmara Development Agency (MARKA). This development agency from Turkey has developed the InnoTEAM programme focused on how SMEs manage innovation. The programme provides mentoring assistance to local companies, it has provided to the development agency a tool to provide world-class advanced services and gather a combination of local actors (mentors and university) to provide combined support.

In the non-members category, the jury has decided to recognise Agence du Numérique from Wallonia (ADN). This agency has established a comprehensive platform called Digital Wallonia, able to lead the digitalisation strategy of the Walloon government gathering all digital sector information and initiatives. The jury considered that this agency is a frontrunner in the path, as they have been able to create a single regional marketplace for the digitalisation. Agence du Numérique has developed a platform that brings together all the local actors. This platform could be easily transferred to another topic or sector: the green energy cluster in Wallonia already uses the same platform.

In the non-members category the jury also recognises the Galician Automotive Cluster Foundation (CEAGA) for their Business Factory Auto initiative, leading to the economic transformation of the productive ecosystem with an outstanding acceleration and consolidation programmes. The jury valued that this good practice could be implemented in any other industry or regional context. It was considered a new instrument could take into account the new economic trends in a traditional industry by engaging the different stakeholders and bringing practical ways for the implementation of technological innovations.

MARKA, ADN and CEAGA join the list of EURADA Awards winners of past editions, which have been Idepa (Asturias, Spain) for Open Innovation 4.0 (2017), Sodena (Navarre, Spain) for Orizont (2017), Kainuun Etu (Kainuun, Finland) for Cross-Sectorial Model (2016) and Oost NL (East Netherlands, Netherlands) for FoodValley Ambassadors (2015).