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AGORADA+ Main Takeaways

Article written by Neus Armenjach - Communication Intern

On 11 and 12 December 2023, Kraków, Poland became the vibrant host city for our yearly event: AGORADA+.

As you already know, this year’s edition was organised in partnership with our esteemed member the Małopolska Regional Development Agency (MARR) and for the for the second consecutive year, with the European Clusters Collaboration Platform in the context of a “Clusters Meet Regions” workshop.

The main focus of the event was the advancement of aerospace technologies, smart city concepts, and life sciences clusters while also emphasising the use of the existing funding opportunities in Poland.

The first day started with a welcoming by Szymon Strzelichowski, President of Małopolska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego S.A. and Jerzy Muzyk, Vice President of the City of Kraków, focusing on Małopolska's commitment to integrating science and economy. Jakub Boratyński from the European Commission's DG GROW stressed clusters' crucial role in achieving the Green Deal and digital transformation goals across Europe. Closing the session, EURADA Director Roberta Dall’Olio highlighted the focus on fostering innovation for regional development and strategically collaborating to address contemporary challenges.

The workshop deepened into Małopolska's regional economy, innovation landscape, and cluster ecosystems. The day featured insightful conversations on aerospace opportunities, including strategies for fostering high-tech growth and discussions on harnessing aerospace for regional development.

The first day also counted with a panel on "Cosmic Kraków and Smart Cities," exploring Kraków's evolution into a "Smart Heritage City" and engagement with the New European Bauhaus initiative, emphasising sustainable choices in regional development. This session served as the 12th meeting of the Smart Heritage working group where in between an exchange of good practices, diverse perspectives highlighted the integral role of collaborative innovation, local engagement, and interdisciplinary approaches in transforming cities and regions sustainably.

The first day concluded with a panel on "Cosmic People". This session delved into the transformative impact of aerospace technologies on life sciences, discussing new perspectives and critical answers to questions in the field.

After having the time to explore the uniqueness of Krakow and wander around the Christmas market, the second day started with a focus on financial services supporting innovation. The discussions included insights from experts from the Regional Innovation Valleys, Euroclusters funding opportunities, ESA technology broker networks, and Interreg Funding.

A pitching session followed showcasing diverse projects from clusters, development agencies, and technology centres across Europe. Among the pitches, it is worth mentioning that our members from Zagreb, who presented the Co-Culture project which aims to increase the participation of citizens and other stakeholders in the co-creation of cultural programmes, followed by our Spanish member from EQA who presented their services in evaluating project’s proposals. Lastly, our Croatian members from ZADRA NOVA presented to the variegated audience their plans to apply to several Interreg Europe project proposals in the upcoming months.

The final panel explored EU initiatives to strengthen Ukraine's resilience. Topics included Ukraine's proposed EU accession, the economy of Ukraine during war conditions or cooperation between EU and Ukrainian clusters, and opportunities for collaboration with Ukrainian innovative space clusters among others.

The event concluded with a study tour of the ASTOR Show Room, providing insights into intelligent industrial technologies and automation systems. Showcasing Poland's pivotal role in advancing global industry and engineering knowledge.

After wrapping up the two-day event, EURADA also celebrated an EURADA Members Meeting where we had the opportunity to recap the goals and achievements of 2023 and unveil our working program for 2024. Some EURADA members like IGRETEC, EQA, IVACE, ART-ER, ZAGREB RDA, MARR, ARSSA, ROM Utrecht, and RRA ROD could express their points of view concerning the upcoming 2024 EURADA activities.

We concluded our 2-days event with a lovely networking event where participants had the chance to try the real Polish vodka and further discuss about future project collaboration among EURADA members and beyond.

You can watch the official after movie here.  

Check our Flickr gallery to find pictures from the event.