Against the background of globalisation, a company’s competitiveness depends largely upon their willingness to cooperate with other companies, universities and research facilities. Regional networks forging links among industry, science as well as additional institutions and know-how-providers help to structure communication channels, improve know-how-transfer as well as the initiation of innovative (research) cooperation projects.
Therefore, the Stuttgart Region Development Corporation sets one of its operational emphases on the implementation and support of regional networks. With the help of the Competence Centre Initiative which was started in 1999, so far 14 thematic networks have been set up in the Stuttgart Region connecting more than 350 companies, approx. 50 research facilities, 15 municipalities, further institutions and non-governmental organisations.
In addition to a financial contribution programme during a three years seed-phase, the Stuttgart Region especially supports the initiation and implementation of innovative cooperation projects within the Competence Centres. Moreover, the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation provides management-related support for the existing networks, especially:
- coordination by acting as a liason between municipalities, companies, universities and research facilities
- coordination of single activities in order to tap synergy effects
- support for innovative regional projects
- support for access to national and international contribution programs
- recruiting services for cooperations
- link to other existing (regional, national, international) networks