12 December 2017, 6.00PM CET time

Speakers: Alisdair Reid and Christina Saublens


This webinar aims to bring two distinctive perspectives from an academic and a policy and practitioner perspective. Both speakers will address issues related to the emergence, development, structuring and management of regional innovation ecosystems (mostly in a context of smart specialisation), including strategies and challenges for policy and governance. Since we are in a Triple Helix backdrop, the interactions around universities, industry (in the broader possible sense) and government (all types) will be also in focus.

TALK 1: Alisdair Reid
Regional Innovation Systems, New Approaches to Mapping Potential and Fostering Co-operation

Regional innovation systems theory and policy has evolved considerably over the last twenty years since first emerging in the mid-1990s as a new strand of thinking.
The capacity to map and analyse the capabilities, networks and outputs of RIS has grown, and novel approaches to capturing and mapping data (quantitative and qualitative) are being experimented to support regional smart specialisation partnerships to develop strategies.
In parallel, the policy instruments and policy delivery mechanisms are evolving to reflect much more open, complex and diverse types of co-operation that can occur within and across regionalinnovation systems.
This presentation will provide insights from recent and on-going research carried out both the mapping of regional innovation ecosystems (including the context of the smart specialisation process) as well as outlining new policy approaches that can helpstrengthen regional innovation systems.

Alasdair REID has over twenty years experience of advising governments in developing, implementing and evaluating innovation based regional, inter-regional, national and European development programmes and strategies.

He has worked on public policy research in the fields of regional economic development and innovation systems. He has advised the European Commission, the OECD, the World Bank, the Nordic Council of Ministers, national and regional governments and agencies throughout the European Union and in third countries.

He is one of the founders and the Research Director of the European Future Innovation System Centre (www.efiscentre.eu)


TALK 1: Christian Saublens
Reverse Thinking Regarding the Place of SMEs in a Regional Eco-innovation System

Today, most policy makers start to look at how regional assets are able to enhance innovation. This seems to have a limited effect. Shouldn’t they start to analyze what regional enterprises need to innovate and be competitive in order to redesign the support services?

For a lot of reasons, SME representatives have difficulties to understand the intervention logics of public and academic stakeholders. This has consequence, i.e. a mismatch between the offer of public support and the entrepreneurs’ expectations. Should the actors of the innovation ecosystem better consider the enterprises’ needs, the type of innovation matching the five critical functions of the enterprise and the interactions between the enterprise with its customers as well as with public and semi-public actors?

The Presentation will focus on the following issues:

  • Policy support system of an innovation eco-system,
  • Innovation eco-system of an enterprise,
  • What type of innovation for each of the enterprise core assets?
  • How can policy makers detect and respond to the enterprises’ needs?
  • What can enterprises expect from the high education stakeholders?


Christian SAUBLENS is a commercial engineer. He is Belgian and has an experience of more than thirty years in lobbying the European Union administration.

He has been the Executive Manager of EURADA, the European Association of Development Agencies, between 1992 and November 2015. He is now retired.

Christian’s involvement led to the creation of EBAN, the European network promoting the stimulation of informal venture capital at regional or national level. He coordinates efforts to sustain the IRE (Innovating Regions in Europe) network, and supported the creation of the European Crowdfunding Network.

Christian has served as chairman of the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S³) Mirror Group set up by DG Regio in order to build awareness of that new concept amongst the regions. Christian has written several papers regarding the impact of EU regulations on regional development, the role of development agencies in Europe, and the importance of SMEs in economic development. He has also written documents concerning entrepreneurship, access to finance by SMEs, territorial intelligence, public support services in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, and eco-innovation.



60€ which includes the access to the webinar, and the annual THA refular individual membership.

If you are interested in the THA webinar series, please subscribe to the annual THA regular organizational membership (225¼) to have free access to the six titles!

THA members join the webinar free of charge

To register send an email to: *email address protected*



DELIVERED: 5 October 2017

Speakers: Caroline Paunov and José Saenz


This webinar aimed to bring two distinctive perspectives from an academic, and a policy and practitioner perspective. The speakers addressed issues related to the drivers behind industry 4.0, including resources, technologies, challenges for policy and governance, and impact on industry – and in particular – the effect on SMEs, business and technology start-ups and university-industry activities

TALK 1: Caroline Paunov
Public Research Institutions and the Digital Transformation

The increasing importance of knowledge-based capital for competitiveness in the context of the digital transformation, and the high growth potential of many science-based activities reward those countries where firms have the ability to effectively use research findings to innovate. The presentation will discuss two important policy issues that arise in this context, drawing on the ongoing work conducted by the OECD Working Party on Technology and Innovation Policy (TIP):

Caroline Paunov is Senior Economist and Head of Secretariat for the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) at the Directorate for Science, Technology, and Innovation of the OECD. She oversees the Working Party’s work on digital and open innovation and on assessing the impacts of public research on innovation. She has conducted extensive work on innovation for inclusive growth. Caroline also developed national intellectual property rights systems in emerging economies. Specialised in applied econometrics, her research has been published in leading academic journals, including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Development Economics, the Canadian Journal of Economics, Research Policy and World Development. Previously, she worked for the World Bank, the United Nations, and cooperated on various projects for the public sectors in Brazil, Spain and Germany. She holds a BA and MA (Hons) from the University of Oxford, a MSc from the University Pompeu Fabra, and a PhD in Economics from the University of London.


TALK 1: Jose Saenz
Collaborative Robotics in Industry 4.0 – What’s Hot Right Now and Where is it Heading?

  • A short overview of what collaborative robotics are, what they aren’t (common misconceptions),
  • Overview of state of the art with examples from industry
  • Concept how vision of flexible robotics fits in with Industry 4.0
  • An example of collaborative robot using Industry 4.0 techniques
  • Outlook – work being done to achieve vision

José Saenz earned a BS in mechanical engineering from Stanford University (USA) in 1999, and a MS in mechatronics from Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany) in 2004. He is a Senior Research Scientist and has been at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation in Magdeburg (Germany) since 2000. His main research interests are in the fields of safe human robot collaboration, mobile manipulation, inspection and cleaning service robots, and safety sensor development. Jose is currently on the Board of Directors for the euRobotics aisbl organization, the private side of the SPARC PPP, which together with the European Commission is defining the Roadmap for robotics research funding in Horizon 2020 funding programme. e was recently coordinator of the FP7 Project VALERI and in the past has worked on and led various publicly funded projects including CAFE, 4×3, and currently ColRobot. He has been project manager for the industrial project “Inspection robot – damage detection system” for the Emscher Sewer, one of the largest industrial projects in the entire Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. He has been a reviewer for numerous conferences and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed conferences and journals.

This webinar presentation is available at: www.triplehelixassociation.org/th-repository/webinar-  industry4-0-inputs-outputs-start-ups-5th-october-2017