In order to allow the Vanguard Initiative to advance its work within the field of smart specialisation, a Belgian non-profit association (ASBL), has been registered. The formalisation of the network serves the Vanguard Initiative by opening opportunities for additional funding as well as enabling further administrative resources in the future.
During the 12th International Exhibition on Industrial Research and competences for Innovation, Research to Business - R2B, in Bologna on June 8, Regional Minister of Emilia Romagna, Patrizio Bianchi, hosted a conversation on the Vanguard Initiative for industrial modernisation and interregional collaboration in the EU with Mr. Esa Halme, Region Mayor of Tampere Region and Mr. Peter Berkowitz, Head of Unit for Smart Sustainable Growth in DG REGIO.
During the Smart Regions conference in Helsinki, June 1-2, the Vanguard Initiative was well represented both in the panel discussions and debates and also in the parallel sessions. In the closing panel discussion on collaboration in smart specialisation areas across EU borders, the Vanguard Initiative Interreg Europe project S34Growth was presented as a good example on interregional smart specialisation collaboration.
The 3D-printing pilot project of the Vanguard Initiative organised a two-day event on 22 and 23 February. During the technology tour on the first day, a group of 31 participants visited the Flemish 3D-printing company Materialise. After an introduction into the activities of the company, the group visited the production facilities and got a glimpse of the different services the company offers. In the afternoon, the participants visited the 3D-printing facilities of Sirris in Liège, the Belgian collective centre for and by the technological industry.
In January 17-19 2017 the Vanguard-regions Basque Country, Catalonia, Lombardy, Skåne, South Netherlands and Tampere travelled to Porto for an intensive working programme within the framework of the S34Growth project and the project activity On-Site-Deep-Dive (OSDD).