Region Värmland (SE) joined the Vanguard Initiative in November 2017. To learn from other members, Region Värmland interviewed four regions on how they organise their work within the network. Navarra, Basque Country, Central Sweden and Skåne European Office were the Brussels’ based offices that were interviewed for the report, answering questions on the work of their Brussels’ offices, regional authorities and clusters in Vanguard.
The result of the interviews has been published in a report which shows that the Vanguard Initiative is an important platform and open doors for its members’ Brussels’ offices, regional authorities and clusters. Furthermore, the interviewed regions all agreed that the Vanguard Initiative creates strong partnerships and connects regions from all over Europe. However, to reap the greatest benefits of membership in the network, new members are encouraged to become active and participate in the network’s task groups and demonstration cases from the start to “integrate” in the network as quickly as possible.
More specifically, Brussels’ offices are advised to be active from the start, as they have an important role to play when identifying relevant demonstration projects and support the clusters as they start to get involved in the network. Regional authorities are advised to elaborate defined roles and responsibilities amongst the actors that will be active within Vanguard. Another important recommendation is to hold regular meetings in the region, 2-3 times per year, where all actors that have an interest in Vanguard can meet. The clusters are also advised to define what they can contribute with to Vanguard, and to work proactively to identify possibilities for cooperation.
Lastly, new members are recommended to set clear goals by formulating a strategy that answers the following questions:
- What do we want to accomplish with our membership in the Vanguard Initiative?
- How can we use the network to achieve what we want to accomplish?
- How can we scale up our work through the Vanguard Initiative?