Danube Transfer Centres
Established in 2012, the Danube Transfer Centre (DTC) network is a powerful transnational structure in the Danube Macro-Region dedicated to fostering innovation and knowledge transfer between academia and the economic environment. With currently 14 so-called “entry points” in 10 countries of the Danube region, the DTC Network provides assistance and support to organisations seeking to improve their competitiveness and international dimension.
As the network is structured following the “Quadruple Helix Approach”, it actively involves key players from the entire economic ecosystem of the participating countries and can therefore contribute to the exploitation of new innovation potentials.
European Strategy for the Danube Region
On a European level, the DTC network is embedded in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), the aim of which is to strengthen transnational cooperation between regional economic actors in selected thematic areas and thus counteract the heterogeneity and differentiation in Europe. In this regard Danube Transfer Centres contribute to strengthening regional and international technology transfer and thus foster the entire Danube region. Related to these activities, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrumleads the thematic pole 1 “Innovative ecosystems for SMEs” within the capitalisation strategy of the Interreg Program for the Danube Region. Pole 1 currently comprises eleven projects with a high thematic resemblance.
As part of the European Commission’s Danube Strategy, the lighthouse project was embedded in the objectives of Priority Area 8 „Competitiveness“. Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum manages the working group “Innovation and Technology Transfer” within the EUSDR Priority Area 8, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Baden-Württemberg and by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Croatia. Initial financial support was provided by the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg in order to support the establishment of the three first centres at universities in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia.
Technology Transfer in the Danube Region
The main task of the Danube Transfer Centres is to create connections between local companies and European R&D stakeholders in order to support technology transfer in the Danube region and contribute to closing the gap between research and marketable innovations. The most important activities are the following:
- supporting the competitiveness of companies through new product development in collaboration with universities and R&D organisations
- promoting co-operation and linking industry and universities
- fostering knowledge exchange on an inter-regional scope and create synergies between existing innovative activities in the region
- collaboration with clusters as well as with national and regional authorities
Following the Steinbeis model, the DTCs participate in EU-funded research projects and other initiatives. The network also encourages cross-border research and technology cooperation and supports the training of staff in the Danube region. For companies and research institutions from Baden-Wurttemberg, the Danube Transfer Centres can act as competent, well-networked local contacts and thus facilitate their market entry or research activities in the respective regions. The establishment of the so-called "one-stop shops" has thus proven to be a model of success for the entire region.
Foto above: Meeting of Danube Transfer Centres during 8. Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, Bukarest, 27.06.2019