Danube Transfer Centers
Technology Transfer Centers in the framework of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region
The Danube Transfer Center Network is a powerful transnational structure in the Danube Region dedicated to fostering innovation and knowledge transfer between academia and the economic environment. Present in 10 countries, the DTC Network can provide assistance and support to organisations seeking to improve their competitiveness and international dimension. In each country, one or two gate centers are established, which then create their own local network of offices, in order to be as close as possible to the intended beneficiaries. The members provide technology transfer, intellectual property management as well as management of innovation projects.
From 2012 to 2019, the network has established partnerships with partners from Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest, IASI and Craiova (Romania), Nitra (Slovakia), Novi Sad (Serbia), Maribor (Slovenia), Györ (Hungary), Ruse and Sofia (Bulgaria), Vukovar and Zagreb (Croatia), Odessa (Ukraine) and Villach (Austria). The network now counts a total of 14 members.
SEZ manages the working group “Innovation and Technology Transfer” within the EUSDR Priority Area 8 (Competitiveness), which is coordinated by the Ministry of Economics Baden-Württemberg (and by the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Croatia).
The Interreg Program for the Danube Region has launched a Capitalization Strategy, which assigns eleven so-called »Capitalisation Poles« to all approved projects. Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum leads the thematic priority 1 »Innovative ecosystems for SMEs«, to which a total of nine projects belong. Together, strategies for strengthening strategic partnerships will be developed and actors of Baden-Württemberg will have the opportunity to shape initiatives from the very beginning. Since 2017, the state of Baden-Württemberg has supported the establishment of a coordination platform between innovation players in the Danube region with around 70,000 euros. Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum was entrusted with the implementation of this common coordination platform.
How it started
The aim of the pilot project was to strengthen the competitiveness of economic operators in the Danube region in a sustainable manner. The establishment of Danube Transfer Centers at selected partner institutions should enable the local industry to gain better access to the knowledge and resources of scientific professionals. As part of the European Commission’s Danube Strategy, the project was embedded in the objectives of Priority Area 8 „Competitiveness“. Financial support was provided by the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg. The Steinbeis Innovation gGmbH, Stuttgart, represented by the Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum and Steinbeis-Donau-Zentrum, was responsible for the implementation of the project.
At the „First Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region“ in Regensburg in November 2012, Peter Friedrich (former Minister for European affairs) and Prof. Dr. Norbert Höptner (former Commissioner for Europe of the Minister of Economic affairs) met with government representatives from Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Bavaria. The European Commissioner signed a cooperation agreement with five universities from Romania, Slovakia and Serbia. The content of the agreement was the development of a common strategy to strengthen transnational technology transfer in the Danube region. The core is the construction of so-called Danube Transfer Centers, which will help to bridge the gap between research and innovation. The centers were set up at the Bratislava University of Technology (Slovakia), at the University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia), and at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania).
Running time: 09/2012-02/2014
Participating countries: Germany, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia