Technical University BucharestStrategy for creative urban development in the Danube Region

Dr. Jonathan Loeffler, Miljana Cosic and Prof. Dr. Alexandru Marin, Director of the office for technology transfer, University POLITEHNICA Bucharest

As a partner of the Interreg project RESTART_4Danube, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum has developed a strategy for creative urban development as a breeding ground for the cultural and creative industries in the Danube region. Involving SMEs and other actors of the cultural and creative industries, the strategy aims to strengthen the regional creative ecosystems in the Danube countries.

The project involves 25 partners from 12 countries, including public authorities, companies, business support organisations, research institutes, civil society actors and the Danube Transfer Centers Zagreb, Maribor, Bucharest and Craiova. The coordinator Technical University "Politehnica" Bucharest successfully launched the project with support of Steinbeis Europa Zentrum. Steinbeis has facilitated the communication between regional and European policies and supports the regional actors to participate in tenders in the EU program Horizon Europe.

Within the RESTART_4Danube project, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum had an important role of developing a common strategy on creative urban regeneration for the Danube region. The comprehensive analysis of the current framework conditions and assessment of the regional needs and challenges, provided the consistent basis of the definition of the vison as well as the classification of the specific intervention areas with concrete recommendations for action. In this scope, the common strategy defines 5 substantial intervention areas and provides 17 recommendations for actions. The concrete implementation of the recommendations by policymakers, public authorities, academic actors, business support organizations, companies and civil society should pave the way towards a strengthened creative ecosystem that drives economic growth and supports sustainable urban regeneration processes in all Danube region countries.

The project partners emphasized the need for all members of society, including older and younger people, to be involved in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, and for access to education to overcome inequalities and encourage young people to learn and develop an entrepreneurial spirit. It also highlights the importance of technical infrastructure and cooperation in business incubators and creative networks, as well as strong financial support from various sources, including public and private sources at the European Union, national, regional, and local levels. This also includes addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing conflict in Ukraine on CCIs and urban regeneration, as well as the importance of innovation, entrepreneurship, culture, and creativity in transformation processes and addressing future challenges.

Besides, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum had an important role in capitalization activities and creating the synergies on the different levels – e.g. on the policy level through the activities within the European Strategy for the Danube Region, Priority Area 8 and Working Group Innovation and Technology Transfer and on the operational level, through the clustering with other projects on the similar topics and supporting the collaboration among the CCI ecosystem actors.

Study tour to Baden-Württemberg

One of the highlights at the last period of the project was the study visit organized by Steinbeis Europa Zentrum in July 2022. Around 20 project partners have been accompanied on a visit to creative institutions in Karlsruhe and Mannheim, including the Kreativpark im Alten Schlachthof in Karlsruhe, the ZKM, K3 Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaftsbüro and the coworking space Good Spaces. In Mannheim, participants learned about NEXT Mannheim's offerings and projects.

The main project results also include policy recommendations and five Local Action Plans - in Craiova (Romania), Maribor (Slovenia), Vratsa (Bulgaria), Rijeka (Croatia) and Vas County (Hungary), developed with the aim of stimulating transnational collaboration and promoting networking among different actors across the Danube region. Policy dialogues, thematic workshops, capacity building events and various platforms for general public enabled an intensive and valuable exchanges between the regions.

Restart4Danube received 1,8 Mio. Euro EU funding from 07/2020 – 12/2022

„The collaboration of University POLITEHNICA from Bucharest with Steinbeis Europa Zentrum already started some time ago in the frame of the Danube Transfer Center Network and brought valuable expertise, know-how and best practice because of their vast experience in various international projects. Together, our common effort, as main drivers of the RESTART_4Danube consortium, has contributed to a stronger Urban Regeneration process, based on Cultural and Creative Industries in the Danube Region.“

Prof. Dr. Alexandru Marin, Director of the Office for technology transfer, University POLITEHNICA Bukarest

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Miljana Cosic
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Miljana Cosic

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