Welsh innovation team visits Germany to share best practice

The Welsh Government’s innovation team has visited Germany on the second learning journey of an EU-funded project, called COHES3ION.

Members of the team, which is responsible for supporting business growth through innovation support, collaboration and diversity in Wales, attended a meeting in the Ruhr – the largest urban area in Germany.

A three-year EU project designed to bring together ten partners from eight European countries, ‘Cohes3ion’ is designed to integrate a regional and sub-regional element into Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), so developing greater consistency across each partner region. This promotes best practice and policy across Europe, increasing business growth and employment opportunities. The project has an alignment with the Welsh Government Economic Action Plan.

During the visit, Welsh Government representatives met with Cohes3ion project leaders from each partner region, exploring the specialisms and strengths of the host partner. The project hopes to advance strategies and policies around smart specialisation.

The team was also provided with an insight into Ruhr’s smart specialism, with representatives from the area touching on the region’s life sciences and cyber security excellence.

As well as hearing an overview of some of the Ruhr’s key strengths and successes, the visit also provided members of the innovation team with the opportunity to share best practice from Wales with representatives from the other partner regions.

The Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said: “We are committed to maintaining and growing our strong relationships with European partners and projects like Cohes3ion enable us to do this, bringing benefits to all partners involved in the scheme.

“Through the project, we are able to share best practice with other nations as well as learn about sector specialisms that other countries are excelling within, helping us adapt and develop our approaches.

“The scheme also enables us to showcase Wales as a growing economy at the forefront of innovation and technological expertise. By sharing knowledge and skills amongst all of our partners, together we can continue help countries across Europe to grow and prosper.”

For more information about the Cohes3ion Project, visit www.interregeurope.eu/cohes3ion/, and to read the Welsh Government Economic Action Plan, search https://gov.wales/prosperity-all-economic-action-plan.