Workshop 1: Promotion of Regional Economy and Improvement of the Structural Framework Conditions for SMEs

Day 1: Tools of Economic Development and SME Promotion

09.30 hrs Welcome to the Participants

10.00 hrs Introduction: Key Features of Sustainable Economic Development and SME Promotion in Regions

Survey of the basic elements, instruments and requirements of a consistent regional economic promotion strategy: infrastructural framework, institutional preconditions and financing tools. The individual elements will be discussed during the workshop and finally brought together into a comprehensive concept.

10.45 hrs Institutional Features – Regional Development Agencies, Partnership Principle and Networks to Improve the Economic Performance of Regions 

A targeted and effective regional economic and SME development strategy usually requires an adjustment of the existing institutional structures and the systematic inclusion of different organizations at local and regional level. Regional development agencies and specialist networks have as institutions proved particularly useful in countries in transition.

11.30 hrs Coffee Break

11.45 Uhr Business-oriented Infrastructure - Business Incubators, Technology Centers and Business Parks as tools of regional economic and SME development and to stimulate business start-ups.

The strategic concept of business incubation ("Software"), and an overview of the design, planning and management of business incubators, technology centers and incubators ("Hardware"). Best-practice examples from European regions. 

12.45 hrs Questions and Answers

13.00 hrs Lunch

14.00 hrs Clustering and Innovation – The development of clusters and innovation as tools to promote the competitiveness of regions and businesses. 

The systematic development of local and regional clusters as well as the strategic use and promotion of innovation potentials in regions and companies is times of globalization and rapid technological change an important determinant of the competitiveness of regions and businesses. The interplay of regional economy and innovation is presented along with targeted measures to stimulate the corporate innovation potential. Outline of the methodological tools of the Regional Innovation and Technology Transfer Strategy (RIS / RITTS).

15.30 hrs Coffee Break

16.00 hrs Discussion

17.00 hrs End of the first day 

20.00 hrs OPTIONAL: Panel discussion with regional economic development experts, politicians and representatives from regional enterprises and the banking sector.



Day 2: Tools of Economic Development and SME Promotion / Group Work

10.00 hrs Business-oriented Training and Qualification - Concepts of Human Resources Development as a means of enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in the regions.

With the increasingly rapid changes in the working world in the wake of globalization and technological development, the requirements on the qualification profiles of employees and the structure of qualification and training measures have changed dramatically. Regional economic and SME development strategies must take this into account and consistently implement concepts such as regional skills alliances ("Learning Regions") as well as lifelong learning approaches. In addition, innovative new technologies allow new forms of education and development of skills.

10.30 hrs Investment Promotion - Marketing tools and concepts of regional investment promotion and FDI attraction.

Against the background of increasing global competition among regions, the strategic marketing of regions and their potential is becoming increasingly important. A systematic benchmarking of regional assets is essential for successful and pro-active investment promotion activities. Core elements of investment promotion are introduced through best practice examples from European regions.

11.00 hrs Coffee Break

11.30 hrs Group Work – Elaboration of a SME Promotion Catalogue for the Region X (Part 1)

Step 1: SWOT analysis of the business environment for SMEs and start-ups in the region (infrastructural conditions, sectoral structure, inventory of companies, size and structure of regional SMEs, regional and operational potential for innovation, institutional capacity in management and organization, qualification profiles of the workforce, etc.)

12.30 hrs Lunch

13.30 hrs Group Work – Elaboration of a SME Promotion Catalogue for the Region X (Part 2)

Step 2: Definition of strategic goals of a regional business development strategy.

Step 3: Development of a catalog of measures for the systematic promotion of SMEs and start-ups in the region X.

Step 4: Definition of three pilot projects on the basis of a standard Project Fiche.

15.30 hrs Coffee Break

15.45 hrs Presentation and Discussion oft he Group Work Results

16.45 hrs Evaluation of the Workshop

17.30 hrs End of the Workshop