Background

FREE project intends to contribute to regional development of Central Europe by setting up innovation systems capable of bridging between technical experts, researchers, entrepreneurs and administrations, policy makers included.

FREE general objectives are:

    • to stimulate technology transfer and knowledge exchange mechanisms,
    • to foster access to scientific knowledge and the use of already existing knowledge,
    • to set up and intensify the application-oriented cooperation between RTD and industry.

FREE specific objective is to develop tangible instruments and human skills able to foster the diffusion of innovation into the business sector on the basis of a transnational framework adapted to regional dimensions.

The project

    • analyses models for innovation technology transfer support systems and services in order to identify most suitable cases worth to be adapted,
    • realizes a transnational inventory („RTD Yellow Pages“) as main instrument to promote transnational cooperation RTD/industry,
    • implements four pilot actions on systems and services for innovation,
    • sets up a network of „mediators of Innovation“ to foster a bi-directional process of knowledge integration.

Activities of the project
The project will set up a transnational inventory for research bodies by collecting data on research results in the participating regions. The inventory (so called Yellow Pages) contains not only basic information and contact details of the research units but it will be a sophisticated searchable database on research products, services and technologies, know-hows and patents. The database will be available online and in hard copy version.

Transnational RTD inventory
The project sets up a transnational inventory for research bodies by collecting data on research results in the participating regions. The inventory (so called Yellow Pages) contains not only basic information and contact details of the research units but it will be a sophisticated searchable database on research products, services and technologies, know-hows and patents. The database will be available online and in hard copy version.  

Innovation systems and services guidebooks
Innovation services and technology transfer support systems are identified in order to understand different mechanisms and contexts allowing knowledge/RTD results to be transformed into new products, services and/or innovative solutions. Special attention is given to instruments suitable for SMEs. The most suitable cases could be adapted by the partners.

Network of mediators of innovation and training
A transnational “Network of Mediators of Innovation” will be set up in order to foster a bi-directional process (RTD centres - SMEs) of knowledge integration. The mediators are specialists who are capable of active research commercialization. Based on the innovation systems and services guidebooks and multiple competences of the mediators training seminars will be held in the participating regions. The mediators of innovation will be active groups of experts appointed mostly by regional knowledge centres.

Dissemination of project’s results
Innovation road shows will be organized in each region. University knowledge centres will be visited in order to promote the result of the project, to popularize innovation, to attract attention to the work of TTOs and to disseminate the knowledge map elaborated in the project.
Regional Technology Transfer Dayswill allow live access to the results of the project. Finally on a Technology Transfer Day to be held in Brussels the situation of technology transfer in Central Europe will be presented and suggestions for new proposals will be presented to Brussels stakeholders.

Total budget (€): 1 832 310

Start date: November, 2008; Duration (months): 32