Northern Connections

HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) - Institute of urban planning and regional development

12 October 2017 - Published by Christina Knudsen
The institute of urban planning and regional development at HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) has been working in several international applied research projects in the field of regional development, interregional cooperation and urban-rural cooperation.

Using this experience for Northern Connections, HCU is mainly responsible for the work package WP3 Knowledge. The aim of WP3 is to support knowledge transfer between project partners who are representing the three different parts of the triple helix: the public sector (cities and regions), the private sector (clusters representing enterprises) and the research sector (universities and other research institutions).

In order to support this knowledge transfer, HCU and the WP3 partners are organizing and conducting two surveys. The first survey aims to find out how regional strategies, for example RIS3 strategies, support innovation and internationalization of clusters and to identify possible fields of international cooperation between clusters and regions. The outcome of this survey shall be used by cities and regions to adapt current and future strategies in order to improve the support of innovation and internationalization for clusters and enterprises.

The second survey is focusing on the question of how Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are involved in clusters and how they are supported by cluster organizations. The results shall be used by the cluster organizations to develop tools for better involvement and support of SMEs.

For HCU the outcomes of both surveys are of great interest as they are linked to two larger research questions: First, how do regional strategies, especially EU-driven RIS3 strategies contribute to territorial cohesion and sustainable regional development? And second, how can citizens, enterprises and other stakeholders in rural areas be supported to become more connected to respectively involved in innovation and development processes that are often concentrated in urban centers.

Last but not least HCU sees Northern Connection as an opportunity to intensify and expand cooperation with other universities and research institutions in the fields of sustainable urban and regional development linked to renewable energies.