PROWAD-LINK Workshops - The Wash and North Norfolk: Bringing SMEs and Nature organisations together for co-creation

14 February 2020 - Published by Harald Marencic
The Norfolk County Council PROWAD-LINK team have just completed their first three co-creation workshops in January and February for local SMEs in The Wash and North Norfolk region. Each of the workshops had a different theme: Dark Skies; Nature Experience; and Food, Gastronomy and Drink.

Each workshop involved a specialist speaker and trend information on the theme before moving onto discussion about co-creation of new product ideas and methods for ensuring the product’s sustainability and success. All attendees received trend and business growth support information in their themed event packs.

More than 60 people attended across the three different workshops creating an abundance of exciting networking opportunities. There were a wide variety of different nature organisations in attendance meaning that SMEs could speak directly with experts in everything from bird-watching to dark skies and marine conservation, something which many of them said they’d never previously had the opportunity to do.

In terms of going forward, we have an online collaboration platform for attendees and any other local SMEs to access information and use for collaboration and to spark ideas. Follow up workshops are deliberately planned to be flexible and adaptable so we can base them on the ideas, feedback and needs of attendees. The Norfolk PROWAD LINK team is looking forward to keeping momentum going and helping get the product ideas off the ground and into reality!

The workshop was organised by Norfolk County Council in the framework of Prowad Link. The Interreg VB project aims to unlock the potential of natural areas as a driver for jobs and sustainable development. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are approached to develop nature as a brand to create benefits for both, SMEs and the environment. 14 project partners in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom working with interested SMEs will use the “nature-business-benefit-cycle” concept to develop new, sustainable products and offers in the pilot regions of the Wadden Sea (DK, D, NL), Geiranger Fjord (NO), Wash & North Norfolk Coast (UK). The 3-year project is co-funded by and carried out in the framework of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme under the Programme Priority 1 “Thinking Growth”. The programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union.