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Peer Review -Economic Diversification in Szombathely

In Szombathely city with county rights, an economic diversification along with the attraction of manufacturing industries in the health sector is intended as part of the Szombathely2030 Development Program.
For gaining expertise on the topic in focus, the Interreg Europe Peer Review was called in service, by which the experiences of other European regions (peers) are to be utilized. As an outcome of the event, representatives of other regions contributed to the action by giving recommendations after analysing the specific territorial and thematic context and reflecting on their own experiences.
The peers were selected based on their relevant experiences and level of expertise, so that the review met the expectations and provided the city with useful solutions. The attending peers:
  • Alberto Baldi – Cluster Manager of bioPmed Cluster from Piemonte region (IT);
  • Maria Garcia – Investment Project Manager of SODENA from Navarra region (ES);
  • Inaki Gutierrez-Ibarluzea – Director of BIOEF from Basque region (ES);
  • Nora Mack – Manager of MedTech-Cluster from Upper-Austria (AT);
  • Jan Nylander – CEO of Glasir AB from Stockholm region (S).
The event consists of ten working sessions and took place on 29-30 June 2021 as a hybrid event. On the first day, within the first six sessions, the participants from the city’s side introduced the status quo including the viewpoint of diverse stakeholders and the existing policy challenges. The second day was about the common work with the scope of turning the presented recommendations into an implementable plan with open discussion.
20 people have worked together from all over Europe for 2 days to promote economic diversification and attract manufacturing health industries.

Some of the key learnings discussed internally:
  • originally, Szombathely started from a broad concept, and after two days it ended up with complex rehabilitation orientation and with loads of content-related thematic elements
  • participants focused, target now based on regional local sustainable resources and international tendencies within the complex rehabilitation sector – how to adapt and exploit to benefit in the long run, as well
  • the regional stakeholders received impulses on how to create the hot spot/innovation campus
  • the region learned how the innovation campus will generate change in the ecosystem – science and technology park, new universities, research centers, new companies, etc.
  • some very concrete takeaways – cross border test bed, joint certificate possibility, clinical trial environment, venture capital/crowdfunding for local entrepreneurship boost, dedicate coordinating persons to thematic areas, think from a talent attraction point of view, TTO with connecting domains, build also on thermal water
The local stakeholders agreed to establish a project team to prepare a detailed action plan for each element. The participants meet weekly to work on the ecosystem development at the local level.

Economic diversification is supporting to strengthen the regional ecosystem and build economic resilience. FOUNDATION project is also dealing with this topic and PBN as project partner work on it to see Good Practices and elaborate an action plan for further developments in the West-Transdanubian region.

INTENCIVE project is about the policy development for supporting the health sector and health services, especially with e-health solutions. The peer-review process with the participation of PBN as INTENCIVE project partner can be an essential part of the regional policy development and will be included in the action plan elaborated in the project.
The Peer Review is made possible with the support of the Policy Learning Platform.