The Inter-municipal Public Consortium of the Western Metropolitan Region of São Paulo (CIOESTE), in Brazil, have visited Bielsko Biala, in Poland, under the International Urban Cooperation Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean (IUC-LAC), from May 7 to May 12.
The inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development encourages and supports region-to-region exchange in order to promote innovation, competitiveness and new opportunities for their citizens.
As a preparation for the mission, Cioeste organized the first International Forum of Innovation and Technology of the region, on April 24. Around 450 people participated, mostly Information and Communications Technology (ICT) firms. Both Regional Development Agency Bielsko-Biala and IUC-LAC team participated via Skype.
The visit to Bielsko Biala started with the authorities meeting in the Bielsko-Biala City Hall, where the Letter of Intent was signed.
The cooperation meeting continued with visits to the University of Bielsko-Biała and to the Katowicka Special Economic Zone. Other activities consisted on presentations of Bielsko-Biala RIS3 and of main business support institutions in the city.
The Cioeste and Bielsko-Biała delegations also met with the representatives of the Local Tourism Organization and Local Business Forum, meeting organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bielsko-Biała.
The last three days of the mission were dedicated to technical meetings to advance the joint roadmap of the cooperation and to finish the joint action plans. The future businesses will be based on quintuple helix opportunities.
Cristiano Cagnin, the cooperation coordinator, considers that the mission was very successful and productive. All intended results were achieved and both regions were able to define their joint objectives for the cooperation, which include fostering the internationalization of local SMEs, building critical mass by developing knowledge, required skills and capabilities for current and future jobs in ICTs, as well as developing an ecosystem that fosters innovation. Fourteen actions with clear responsibilities in each region were identified and prioritized in order to attain these objectives. The next step is both to develop a detailed workplan including options for financing of the defined actions and to start implementing these. A number of business contacts have already been identified in both regions and will be put in touch in the coming weeks to initiate the process.