From 4 – 8th June, INNO-DROP consortia – funded by COSME Cluster Excellence Program, organized a study visit to the innovation ecosystem at Toulouse, France. INNO-DROP French partner, AQUA VALLEY, hosted the third study visit organized by the consortium with the participation of representatives from ZINNAE, BALTICNET PLASMATEC and NANOPROGRESS. The consortium enjoyed a training session on Design thinking to inspire their project and services identification; visited two laboratories focused in water technology and the headquarters of Aerospace Valley and Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation. Finally, Aqua Valley organized a workshop to enhance networking between INNO-DROP Clusters and French SMEs.
AQUA Valley is a water “Pole de Compétitivité”, the French brand for Excellent Clusters, with offices in Montpellier (Headquarters), Marseille and Toulouse. The objectives of INNO-DROP third study visit (the project has organized missions to Copenhague – Denmark; and Barcelona – Spain) were to stimulate cluster-to-cluster networking, facilitate the mutual learning and better knowledge between Aqua Valley members and INNO-DROP Clusters, to learn out of the Cluster Management Experience in the South of France and finally to increase cluster management skills.
INNO-DROP consortium had the opportunity of meeting Aerospace Valley and Agri Sud Ouest Innovation, two Gold Label Clusters that gather together hundreds of SME from the aerospace and agrofood sectors. Both Clusters are Gold Label for Cluster Excellence and presented their strategy, methodology and projects.
The Study visit aimed to enhance the knowledge of the technological and innovation capacities in the local ecosystem and the consortium visited LAAS (Laboratoire d’Analyse et d’Architecture des Systems) and LGC (Labortory of Chemical Engineering).
One of the most relevant activities was a B2B session between Aqua Valley members and INNO-DROP Clusters. Although INNO-DROP is focused in cluster management skills, this was an excellent opportunity for networking for future project continuation and many common topics arised during these meetings.
Finally, the consortium enjoyed a training session on Design Thinking. The methodology and approach of Design thinking can be very useful for identifying innovation projects and designing useful cluster services for our members.
Toulouse was one of the last INNO-DROP milestones and completes the training portfolio designed by INNO-DROP clusters, having fulfilled all the partners expectations and with many ideas to continue working together.