On October 24-25, 2023, participants in the ARIES4 project, representing the Spanish region of Navarre, the Bulgarian region of Gabrovo, the region of Southern Denmark and the Swedish region of Värmland, are gathering in Karlstad, Sweden. This is the second of a total of three face-to-face meetings within the three-year project.
“During these days, we will review the progress of all work packages, exchange knowledge between project members, coordinate and consider the upcoming phases of the project. In addition, face-to-face meetings strengthen trust between our partners,” said project leader Martín Larassa, a researcher at the coordinating partner of the State University of Navarre (UPNA) in Spain.
Providing tools for sustainable smart specialization
ARIES4 stands for Alliance of Regional Innovation Ecosystems for Smart and Sustainable Specialization Strategies. This three-year project, funded by the EU through the Erasmus+ program, includes a total of 16 regional cooperation partners in four European regions: Navarre in Spain, Gabrovo in Bulgaria, Southern Denmark and Varmland in Sweden.
The whole project is to encourage innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange between universities, vocational education, the public sector, business and society. In brief, the project aims to provide a toolkit for sustainable smart specialization strategies that can be disseminated and used by other European regions. The planned outputs of the project include a catalog of sustainability indicators, effective tools for sustainable smart specialization, training programs and self-assessment tools for enterprise sustainability, as well as a web tool for monitoring sustainable smart specialization at the regional level.
“Overall, I can confirm that the project is going according to plan. We are achieving important results on the way to the realization of the main products of the project”, said the project manager Martin Larassa.
Second of three face-to-face meetings
In addition to the project meetings at the Innovation Park in Karlstad, the program includes the art gallery visit of the world-renowned watercolor artist Lars Lehrin and a trip to Lindås Lamm, a farm that produces natural lamb meat and lamb skins using sustainability as a driving force.
At Lindås Lamm, they participate in the representation project and a lecture by Helen Williams, Associate Professor of Environmental and Energy Systems at Karlstad University, who focuses on sustainability issues in the packaging industry. All participants in the project were also invited to the evening at the residence of the district governor of Värmland, Georg Andren, Värmland House. The dinner featured the vice chancellor of Karlstad University, Yerker Mudison.
The meeting in Karlstad was the second of three physical meetings within the project. The first takes place in Odense in October 2022. After the meeting in Karlstad, there are two remaining consortium meetings – one online in the summer or autumn of 2024 and one physical meeting in Navarre in the spring of 2025.