The Halle region has addressed a number of challenges, found in their benchmark study ‘Science Scorecard’. Through increased branding activities, the alliance was able to better engage with stakeholders, in addition to a number of events that have led to stronger relationships and an increase in cooperation between the various stakeholders involved.
The benchmark study “Science Scorecard” carried out by the “Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft” has produced its results, providing the project stakeholders a realistic picture of their status within the regional innovation infrastructure and pinpointing shortcomings. Upon the examination of the outcomes, recommendations have been drawn accordingly, to reduce the impact of the established weaknesses and ensure commitment of the consortium members at all levels. The alliance reported to have overcome one of its main challenges of identifying relevant stakeholders that are willing to establish sustainable cooperation. According to the members, in the beginning the lack of institutionalization did not allow effective implementation of the project actions on the working level. The solution was later introduced through the development of a new brand name and a common goal for the alliance that helped build a feeling of ownership and sense of commitment among all participating individuals.
In addition to the actions taken in reference to the recommendations of the benchmark study, the Alliance has organized internal and external joint events, such as ‘Long Night of Science’, and ‘TransHAL’, a technology transfer event, in order to build upon and expand the synergies among the consortium members. Some of the other finalized project actions included funding applications on the regional level, alliance website design, EU level joint project submissions, and a clear definition of the alliance vision statement. Furthermore, the Halle Regional Alliance listed mounting benefits of the partnerships for the participating SMEs, higher education institutions (HEIs), and other member organizations. For example, the number of SMEs that build strong relationships with HEIs and research institutes has grown, HEIs practice sustainable knowledge transfer through their cooperation with SMEs, and finally local government organizations benefit from the increased reputation of the region, as well as an increase in awareness of innovation potentials and Horizon 2020 funding opportunities.