© Ulric Björk, Futures By Design project partners met for a kickoff meeting in Leeuwarden (Netherlands), 11 an 12 March 2019.

On 11 and 12 March 2019, the first project partner meeting for the Interreg North Sea project Futures By Design took place in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, in the historic Kanselarij. Representatives of atene KOM and ten other project partners took part. In addition to getting to know the participants better, the discussion focused on the concrete implementation steps and the design of the Horizon Scanning and Knowledge Transfer Hubs. In a friendly and constructive atmosphere the last details for the implementation could be clarified. On the second day there was also the opportunity to clarify organisational questions with the programme secretariat.


The Futures By Design project aims to increase the innovative capacity and productivity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in economically weak rural regions. The companies are to be enabled to use data and data analyses in order to prepare themselves for impending economic and technical or digital challenges and to use these for their own success. To this end, organisations in six project regions from five countries are working together. They are going to establish Horizon-Scanning and Knowledge Transfer Hubs in the participating regions, which will be a contact point for SMEs offering support for the introduction of data-based processes. Through mutual exchange, experiences from the regions are to be used and the applied instruments continuously improved. In this project, atene KOM, together with the Swedish Alexandersoninstitutet, is responsible for communication management and, together with the University of Groningen North West Germany, for implementation in Northwest Germany.