Bielsko-Biala developed its innovation ecosystem inspired by international exchange of experience, through systemic approach composed of two intermingling formats of FabLab (Digital Innovation Hub) and multistakeholder engagement approach. 
It may be described as follows:

  • From FabLab through (European)Digital Innovation Hub to Beskidzki Hub – our innovative journey from small scale fabrication laboratory to 50M EUR investment
  • Connecting the dots – facilitating multistakeholder cooperation towards innovation ecosystem

Today, 5,7M EUR out of the 55,7 M EUR budget  have been invested. 

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Strong points 

  • Consistent, step by step approach
  • Multistakeholder engagement
  • Tailoring international knowledge to the local context
  • Committed people
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Key stakeholders 

City Hall of Bielsko-Biała – especially "Strategy and Economic Development Department" as a key stakeholder and strategy owner
Local IT & tech companies – as entities vividly interested in the economic growth of the city due to their business goals, but also aware of the added value of mutual cooperation
Non Governmental Organisations operating in the field of entrepreneurship & startup support – as important players with wide network of contacts and community of talents and entrepreneurs gathered around them
Academic & education sector – universities and schools, academic associations – as important stakeholders in terms of shaping competence building and creating a pool of future talents to be present on the market

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City strategy 

Bielsko-Biała's development strategy to 2030 outlines a vision for the city as a leading economic center in the region. A key element is the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH), which fosters collaboration among local tech companies. By providing advanced technology and networking opportunities, DIH strengthens the city's economy and leverages existing strengths. The multistakeholder approach ensures complex solutions that benefit the entire city.

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Results and impacts 

  • Portfolio of activities – workshops, events, training programs – tested on the local level with 2000+ participants.
  • Established network of stakeholders – committed and open to cooperate.
  • Regional game changing innovative concept & investment of Beskidzki Hub.
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Challenges 

  • Formal, time consuming procedures related to implementation of EU funded projects - it becomes easier!
  • Relation of value, time & stakeholder commitment - it is hard to maintain momentum.
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Enabling conditions 

  • International knowledge exchange via European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) – discovering the FabLab concept.
  • In-Focus (URBACT III) project implementation – creating a multistakeholder group and discussing ecosystem building issues in quadruple helix formula – setting the scene for further activities.
  • Exchange of experience and good practices across Europe, piloting small scale formats of events, workshops, training programs that become a PoC to further develop the idea of DIH.
  • Becoming a co-organizer of BBDays4.IT, granting full credibility on a local level as a reliable partner.
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Transfer Tips

  • Be active on international level and take the advantage of EU projects.
  • Test small scale solutions, make linkages among them and create complex structures out of it.
  • Look around and benefit from the networks you already have.

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