Piloting the ERA Hubs concept

Within the COOPERATE project, Piloting is planned to support the testing and creation of the ERA hubs concept in practice. The piloting of the ERA Hub model within COOPERATE is structured in two phases.

  • Phase 1 is an explorative “sandbox” mechanism piloting the activities in the emerging CZ ecosystem in cooperation with NL and DK to test inter- and intra-regional collaboration on concrete use cases.
  • In Phase 2, the piloting will expand to additional 2 emerging ecosystems that will be mobilised through a Call for Champions designed on the basis of the lessons learned during the first piloting phase.

These two phases will allow to consolidate the ERA Hubs model through peer-learning, creating quality outcomes, the brand and the critical mass of ecosystems participation that is needed to support the ERA Hubs implementation roadmap within the ERA through a set of policy recommendations in the future Phase 3 (post-project). 

Figure 1: ERA Hub Model – Piloting activities

During piloting, a core activity will be road mapping to

  1. identify the relevant stakeholders in each knowledge ecosystem being piloted,
  2. define the mission, thematic scope and lines of action to animate the knowledge ecosystem behind each ERA Hub, and
  3. trigger collaboration within and across ERA Hubs.

Currently, consortium partners are working on the Phase 1 of the piloting. Activities are structured around discovery, building and the way forward as outlined in the framework for the piloting in the figure below. Discovery allows to build an initial pool of information about each ecosystem, its actors, its relative strengths and positioning. Building allows to deepen this information, for a specific thematic or focus topic. The way forward for the ecosystem is outlined as a result in relation to the broader ERA hubs concept developed in the project. 

Figure 2: Structuring piloting activities

Progress across the ecosystems in the Phase 1 pilot includes:

  • Initial mapping of the CZ ecosystem: mapping of all potential actors involved in the Czech ecosystem. These actors have been contacted and informed about the ERA Hubs concept,
  • In-depth mapping of the CZ ecosystem: additional information about their activities has been gathered in order to build an understanding of the Czech ecosystem needs, expectations and targeted outcomes. This has also included a roundtable to discuss the needs and expectations of ERA Hubs in the Czech AI ecosystem.
  • Piloting activities in the Netherlands and Denmark ecosystems to complement the insights from the CZ piloting. In these ecosystems, insights on the collaboration dimension are collected to shed light on, for example, the motivations of stakeholders to engage in collaboration within and across ecosystems but also the underlying strengths of the ecosystems themselves.

In the next steps, the actors of the Czechia ecosystems will use the Playbook and the Toolbox including the COOPERATE self-assessment tools to implement the ERA Hub journey. All ecosystems will be used as a source of inspiration for the development of use cases on ERA hubs feeding into the overall conceptual development as well as policy recommendations.