Project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund
Started on October 2016 for a duration of 18 months, COWORKMED has 7 international partners (Avitem is the lead partner, along with IRIS Ricerche, Conseil Régional Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, Greek Institute for Entrepreneurship Development, Croatian Independent Professionals Association, Barcelona Activa and Barcelona International Business Incubator) and 4 associated partners (among which also Regione Toscana), the project aims at leading a multidisciplinary research and to create a synergy in favor of social innovation, in particular across coworking spaces in the Mediterranean.
COWORKMED is funded by Interreg Med program.
The project will study and assess the potential of coworking. Over the long term, the creationn of a Mediterranean cluster of coworking space put the basis of a common framework able to facilitate the exchange of good practices and foster the mobility of human capital in Euro-Mediterranean areas. Based on the collaborative work and the sharing of workspace, generally on open space, coworking or work sharing is a fertile ground for the development of start-up and self-employed activities. Beneficial for employment and social integration, coworking is one way to stimulate the tertiary sector, and to improve vacant or obsolete urban spaces’ uses, through fablab, hackerspace, repair cafe, etc.
COWORKMED and the DEFINITION of “COWORKING SPACES”
“A coworking space is a physical space aiming to build and implement a dynamic community of members sharing common attitudes towards independent work, and in particular the will to develop exchanges and to widen skills and job opportunities by meeting other people having the same attitudes. Coworking spaces are actively managed to promote these goals, also by organising events and activities supporting mutual learning and exchanges”
COWORKMED and the role of IRIS
Within the Coworkmed project IRIS is leading the research activities, which aim is to study the state of the art of open innovation and innovative entrepreneurship’s ecosystems related to the development of coworking and micro-factories in Mediterranean cities and economies, in order to create the fertile ground towards the emergence of a transnational community, able to connect innovation systems and stakeholders across the Mediterranean, and facilitate human capital mobility. Each partner will contribute at local level to a set of studies, under the coordination of IRIS, in order to evaluate the MED potential, map the existing offer, and foreshadow the emergence of a virtual cluster connecting coworking spaces in MED (their resources and specializations/skills) with the aim to educate, connect, support and make more mobile MED entrepreneurs, start-ups and Independents, and draft a micro enterprise network through an ecosystem of “open entreprises”. Research activities are studying this topic creating knowledge in the MED area by: collecting data on legislative process and policies already existing; making a comparison of indicators among MED countries; mapping and making census of coworking sites located in the MED area. Further, based on a transnational SWOT analysis, the partnership is developing three main territorial studies, synthetized into transnational comparative reports: the role of coworking as the input to activate new processes of innovation and business’s models, the role of coworking to strength and support social inclusion process and the relation among coworking and public policies on urban regeneration. The studying process will be finalized with the elaboration of guidelines, addressed to 4helix actors, in which necessary common approaches, models and strategies will be reported in order to establish a context able to respond to labor market’s changes and to establish a context supporting innovation. The partnership will be involved in this phase trough the analysis of the state of the art, production of complementary data and contribution on the design of common strategies.
IRIS has also led the Transnational Workshop: Public Policies Supporting Coworking Spaces In The Euromediterranean Context, aimed to promote a debate on public policies regarding coworking activities, starting from Tuscany Region policies, as well as to discuss about public policies, possible incentives and development strategies in this sector with national and international stakeholders and authorities.