Creating regional Maker Spaces and Co-working to strengthen University-Industry Collaboration in distant rural areas.

“How to use Co-working and Maker Spaces to strengthen University Industry Cooperation of with SME´s in distant rural areas”.

Markus Lahr
University of Applied Sciences Wildau

Background and Objectives
Literature (e.g. Coccia, 2015) describes a coherence between geographical distance and university–industry interaction namely technology transfer and R&D collaboration. Research shows a clear link between geographical proximity and research quality in university‐industry partnerships (D'Este, P. and Iammarino, S. 2010). In summary the intensity of technological contacts between Universities and Companies declines with increased spatial distance which has negative effects on the innovation capacities of regional environments.

In order to counter this effect and support regional development in large territorial states such as Brandenburg, Germany; off-campus university field stations are being developed and implemented. Meanwhile local off-campus offices are neither new nor innovative this pilot project follows a significantly different approach.
It aims to provide infrastructure and support to companies and local stakeholders during the complete innovation process. Therefore, it grants access to a Co-working environment, a Maker Space and infrastructure to test and iterate new products and services. The whole project is being set-up in close cooperation with regional actors such as the city and county administrations as well as a second collaborating University.