AS TRANSFER - What is going on?

Edited on 04/10/2022

AS TRANSFER team during meeting in Paris

What has AS TRANSFER been up to until today?

Bilbao AS FABRIK was conceived to increase the competitiveness of the local KIBS sector of the city of Bilbao and prepare them to supply the digital transformation demands of the manufacturing sector (Industry 4.0). Its building, refurbished and inaugurated on January 2021, has since then housed students, start-ups and more, becoming the heart of the Industry 4.0 ecosystem.


The project’s impact on the city’s ecosystem was firmly recognised by external experts and it was decided to replicate the initiative creating the AS TRANSFER Project, so that three European cities – Bielsko Biala (Poland), Tartu (Estonia) and Timisoara (Romania) – could learn and take advantage of this UIA practice.


For our AS TRANSFER exchange network, we identified three modules on which we might be inspired by both Bilbao and each partner: talent ecosystem, startup boosting, and partnership brokering.


The first step of the project was to develop the Transferability Study on the basis of the virtual study visits carried out by the Lead Expert and the Lead Partner. The purpose of the study was to provide a detailed description of the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) project; to set out profiles of all partner cities and to assess the overall potential for transfer within the network.


Since the start of the AS TRANSFER project we have worked both in the transnational and the local level. At the transnational level we have held 3 network meetings.


  1. The kick-off meeting in Bilbao (July 2021) had the objective of understanding the UIA Project (As Fabrik) and each partner’s local situation and ambitions.
  2. The second meeting was hosted by Tartu on a hybrid format in October 2021 and focused on the improvement of Education for Industry 4.0 and the challenges of the Talent Ecosystem.
  3. The third meeting was held in January 2022 and hosted by Bielsko-Biala on the issue of Partnership Brokering.
  4. The last meeting has just happened in Timisoara and covered the topic of Startup Boosting.


Regarding the local level, each partner is working with its local stakeholder for the production of an Investment Plan that will enable them to develop a transfer project adapted to their specific conditions and situation.


  • Bielsko-Biala is developing an innovation hub that will raise awareness on cutting edge technologies of digital fabrication, rapid prototyping through organizing workshops and trainings, competence building and incorporating the social needs of the local community.
  • Tartu is working on a platform that will facilitate cooperation between manufacturing SMEs and education institutions in order to make the sector more attractive through up-skilling, work-shadowing and being environmentally sustainable.
  • Timisoara will set up a specialised structure within the City Hall, with trained staff that will act as a link within the innovation ecosystem and will be able to engage the actors in partnerships and joint projects, in order to empower relationships within the quadruple helix.


Submitted by URBACT on 31/05/2022