Article and TechRevolution

Pardubice Partner Profile

Pardubice lies on the river Elbe, app. 100 kilometres east of Prague. It has a strong manufacturing sector including the Synthesia chemical factory (manufacturer of Semtex, a plastic explosive) and automotive and electrical engineering plants (former Tesla Pardubice invented a passive radio locator TAMARA).

It has a population of 90,352 and the unemployment rate is 2.4%, amongst the lowest in the EU.

About The City

About the policy context

The good practice will be transferred within the following policy contexts:

Strengths & Weaknesses



Opportunities & Threats



A description of the Good Practice challenge

The city wants to gain new knowledge and skills to develop its co working and incubation offer and, more specifically, to inform the development of its newly opened city centre incubation building (P-Pink). Every other region in the Czech Republic offers co working or incubation space for start-ups. There have been 2 previous attempts to create an incubation-type facility for city start-ups (in 1991 and 2008).

Both failed and this is thought to be because they provided little other than a physical space for small businesses with no wider start-up support or community offer. P-Pink opened in March 2018 and, against a slightly nervous backdrop, has clear plans in terms of occupancy and community.

It has recruited a wide network of mentors and opened its doors to start-ups in June 2018, following a few months focusing on branding and marketing. Since 2016 the city has also been involved in the development of a Smart Accelerator, led by the Region, and focusing on creating the conditions in which innovation and entrepreneurship can flourish.

Pardubice & TechRevolution

Pardubice wants to use TechRevolution to…

The URBACT Local Group (ULG)

The ULG’s objectives include:

ULG membership will include: the Municipality, Regional Development Agency, P-PINK (Business Incubator), CzechInvest (Investment and Business Development Agency), Chamber of Commerce, University of Pardubice, DELTA (High School of Infomatics and Economics). It would also be useful to bring a ‘customer’ into the group (a start-up).

Assets for, and barriers to transfer

The city is committed to delivering a new business incubator – P-PINK – and has already developed a strong partnership around this with regional funding of 3 million CZK per year. P-Pink will offer space, mentoring, capacity building and networking events as well as support with business thinking and development. Being the only hub of its kind in the whole region, there is no local competition, although start-ups may of course choose to move elsewhere in the Czech Republic. There is strong political support from the Mayor as well as the President of the Pardubice Region, peppered with an understandable concern from some politicians who link P-Pink to previously unsuccessful projects. The P-Pink team seems to be very clear and realistic about what is achievable and what is not. It will however be important for this not to materialise as a perceived lack of ambition.

Pardubice also has an ambitious plan to strengthen its educational offer linked to science and technology, which may be relevant to TechRevolution. Having education stakeholders in the ULG will help with this aspect. It is also clear that start-up support, innovation and the growth of higher value knowledge based jobs are priorities at national level. This is a helpful context in which to transfer elements of the Barnsley good practice and deliver P-Pink. Linked to this CzechInvest brings a wealth of knowledge, learning and experience from other Czech cities and regions (and beyond) which will be useful in the local context. CzechInvest also has useful experience of transferring good practice from Scottish Enterprise.

However the city lacks an entrepreneurial or start-up culture and needs new skills, resources and capacities to support innovation and change. In addition:

Practical steps to transfer

Pardubice is interested in using the following techniques to transfer the good practice:

Useful Links