Partners enable their regional conditions for a Smarter Europe
Despite grand challenges and uncertainties such as COVID-19 and discussions in the “big politics” (e.g. “Next Generation EU”, Multiannual Financial Framework, Rule of Law, Brexit…) the EmpInno Monitor S3 partners continue with their work towards a more innovative, Smarter Europe.
While it is evident that smart specialisation strategies become more and more rooted in innovation policy thinking and routines of regional and national actors, the future cohesion policy in the 2021-2027 puts high emphasis on smart specialisation again. As first of the five Cohesion Policy Objectives, a “Smarter Europe” shall be achieved by promoting innovative and smart economic transformation. To secure this, “good governance of national or regional smart specialisation strategy” must be in place. This is a so-called enabling condition for smart specialisation. Enabling conditions are what previously used to be ex-ante conditionalities: aspects a country or region must fulfill to receive EU funding.
Good governance of a national or regional smart specialisation strategy is defined by and reflected in seven fulfillment criteria, at least three of which the EmpInno Monitor S3 project explicitly addresses and improves:
3. Monitoring and evaluation tools to measure performance towards objectives of the strategy (A monitoring and evaluation system is in place to collect information on the implementation of smart specialisation priorities.)
- The overall objective of EmpInno Monitor S3 is to develop and test innovative monitoring elements and thereby to improve the monitoring systems of the smart specialisation strategies in the seven partner regions and countries.
4. Effective functioning of the entrepreneurial discovery process (The EDP is an interactive and inclusive process in which actors from business, research, civil society and public administration (=quadruple helix) identify specialisation priorities (or remove them if evidence shows no progress). This is an ongoing process, where all stakeholders are adequately represented.)
- Activities by several project partners (e.g. see here) are directed to a higher engagement of stakeholders not only in monitoring but involve them stronger in the RIS3 implementation, to sustain the EDP. In addition, many partners test elements how to include more qualitative information in the RIS3 monitoring process.
7. Measures for international collaboration (Measures to engage regional stakeholders (universities, RTOs, SMEs, clusters) in participating in and developing EU or international value chains are being developed/promoted.)
- Already in the predecessor project EmpInno the partners mobilised their regional stakeholders towards internationalisation activities with their pendants from other partner regions, e.g. with delegation trips for maritime industry companies or adapting and applying good practices of SME empowerment tools such as “breakfast for innovators” from other regions. These induced activities can build upon the established relations among the partners and thus can continue.