The analysis chapter represents the main contents of this report on the capitalisation of Innovation systems (triple helix & open innovation). The chapter is divided into two sections: The first section is dedicated to the analysis of individual projects, where detailed description, clarification and recommendations can be found. The second section is an aggregated analysis, in which the capitalisation questions and different subjects of interest are addressed.

1. Individual project analysis

  •   1.1 CLIQ - Creating Local Innovation through a Quadruple Helix
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions that are addressed
      CLIQ focuses on the role of local authorities of medium sized cities (50 000 - 250 000 inhabitants) in driving innovation, and how local authority policy can be strengthened to better support innovation, thereby creating jobs and growth. Its core focus is the importance of local quadruple helix partnerships between key innovation players, i.e. universities, science & technology parks, innovation centres; business; civil society; and local and regional authorities. Particular attention is given to the involvement of citizens in innovation and innovation processes. In addition to striving to integrate innovation, entrepreneurship and internationalisation processes with a view to improving the competitiveness of local SMEs and entrepreneurs, CLIQ seeks to develop close and sustainable links between local quadruple helix partners as well as exploring and exchanging models of how to engage civil society in innovation.

      In this respect, CLIQ addresses a fundamental innovation system problem primarily related to lock-in effects caused by the limitation of the dimensions of innovation that can be addressed by the traditional stakeholders (industry, academia and public sector) involved in innovation policy development and implementation. In the view of CLIQ, the triple helix approach is not sufficient to foster innovation in modern society.

      In terms of innovation system functions, CLIQ primarily aims at improving the generation and diffusion of knowledge created within public systems to SMEs and also at strengthening the entrepreneurship capabilities of regions/cities. For this purpose CLIQ has produced CLIQBoost, a baseline interregional research report serving as a reference document for the CLIQ project partners. Furthermore, inter-regional exchange in the form of study visits, master classes, round tables and network meetings have been organised, and pilot projects started have examined the question of ‘How can/should the actors of Quadruple Helix interact to enhance innovation in the region?’ Within the context of this question, each participating partner has tested its own local or regional model through a Pilot Case. In addition, CLIQ has developed the CLIQ-o-Meter self-evaluation tool that local government and innovation agencies can use to assess their current system and their effectiveness in supporting innovation. The CLIQ Toolkit has also used the results of the Pilot Project and exchange events, to outline ideas and examples on how to improve innovation performance and cooperation.

      ◊ CLIQ contributes to improving regional innovation systems by gaining knowledge about the involvement of citizens in innovation processes.

      Good practices and transfer success

      Overall, CLIQ identified 60 good practices. Of these, 28 are described in a standard format available for download from the project’s website. An analysis of these good practices with regard to what policy field they address gives the results illustrated by the chart. It should be noted that almost one third of the good practices taken up by CLIQ cannot be classed within the ‘standardised’ areas.

      A highly interesting feature of CLIQ is the model for facilitating the transfer of good practice, namely pilot projects related to the question of “How can/should the actors of Quadruple Helix interact to enhance innovation in the region?” Ten out of the 16 project partners participated in a pilot. Within the context of this question, each participating partner has tested its own local or regional model through a Pilot Case. In each Case, the partner has focused on a quadruple helix relationship between two or three relevant actors, investigating issues such as knowledge transfer, academic incubation or citizen participation in the design of services. Roughly half of the CLIQ partners have had good practices transferred from other partners and implemented in their own town or region.

      Two particularly interesting good practices are Sussex Innovation Centre (SINC): ‘Make Brighton Rock – engagement of civil society through social media to generate new ideas’ and City of Leeuwarden: ‘Open Innovators of the Future: Combining student excellence with social responsibility’. The first example must be considered as a very interesting good practice due to the significant acknowledgement it received from the other project partners and because it is a very good example of how a well-established institution such as the SINC has managed to renew its service portfolio and reached further entrepreneurs by integrating social media approaches. Due to the relative ease of reproducing context factors and other framework conditions, the feasibility of transferring the good practice to other regions should be high. This is demonstrated by the successful transfer to Cadiz.

      The good practice: ‘Open Innovators of the Future: Combining student excellence with social responsibility’ is a further interesting good practice verified by the project partners. In particular, the way students are introduced to methods of identifying and refining ideas is considered to be highly innovative. The transfer potential is probably the highest if the methods can be introduced in master programmes or in research training.

      Sussex Innovation Centre: ‘Make Brighton Rock – engagement of civil society through social media to generate new ideas’
      The aim of this pilot was to get the citizens of Brighton to generate ideas on how to improve life in the city. The project used a website where contributors could submit their ideas, comment on other ideas and vote. The top 30 ideas were presented to a jury of nine judges who selected a winner. Local media as well as social media were used as means to promote the project; through the involvement of citizens, previously unknown problems were highlighted and new ideas could be generated. The methodology was subsequently transferred and implemented in Cadiz.

      City of Leeuwarden: ‘Open Innovators of the Future: Combining student excellence with social responsibility’
      This pilot focused on the challenge of achieving openness, entrepreneurship, connectivity with industry and recognition for the regional role of innovation. It showcases two different curriculum units at the local NHL University, namely the Excellence programme and the Undergraduate Entrepreneurship minor elective. Both of these rely on a process model called ‘WowPowHowNow’, a model covering the entrepreneur’s heart and feelings (Wow), ability to spot promising ideas and events in the outside world (Pow), insight in how to control unpredictability (How) and the mind-set needed to be able to carry out a plan (Now). The outcome is students with professional skills and the ability to build bridges between actors representing all four pillars of the quadruple helix but also graduates with a strong sense of social responsibility.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * Participants consider the most important transfer to have taken place within the policy and strategy field. Knowledge in this area includes methods for supporting and boosting innovation, as well as showing ways of how to include civil society in innovation processes, e.g. through social networks and social media.
      * Major contributing factors to the success of the project have been the partnership as such, and the fruitful networking that the project partners have participated in.
      * The leadership of the project has been highlighted by participants as an important factor, not least the supporting role of the senior management and its understanding of the local context.
      * The project has benefited from partners skilled in innovation support that have built a shared understanding from the point of view of Local Administration, through exchange activities and benchmarking.
      * The importance of successfully arranged exchange events and the inclusion of the right players was noted.
      * Knowledge of social media and the enhancement of cooperation between Quadruple Helix (QH) actors at the local level are other important success factors.
      * A new structure like the quadruple helix concept needs sufficient time to be successfully implemented.
  • 1.2 ERMIS - Effective Reproducible Model of Innovation System
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions that are addressed

      ERMIS focuses on the innovation capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the role that these enterprises play in regional economic growth. However, the return on investment from public sector financial and technical innovation support programmes and policies designed to foster innovation within SMEs is often considered insufficient. In response to this, the objective is to develop a governance model for Local Innovation Systems (LIS), assuring that the competitiveness and sustainable growth of SMEs can be fostered in an effective manner. Local innovation policies supporting specific tools or instruments are generally not enough to increase SME growth and competitiveness; interaction between available support structures is more important than the individual performance of each measure.

      ERMIS addresses the innovation system problem of fragmentation, both concerning the functions of the system, but also with regard to how the institutional framework is composed. In particular, the lack of coordination between the activities in the LIS, e.g. the variety of public support programmes for SME innovation, and results and synergy effects not materialising.

      In terms of innovation system functions, the project is focused on knowledge development and diffusion. In line with these objectives, an initial study of the innovation systems in the project partners’ countries and how these systems leverage SME performance was carried out. This review in turn served as the basis for a context-specific SWOT analysis methodology. The SWOT tool was used to identify which best practices could contribute to a region’s strengths, or what best practices of other regions should be studied and possibly adapted as a way to remedy the weaknesses identified in the SWOT analysis. Thus the SWOT instrument shows the relevance and the effectiveness of regional policy actions in enhancing the innovative capacities of local SMEs. The outcome of this activity was a comprehensive analytical framework with a description of the different steps to follow so as to arrive at a conclusion, i.e. the actual SWOT analysis.

      ◊ ERMIS highlights the importance of relevant policy actions and the interaction of support structures in fostering innovation within SMEs.

      Good practices and transfer success

      In ERMIS, the label good practice, or rather  ‘best practice’, has been used for such a practice that has been proven to bring value to a territory, whether it be in terms of more jobs, increase in business, strengthened innovation, improved infrastructure etc. Also, to count as a best practice, one must be able to relate the particular practice to a minimum of one of the dimensions in the SWOT analysis of both the originating region and the receiving region. A total of 25 good practices have been identified, along with an action plan for each good practice outlining the added value for a territory.

      Among the 25 best practices proposed for transfer by partners, no fewer than 17 have actually been transferred. In this context, transfer refers to the transfer of know-how upon initial interest shown by a receiving region in possibly implementing a certain practice; i.e. a transferred practice may not always actually have been implemented. 68 visits were organised with a view to facilitating transfers by letting potential transferees get a deeper understanding of the specific practice and its potential implementation. Two interesting good practices are the French Riviera Chamber of Commerce: ECOBIZ Collaborative Platform, targeting SMEs and the focus of a lot of interest from other project partners, and Brainport Eindhoven: Creative Conversion Factory, which seeks to help ideas to find a way to market.

      French Riviera Chamber of Commerce: ECOBIZ Collaborative Platform
      ECOBIZ is a network with roughly 8 000 members representing more than 5 000 companies, over 90% of which are SMEs. In total, there are 40 such ECOBIZ networks in the whole of France, hosted by local Chambers of Commerce and economic development stakeholders.
      ECOBIZ hosts existing professionals and provides a combination of virtual and physical networking, along with cross-functional business intelligence. The objectives include increasing cooperation between strategic clusters to stimulate economic development, encouraging networking throughout the whole value chain, and simply increasing the visibility of the networks.
      This good practice was pre-selected the most by potential receiving partners in ERMIS.

      Brainport Eindhoven: Creative Conversion Factory
      In the Eindhoven region, many good ideas are generated, but a large number of these never make it to the market because of a lack of necessary expertise, poor fit with the idea owner’s business interest, or no fit with the idea owner’s portfolio or market scale. In the Creative Conversion Factory (CCF), these ideas are given a chance to make it to market. Through projects lasting a maximum of three years, the aim is to have a final deliverable transferred to an external party, which could be a new company, a department of an existing company, or an alliance of companies.
      By stimulating cooperation between companies and knowledge institutes, the CCF’s aim is to support the generation of sustainable business propositions from potentially valuable ideas. Any patentable creative and technological innovation is considered a potential project; submissions are evaluated on a number of criteria, and for those accepted, the CCF continues to investigate e.g. market potential and technical feasibility. Through match-making events, designers, technology providers & adaptors as well as VCs are brought together.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * The project had the right target group in mind. The model created can be applied by any kind of policymaker aiming to develop an innovation strategy - the rules for strategy development were created with policymakers in mind, not experts.
      * The adaptability of a practice is related to its level of specificity, how specific to a certain industry context or application the good practice is. This can be evaluated by looking at how dependent a successful implementation is on a) a number of elements and/or on a sequence of actions that cannot be changed or b) the content and the mechanism that cannot be adjusted to different local contexts.
      * The ability for a transferee partner to obtain similar performance to the partner region from where the good practice originates is described as reproducibility. The level of reproducibility depends on a) the complexity of the implementation, determined by e.g. reliance on certain infrastructure or the number stakeholders and institutions involved in the process; b) cost of implementation affected by infrastructure and human capital.
      * Positive impact of the good practice on the local innovation system is dependent on a) diffusion of the practice, i.e. the number of companies, institutions and people using the practice, which in turn is affected by the specificity b) the practice’s effectiveness linked to the initial objectives.
      * The likelihood of a successful good practice transfer increases when there are synergies with existing practices.
  • 1.3 EURIS - European Collaborative and Open Regional Innovation Strategies
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      The focus of the EURIS project is to contribute to the opening up of the innovation ecosystems of EU regions. Open Innovation accelerates the exchange of Knowledge and Technology Transfer between innovation stakeholders such as research centres and companies, as well as among EU Regions. Such transfer contributes to the creation of new business opportunities in both traditional and new emergent sectors. This is necessary in order for the EU to become more competitive in a global economy. The project focuses on five policy areas (Networking and collaboration; Human capital and entrepreneurship culture; IP management and technology markets; Access to finance; and Knowledge, science and technology base.) considered to positively affect collaboration and Open Innovation frameworks, and to be the most influential in shaping the regional innovation ecosystems’ appeal for the development of consistent Open Innovation practices by companies and innovation players.

      EURIS primarily addresses the innovation system problem of lock-in effects hampering change and adaptation to new ways of looking at innovation. Moving from the traditional ‘closed’ concept of innovation towards ‘Open Innovation’ put demands on co-opetition (cooperation/competition) and experimentation between companies, universities, research centres, consumers and public authorities.

      Open innovation is a broad subject, as indicated by the five different policy areas addressed. In terms of what functions of the innovation system are strengthened through the project, EURIS focuses on the development and diffusion of knowledge. Within the project, there has been six interregional sub-projects addressing a wide range of Open Innovation-related policy areas, with particular focus on companies and SMEs.

      ◊ EURIS’ unique contribution to improving the regional innovation systems is the application of Open Innovation thinking to regional innovation strategies.

      Good practices and transfer success

      Within the five policy areas selected by EURIS, the partners have identified Good Practices in their own regions and at national level. Overall, 35 Good Practices were short-listed and studied in more detail through desk research and on-site visits, and have been described in a guide document. Through an evaluation considering the impact and results of the assessed Good Practices, a total of 18 Best Practices were chosen.

      Assessment of which of the identified good practices EURIS partners will choose to transfer, or whether they plan to develop new policies and models based on the sub-projects’ recommendations, will be undertaken in June 2013 at the earliest.

      Two interesting good practices are Eindhoven: ‘High Tech Campus’, where the campus itself is designed with open innovation principles in mind, and Stuttgart region: ‘Competence Centres’ showing how cross-sectoral activities and integration of triple helix actors can be fostered.

      High Tech Campus Eindhoven
      First started by Philips in the late 90s with the intention of concentrating nationwide R&D activities to a single location, High Tech Campus Eindhoven’s (HTCE) brings together more than 8 000 researchers, developers and entrepreneurs representing service companies, start-ups, innovative SMEs, research institutes and global companies. They are all attracted by the Open Innovation principles designed into the hardware and software of the campus. Open Innovation is the preferred work approach on the campus.
      The availability of technical specialists allow companies to focus on their core competences, which in turn leads to more rapid innovations, which are cost efficient and of higher quality. The HTCE is also characterised by its focus on five specific technology domains: microsystems, high-tech systems, embedded systems, life systems and info-tainment.

      Competence Centres Stuttgart Region
      The Competence Centres initiative launched by the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation supports the initiation, set-up and daily networking of innovative players on a triple helix basis with a cross-sectoral technology-oriented focus. The initiative addresses innovative companies, universities and research institutes, local government partners, chambers of commerce and associations, all interested in knowledge exchange and innovation processes being opened up.
      The Centres have a key role in the facilitation of cross-sectoral activities, supporting the integration of all regional companies, universities and research institutions active within a particular technology area. The Centres supply local firms, including SMEs with limited R&D resources, with technological and business expertise; as well as activities for networking purposes. Thus, the Centres initiate innovative cooperation projects and help the participating SMEs to increase their effectiveness in those projects.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * Important success factors highlighted in the Stuttgart region good practice show the importance of having qualified staff and management resources within the network. * Also, inter-partner communication is essential, but this communication also needs to be well moderated. * Lastly, institutionalising the cooperative network ensures that a financial contribution is received from all involved partners.

  • 1.4 INNOPOLIS - Innovation Policy in University City Regions
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      The participating partners of INNOPOLIS all represent university city-regions, i.e. cities with at least three multi-departmental universities and at least 60 000 students. Exploiting the innovative potential of universities, and facilitating co-creation of knowledge between academia and enterprises are important actions for regions seeking to increase their competitiveness and economic growth. The goal of INNOPOLIS is to identify regional policy practices related to how knowledge exchange between universities and enterprises can best be achieved. Partners in the project include regions that have achieved such exchange but also regions that have confronted obstacles and where regional policy has been less successful in stimulating the dissemination of knowledge.

      INNOPOLIS is focused on the problem of resources lacking within the innovation system, manifested by actors within the system not focusing assets on what is most needed, or by insufficient quality of the services offered.

      The primary innovation system function addressed by the project is the creation of knowledge and how knowledge and information can be exchanged between universities and enterprises. This is done through the identification of cases of successful knowledge exchange and the examination of the policy context within which the successful cases are found. For the purpose, an audit of Knowledge Exchange (KE) practices was performed, resulting in the production of ten best practice cases in a multimedia format. Partners have also researched best policy practices (BPP), both in the participating regions and through worldwide examples. Each region performed an audit of their BPPs, and cases were selected on the basis of their effectiveness in enhancing KE, and a collection of four cases, one from each region, was produced to form the basis of the BPP guide.

      ◊ INNOPOLIS has an innovative approach to university-enterprise interaction, focusing on two-directional knowledge exchange instead of the commonly applied unidirectional knowledge transfer approach.

      Good practices and transfer success

      The INNOPOLIS project has documented over 25 ‘Best Policy Practices’ that promote Knowledge Exchange. Twenty of these are taken from the university-city regions of its four partner cities (five from each region), and these are supported by a further five international examples. The 12 included in the table below consist of five from Manchester and Helsinki and two from Thessaloniki.

      An interesting feature of INNOPOLIS for assessing the likelihood of successful policy transfers between regions is the development of a Policy Transfer Methodology, providing decision-makers with a structured framework The criteria, which include policy alignment, social context, business context, and Higher Education Institution context are applied to determine the likelihood of success and to identify potential stumbling blocks to policy transfer. During one of simulation exercises, the methodology was applied in a case assessing the possibility and suitability of transferring the Manchester ‘Knowledge Transfer Partnership’ good practice to Thessaloniki in Greece.

      Success stories from the INNOPOLIS project include the appointment of an innovation officer in the Lodz region. The inspiration for this came from the Helsinki region, the practice was implemented in 2012. Inspiration has also been drawn from other sources outside the project partners; Manchester has developed approaches for maximising the economic potential and supporting the university, modelled on a practice from San Francisco.

      Here, two interesting good practices are highlighted. The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships from the Greater area of Manchester, and the Helsinki Aalto University. The former matches recent graduates with businesses for mutual benefits, while the latter sets an ambitious goal of ‘educating experts and changing the world’.

      Greater Area of Manchester: Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
      The aim of the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme is to help businesses improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance through better use of the knowledge, technology and skills residing within the UK knowledge base. KTPs normally run for 1-3 years when addressing strategic issues and 10-40 weeks when the focus is on more tactical matters.
      The transfer of knowledge and embedding of new capability within the business organisation is facilitated by means of a partnership between a business, an academic institution and a recent graduate. This way, businesses get the necessary skills and expertise, while graduates receive company-based training, thus developing their business and expert skills. At the same time, there are more interactions between business and the knowledge-base, resulting in more relevant education and research by the latter.

      Helsinki: Aalto University
      In 2010, the Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Art and Design, and the Helsinki School of Economics merged to form the brand new Aalto University. Alongside this merger, a strategy for the new university was developed.
      The role of the strategy is multi-faceted; it guides the common development areas, research and education, internationalisation, and the university’s service offerings. The strategy is “striving to change the world through top-quality interdisciplinary research, pioneering education, blending traditional boundaries, and renewal.” The intended impact of the strategy is for Aalto University to “educate responsible, broad-minded experts with a comprehensive understanding of complex subjects to act as society’s visionaries.”

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * Investing in human resources within R&D can clearly act as an ‘igniting spark’ for innovative processes as these resources are important to the overall innovation capacities.* Best practices for knowledge exchange between business and academia should be promoted among companies to get them to participate to a higher degree; very often universities are the initiating partner in the exchange practices.* Successful knowledge exchange practices are often characterised by third party involvement in addition to the business and scientific partners. The cooperation can advance with the support of intermediary bodies, while the need for a third party gradually diminishes. Thus, less advanced regions stand to benefit the most from additional partner involvement.* In regions where cooperation between business and academia is less advanced, actors from both sides tend to view such cooperation as risky. The effective promotion of successful cases is necessary as an educational instrument to disseminate knowledge and mitigate hesitance towards cooperation.

  • 1.5 INOLINK - Connecting the territory through the innovation network
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      The INOLINK project focuses on how regional policies and practices should be designed in order to promote the diffusion of innovation. Some areas and companies are far more innovative than others, most European firms, generally SMEs, never undertake innovation. The aim of INOLINK is to improve the knowledge about the needs for innovation services in peripheral areas, and about instruments and policies to respond to those needs; increased awareness among actors in the regional innovation systems of the demand and offer of innovation services from the other actors in the system and of the potential for cooperation and collaboration; and strengthened competence in public institutions regarding the tools, methods and policies for the regional diffusion of innovation, entrepreneurship and technology. The INOLINK project also takes on one of Europe's key competitiveness problems, the inability of EU economies to take full advantage of the scientific output, ideas and knowledge that it generates, the so-called ‘European paradox’.

      INOLINK addresses the fundamental innovation system problem mainly related to fragmentation in the system, caused by a lack of coordination between the different actors; but also the problem of lacking resources in the system, in this case, the low level of innovation in certain areas.

      Looking at innovation system functions, INOLINK primarily aims to improve the diffusion of knowledge within the innovation system, and to some extent, the creation of system infrastructure, making actors in different areas of the system aware of each other and also of the possibilities for cooperation.

      ◊ INOLINK places important focus on regional innovation system actors located in the more peripheral and backward areas, when aiming to improve the reach of policies through better connections between actors.

      Good practices and transfer success

      Overall, the INOLINK project presents close to 50 practices, classified according to a number of project specific themes: applied research/commercialisation of research, cluster/park management, finance, graduate retention, ideas selection, internationalisation, IP-rights, network/clusters, proposal/partnering support, technology transfer and training/qualifications; where the network/clusters and technology transfer theme are the most prominent, with 17 and 14 best practices respectively.

      Two examples of good practices to be highlighted are Maribor ‘Europe enterprise network’, which worked on developing cluster cooperation and supporting structures and ‘Inno & Creativita’ in Tuscany, which worked on technology transfer by focusing on bringing experience and professionalism together.

      Maribor: ‘Europe enterprise network’
      The Maribor Europe enterprise network addresses transnational cluster cooperation and the development of supporting structures. The older approaches need to be updated, and the success story of the transnational automotive cluster arising in the Middle Danubian area and its experience in transnational association is a challenging benchmark for improving competitiveness and is the basis of this best practice. Some of the objectives were to identify important value chains and to encourage dynamic partnership among territorial development stakeholders. Another aim was to improve the business environment by introducing a new model, the ‘Digital Business Ecosystem’ model. According to the best practice guide, this best practice can be transferred, with success depending on stakeholder participation.

      Tuscany: ‘Inno&Creativita’
      The Inno&Creativita is a project on outreach and facilitation for technology transfer in the province of Siena. The idea is to strengthen facilitation and marketing activities in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This is achieved by bringing experienced experts together, thus creating a critical mass that can face up to a situation of economic crisis. The objectives are to improve communication and the transfer of information, improve the opportunities for collaboration and also give a boost to technological innovation in the area. One of the activities in the project was the ‘Club of innovation’. This seminar club is also one of the main success factors for this particular project. The economic crisis also played a role in generating interest in the project.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * In interregional cooperation, different levels of development of innovation policies between regions does not necessarily hamper cooperation, but can prove an opportunity for developing innovation systems to learn from the more mature ones.* Conclusions drawn in the project confirm that the committed involvement of the relevant stakeholders is a crucial success factor; without active participation on their part, a project like this will not succeed. * A well-established cooperation between businesses, the public domain and the research community can prove to be of great importance for a successful project outcome.

  • 1.6 IPP - The INTERREGional Partnership Project
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      The IPP project aims to improve regional innovation capacity by increasing the performance of innovation intermediaries at local and regional level in European co-operation and innovation programmes. Innovation and regional cooperation can help regions gain in efficiency and promote mobility and co-operation among public sectors. The innovation capacity of regions and firms depends on their ability to create, diffuse and exploit knowledge from outside the region within and through their own innovation system. Public innovation intermediaries, such as business parks, innovation centres and innovation policy units at local and regional level play an important role in increasing the rate of innovation. The lack of external links and limited co-operation of innovation intermediaries at local and regional level are major obstacles to a higher rate of innovation and therefore for generating growth and employment at regional level.

      In the attempt to increase the performance of innovation intermediaries and foster international cooperation between such actors, IPP addresses a fundamental innovation system problem related to lock-in effects due to actors of the regional innovation system not being part of international networks.
      The innovation system functions that IPP aims to strengthen include the development and diffusion of knowledge in terms of: knowledge transfer to SMEs and large enterprises; the internationalisation of R&D&I efforts; and resource mobilisation - in that the IPP regions are in need of competitive energy solutions as a complimentary resource.

      ◊ IPP’s unique contribution to  improving regional innovation systems is the project’s focus on the needs and possibilities that internationalisation can bring to actors.

      Good practices and transfer success

      There are eight best practice examples described in the IPP information material. All of these eight practices can be categorised as focusing on internationalisation aspects. Within the IPP project several problem areas have been addressed, and for each problem area, one or more instruments have been developed. These instruments are in turn illustrated with at least one example of a best practice each.

      In addition to the best practices, an interesting feature of IPP is the two pilot projects carried out. The first was entitled ‘EU Funds Advisory Service Agencies’, which had the objectives of optimising networking among the agencies themselves and exchanging know-how about consortium building and partner search. For this purpose the ‘Match-Making Matrix’ instrument was used. The matrix aids the match making process by gathering information about the different stakeholders, their strength and experiences. The second pilot project, entitled ‘Internationalisation Strategies for Local Authorities’, emphasised the benefits of an international approach. Within this project, an eight step programme was developed describing the steps in an internationalisation process. Two interesting good practices from the project are Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency: ‘Leonardo Mobility for Internationalisation of civil servants’ and Saxony-Anhalt: ‘EU Academic Network’ respectively. The former provides internships for competence development in an international setting, while the latter provides assistance to regional universities in their interaction with the EU, for example, in relation to funding and project execution.

      Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency: ‘Leonardo Mobility for Internationalisation of civil servants’
      ‘Lifelong Learning. Leonardo da Vinci Mobility’ projects are coordinated by Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency. The aim of the project is to provide internship opportunities for partner organisations of the region in order to develop competencies in an international environment. The best practice Leonardo Mobility for Internationalisation of civil servant addresses ‘mutual learning for enhancing regional innovation capacity.’ The basic idea is that municipalities and regional development agencies should learn from each other in order to develop regional competitiveness and innovation performance. The sharing of experiences can help the redesigning of regions’ innovation policies towards smart specialisation, so as to meet new challenges in the form of limited budgets, changes in demography and new energy requirements.

      Saxony-Anhalt: ‘EU Academic Network’
      The EU Academic Network provides information, consulting, and project management services to support researchers in the region to secure funds from the European Union and to undertake EU research and innovation projects. Thanks to this assistance, the universities located in Saxony-Anhalt are expected to be more successful in securing funding for their research. The EU Academic Network’s target groups consist of researchers, research administrators, and university steering boards.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * Internationalisation strategies should include a system of specific targets and benchmarks to obtain a realistic view of the task that is necessary and to define clear indicators to measure the success of the policy.* Internationalisation at regional level should involve a holistic strategy taking into account the governmental level, the innovation intermediaries, business associations, local and regional agencies, as well as research and development facilities, innovation centres and, most importantly, the wider business and research environment.* It is important for prospective participants to make an inventory of their own goals and what they wish to learn. * It is crucial that the participants think about what specific results they want and identify both the weaknesses and the strengths in their environment at local, regional and national level.* Highly committed participation is important in order to get the most out of the pilot cases.

  • 1.7 KNOW-HUB - Enhancing the regional competences in strategic management of innovation policies
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      KNOW-HUB is focused on the importance of the ‘how-competence’ in the strategic management of innovation policies. The lack of adequate implementation know-how in European regions has a negative impact on the results of, for example, Structural Funds operations. However well the strategies developed specify the objectives which are to be achieved, they often fail to be fully implemented. KNOW-HUB addresses this lack of know-how and seeks to overcome the shortage of knowledge, skills and experience in European regions, thereby helping the regions to help their respective economies to develop and gain competitive advantages. For the purpose, the project emphasises two themes: smart specialisation strategies and policies as well as effective instruments for delivering innovation policies.

      In its efforts to strengthen regions’ capabilities in policy-making and implementation, KNOW-HUB addresses the innovation system challenge of lacking resources.
      KNOW-HUB aims to provide support and insights to regional policymakers in general and their capacity to design and implement structural funds programmes, in particular. KNOW-HUB strives to do this by collecting, integrating and communicating experience (partly in the form of toolboxes and good practice guides) for regional governance.

      ◊ KNOW-HUB’s unique contribution to improving regional innovation systems lies in its approach of focusing on the skills of regional policymakers (also in the field of ensuring the effective delivery of policies).

      Good practices and transfer success

      Within the KNOW-HUB project, 22 good practices have been identified by peer reviews. So far, the information on them is still rather general and is not yet detailed enough to allow a proper classification into thematic areas. The good practices generally take a holistic system view, thus ensuring relevance, a focus on delivery and critical mass. The Nord-Pas de Calais’ ‘J’innove’ documents one such good practice.

      Nord-Pas de Calais: J’innove
      The J’innove good practice brings together the region’s clusters of excellence, membership organisations, funding agencies, universities and colleges, major research organisations, incubators, and technology resource centres. The aim is to stimulate and boost innovation in all sectors of the region, particularly in SMEs; to promote and develop research and laboratory capabilities; and to support innovative projects at different stages of their development. The main purpose is to contribute to the transformation of ideas into products, processes and services in order to create value and enhance business competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      The KNOW-HUB project is still at an early stage of implementation and therefore the conclusions and recommendations put forward here are primarily founded on our experiences of comparable past initiatives. Based on such experiences, our recommendations are:

      * Ensure that policymakers are motivated to further develop their skills and make use of new tools and methodologies. Formal training by consultants or trainers is not likely to be appealing. Instead, one should design mutual learning platforms where policymakers can learn with (not just from) peers. Such platforms or arenas should be professionally facilitated & moderated.* Raise policymakers’ awareness of the necessity to achieve impact. A good outline of the causal chains from policy to visible success (e.g. jobs created) will motivate and enable policymakers to plan for implementation early on, by, for example, making use of triple-helix foresight processes to support the definition and implementation of policies. Furthermore, we recommend strengthening all dimensions of impact assessment (ex ante and ex post) and to plan for policy adaptions and sanctioning incentives dependent upon the impact achieved. * It is important to create a strong innovation system identity, which implies that all members should be aware that they are members and representatives of the system (and not one saying I am from cluster A, a second one saying I am from Municipality B, a third saying I am from region C …). Such an identity boosts visibility and attractiveness for, for example, external investors and people considering relocating into the region. Also, it provides image support for all types of export activities.

  • 1.8 KNOW-MAN - Knowledge Network Management in Technology Parks
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      The aim of the KNOW-MAN project is to improve policies in favour of innovative SMEs. In order for the project to reach its aims KNOW-MAN implements Knowledge Management instruments such as knowledge atlases, benchmarking and action reviews. These instruments are used to identify and connect regional cross-sector and cross-institutional knowledge potentials within the areas that are involved in the project. KNOW-MAN will improve the competiveness of the knowledge-based economy in Europe by linking together knowledge and innovation. The problems addressed in the project relate to the observation that large parts of Europe lack the necessary conditions for knowledge-based economic activities. The focus of this project is on triple helix structures and the connection between different stakeholders in the knowledge economy in order to create links between them. The stakeholders in the triple helix are public authorities, economic actors represented by technology parks and academic representatives.

      KNOW-MAN addresses the innovation system problem related to fragmentation, where there is a lack of coordination between different activities in the RIS, and where actors representing different parts of the triple helix structure are poorly connected.

      In terms of innovation system functions, KNOW-MAN primarily aims at improving the creation and diffusion of knowledge, creation of system infrastructure, and also at strengthening entrepreneurship capabilities in regions. To achieve this, KNOW-MAN has employed instruments intended to enable participants to learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives. The Demand Analysis instrument is based on the exchange of experiences and good practices in knowledge network management (KNM) in science and technology parks, and is the central part of the Demand Analysis project. Benchmarking is used to help identify weaknesses in the links between different stakeholders, i.e. between industry, academia and the public. Lastly, the Knowledge Atlas instrument provides answers to the question of who provides what kind of knowledge and where it can be found, as well as information regarding where to find business support, networking institutions, training, academic and research organisations. The Atlas visualises the linkages between the academic, public and economic sector.

      ◊ KNOW-MAN’s unique contribution is the project’s testing of different tools and methodologies for knowledge management in an innovation system context.

      Good practices and transfer success

      In total, 43 different good practices were identified during the KNOW-MAN project. On a general level, each of the good practices addresses knowledge transfer between enterprises public authorities, technology parks and research institutes. KNOW-MAN has classified its projects under four thematic categories: Human Capital, Networking, Decision-Making, and Social Infrastructure. An analysis of these good practices with regard to what innovation policy field they address gives the following results.

      Two good practices of particular interest that have been transferred between regions are the Science and Technology Park Cartuja 93: ‘Working breakfasts’ and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: ‘Ideas to Reality – Wiwex Course’. The first good practice is an example of how to create, with relative ease, an interface between different actors. This provides an opportunity for partners to present projects or discuss other activities with a multitude of participants. The Wiwex course provides an excellent opportunity for students interested in starting a business or writing a business plan to receive help and guidance. The focus is on how to apply theoretical knowledge in practice. The course also serves as a platform where the students can find partners for spin-off projects.

      Science and Technology Park Cartuja 93: ‘Working breakfasts’
      ‘Working breakfasts’ was developed in Seville. It is to be transferred in form of a ‘recipe book’ that brings together and compares several different regional approaches. The core of the project is constituted by regular meetings among companies, research centres or other organisations at the Science and Technology Park. During these meetings, a project can be presented or other activities can take place. The participants involved have no common profile and can come from anywhere. The breakfast meeting gives all participants an opportunity to meet new partners, clients, suppliers or ideas for future projects. The idea of the working breakfast is described as easy, simple and cost-effective; it is also quite straightforward. The business breakfasts have already proved successful and have the potential to be transferred to other geographical areas.

      Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: ‘Ideas to Reality – Wiwex Course’
      The Wiwex course developed at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin is being transferred to Koroška, Slovenia. This course is a young forum where students that are interested in starting a business or in writing a business plan can get help. The focus is on how to apply theoretical knowledge in practice. The course also serves as a platform where the students can find partners for spin-off projects. The main objectives for the students are to learn how to develop a sustainable business idea of any sort (non-technology or technology-oriented). Students also learn to assess the feasibility and quality of their business ideas, how to develop a business plan (USP, competition / market analysis, marketing etc.) and how to present their business idea to an audience, confidently, and convincingly. They also learn to overcome the inhibitions in explaining a new idea, and learn new skills relating to idea creation, assessment, and development. The main message is to learn entrepreneurship ‘by doing’.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * Successful best practices rely on preparation; having precise and well-defined goals is crucial.* Clear and transparent communication, externally as well as internally, is of great importance, not least to ensure that stakeholders stay fully engaged and involved. * Without demand for a best practice it is challenging to involve and engage the right people and stakeholder institutions in large enough numbers.

  • 1.9 UNICREDS – University Collaboration in Regional Development Spaces
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      The aim of UNICREDS is to transform regions with underperforming economies into centres of research and innovation. At the centre of the project is the mitigation of factors that limit the development of peripheral areas in Europe into high-value knowledge economies (i.e. areas displaying low average incomes, low skill and qualification levels, a culture of low participation in higher education, high drop-out and failure rates, predominance of micro-businesses, seasonal economies, out-migration of well qualified and young people and ageing economies). In response, support to collaborative university developments from regional and local authorities may prove successful in counteracting some of these problems. UNICREDS seeks to enable the network of partners to construct a transferrable model that can link education and research with the needs of local authorities, business and communities.

      The innovation system problems addressed by UNICREDS relate to a lack of resources in the regions with underperforming economies, where the necessary assets are not in place. As for functions provided by the innovation system, UNICREDS aims to strengthen the system infrastructure; in this case, focus is on establishing educational resources in peripheral areas.

      ◊ UNICREDS unique contribution to improving regional innovation systems is the focus the project puts on the importance and transformative power of educational institutions.

      Good practices and transfer success

      The project has listed best practices in the following policy action areas: 1) Getting together, 2) Seeing the benefits, 3) Meaning business and 4) Aiming for excellence. All projects have been labelled as belonging to the category ‘Skills’.

      A highly interesting good practice that demonstrates how access to higher education can be provided to regions and people is the ‘Multi university campus’ led by the municipality of Skellefteå. It offers a smart solution to widening access to higher education with limited investment in new infrastructure. This is beneficial for both the university in question, connecting with students otherwise out of reach, and for the local students who thereby gain access.
      The University of South Bohemia’s ‘Agency of professional development’ good practice aims at complementing students’ theoretical knowledge with the necessary practical skills.

      Skellefteå municipality: ‘Multi-university campus’
      Many parts of Europe have no university, and few new universities are being established. This good practice aims to facilitate the establishment of universities in areas that lack higher education. The idea is that it might be possible (and easier) to open a campus instead of a brand new university. This arrangement can be beneficial both for the university and the area that sets up the campus. One main advantage for the region is that local students, who might not otherwise have entered higher education, can go to university. One main advantage for the university is that they can reach students they would not otherwise reach and that this can be done with little investment in infrastructure. There can be several universities involved in one single campus. 

      University of South Bohemia: ‘Agency of professional development’
      When students graduate, they have the theoretical knowledge but can lack in practical skills. This might make them less employable in the job market. In the Czech Republic, there is a programme that aims to counter this problem. The Agency of Professional Development (Agentura profesního rozvoje – APR) provides students in the Faculty of Economics, University of South Bohemia with links between the theoretical knowledge acquired during their university education and the practical skills that are essential for graduate employability in skilled jobs. In 2012, 3 500 students attended the APR Careers Centre’s international work trade fair. Several trainee programmes and graduate positions were created in the first half of the year.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      * Higher education best contributes to regional economic development when it works together with the public sector and regional business.* National policy should motivate and help universities to contribute to regional development and ought to be done in collaboration with regional government and businesses.* One size does not fit all; flexibility is needed to make one region’s model of collaborative higher education work with the preconditions of another region.

  • 1.10 URMA – Urban-rural partnerships in Metropolitan Areas
    • Project challenges and innovation system functions addressed

      Traditionally, there have been conflicts in quite a number of cases between an urban area and its surroundings. Typically, the neighbouring region to the west of a metropolis often felt and acted as if it had more in common with the neighbouring region to the east than with the metropolitan area in-between. The URMA project addresses this challenge and focuses on the promotion of urban-rural partnerships as a tool to strengthen the potential for innovation and the exploitation of this potential in metropolitan areas as well as their respective surrounding hinterlands. Building on the findings of a preceding project on regional disparities (called ‘Supra-Regional Partnership Northern Germany/ Hamburg Metropolitan Region’, integrated in the German Federal Government’s programme ‘Demonstration Projects of Spatial Planning’), the objective of URMA is to make use of and eventually further develop urban-rural cooperation schemes previously developed and tested. The ultimate aim is to establish a policy agenda for the sustainable development of metropolitan areas and their surroundings, with lasting and balanced positive effects on the competiveness of these areas. An important aspect of the schemes applied within URMA is that urban and rural areas benefit on equal terms, neither area gains competitiveness at the expense of the other.

      With this approach to urban-rural partnerships, as a new way for metropolitan areas to improve innovation capabilities through cooperation with surrounding areas, URMA can be said to address the system innovation problem of lock-in effects that are perpetuated by old structures.

      As for the innovation system functions strengthened, URMA’s primary focus is on facilitating and creating synergies, in this case, between cooperating urban and rural areas.

      ◊ URMA’s unique contribution to improving regional innovation systems is the approach on how urban and rural areas can cooperate for mutual benefit.

      Good practices and transfer success

      In three regions (Hamburg, Lombardy and Twente), scientifically monitored pilot projects concerning the application of urban-rural partnerships will be carried out. The focus will be on validating the feasibility of the good practices. The pilot experience aims at providing learning effects for the project partners on how to develop the urban-rural partnerships.

      Hamburg pilot implementation
      The Hamburg pilot focuses on transnational cooperation among regions along the Jutland route, i.e. along the highway E45 between Hamburg and Gothenburg on the Swedish West coast. The pilot investigates the potentials of this geographical area, obstacles to further development, existing cooperative projects, any common aims and objectives shared by the regions that can be built on. Secondly, the pilot looks into how more rural regions may benefit from an intensified cooperation between urban areas along the E45.

      Policy relevant conclusions and recommendations

      The URMA project is still at a very early stage and the conclusions and recommendations offered here are to be viewed as mere ideas and to a large extent based upon the experts’ experience from previous work.

      * Urban-rural co-operation is meaningful: A substantial number of key development issues can better be addressed jointly (or at least coordinated) by the urban and surrounding rural region than isolated or in competition. A co-operation between a metropolitan area and neighbouring rural areas does not only ensure critical mass but also the diversity of resources and offers. A prominent example is inward investment, i.e. attracting and hosting individuals and institutions, where a combined offer drawing on the strengths of the city and the surroundings allows for attractive work-life packages in respect to e.g. jobs, accommodation, infrastructure incl. education and smooth transportation systems etc.).* Urban-rural co-operation demands new types of governance structures which are adapted to a functional understanding of regions (instead of a purely administrative one). Also, it means that specific budgets should be dedicated towards an intensified co-operation and not strictly limited to a part of the functional area only (which has sometimes been the case when identifying objective areas for structural funds).* In urban-rural cooperation, it is important to uphold a balance between the parties involved, i.e. to create mutual trust and a win-win situation so that both urban and rural parties enjoy benefits from the cooperative arrangement. * When building urban-rural partnerships, focusing initial cooperative efforts around less complex topics can build trust between stakeholders so that it can later gradually address the more complicated areas and topics.

2. Aggregated analysis

The aggregated analysis addresses the capitalisation questions one-by-one but provides reference to the individual project analysis where this is beneficiary for understanding the context.

  • 2.1 Common features and challenges of the projects
    • Problems of regional innovation systems

      The generic problem-approach is helpful in establishing a baseline for identifying the projects’ common features and challenges. By relating the projects’ objectives and the challenges they address to a generic problem (a project can address more than one problem), we get a clearer picture of which projects seemingly address similar issues and which are ‘outliers’.

      1. Lack of resources

      At the heart of INNOPOLIS is realising the potential of a greater use of university knowledge endowments at the regional level. INNOPOLIS has recognised that in supporting innovation, some regional and local authorities have access to strong knowledge endowments, and some university city-regions have been particularly successful in exploiting this, whilst others have not. This challenge can be related to problems in the governance of the regional resources available for supporting innovation, i.e. it is a challenge related to lack of resources at the system level but not necessarily at actor level.

      UNICREDS can also be related to this problem. UNICREDS addresses the issue that peripheral regions of Europe experience a particular set of limiting factors in achieving the development of high-value knowledge economies. Flexible multi-centred, collaborative universities which link education and research with the needs of local authorities, business and communities are assumed to remedy this situation. This challenge is mainly one of lacking resources in peripheral areas, this could be on system level but is more likely to be a problem on actor level, i.e. there are simply no actors present in the areas in question.

      KNOW-HUB can also be said to address challenges related to lack of resources. In this case, missing resources refer to a lack of policy-making (and implementation) capability rather than organisational resources.

      2. Fragmentation

      KNOW-MAN strives to enhance networks among companies and research and technology organisations. The challenge identified is that in many European regions and technology parks were developed in order to support cluster and network initiatives. These instruments were not always successful. Usually, networks and linkages among enterprises as well as among R&D-facilities were established, but rarely between them. This challenge can primarily be related to the problem of fragmentation within the innovation system – actors and resources are in place but are not utilised in a co-ordinated way.

      ERMIS starts from the observation that most European regions maintain innovation support structures (knowledge centres, incubators, venture capital) but that the return on investments and actions to foster innovation within SMEs is generally unsatisfactory or low. The missing systemic approach to this issue, i.e. not involving the whole value chain of political and economic actors dedicated to SMEs, is considered to be the main cause of failure. This implies that ERMIS mainly addresses the problem of fragmentation of regional innovation systems.

      INNOLINK tackles the challenge that innovation activities are usually concentrated on a small number of innovative firms, while most European firms never innovate. Through an improved link between organisations in the regional innovation systems, the INNOLINK project seeks to tackle the inability of the EU economies to take full advantage of the scientific output, ideas and knowledge that it generates. The scope of INNOLINK is very wide and ambitious, and it is not clear which problem it is mostly related to. However, as INOLINK seems to assume that the regional innovation system does offer reasonable support but does this in a biased way, we can assume that the main problem addressed relates to fragmentation at system level.

      3. Lock-ins

      The approach taken by URMA (using urban-rural partnerships and unlocking potentials for growth within large-scale metropolitan areas) is quite different from the other projects, and therefore it is not clear which problem the project most clearly address. Our view is that it is closest to lock-in effects at system level as the assumption is that most European cities (which are relatively small in global terms) need, in order to maintain or gain global visibility, to start cooperating in new ways with their surrounding non-metropolitan and rural hinterlands.

      CLIQ aims at strengthening the role of authorities in smaller cities with regards to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship based on quadruple Helix, i.e. civil society engagement in innovation. It can be argued that CLIQ is therefore about reducing fragmentation in the innovation system but when looking more closely at the objectives of the project, it seems more focused on the problem of lock-in effects caused by a too narrow view on how innovation processes work today.

      EURIS is a further project that is difficult to classify in terms of the problem it addresses. Arguably, EURIS strongly addresses resource and fragmentation issues, however, the essence of the project is policies and schemes promoting open innovation, and open innovation are mainly seen as a way to avoid lock-ins in innovation processes.

      Finally, IPP starts from the notion that the innovation capacity and capability of firms and regions depend on their ability to create, diffuse and exploit knowledge from outside the region through the regional innovation system. The lack of external links and limited co-operation of innovation intermediaries is a barrier to innovation and therefore for generating growth and employment at regional level.

      To summarise and visualise the above the projects have been placed in a matrix as follows:

      Problems and challengesSystem/functional dimensionStructural dimension
      Lack of resources

      Poor performance


      Insufficient organisational power



      Functional mismatch


      Structural / institutional mismatch



      Functional inertia


      Structural inertia


      In terms of problem, the projects largely focus on fragmentation issues as well as on lock-ins at the system level. Fragmentation or more precisely ‘Functional mismatch’ means, in innovation system terms, weak coordination between different activities in a regional innovation system resulting in loss of synergies of resources held by different actors. Fragmentation is likely to be the most common challenge to policymakers at the regional level in Europe today. The problem can often be related to weak regional governance models, i.e. many regions lack proper structures for strategic planning and implementation of innovation strategies. This problem is often also accentuated by the fact that many important system actors, such as universities and research institutes, are not funded by regional resources and are therefore sometimes less inclined to abide by regional priorities. The Smart Specialisation Strategy-approach (RIS3) launched by the European Commission with the purpose of enhancing regional capabilities to achieve positive effects in the coming Structural Funds period (2014-2020) is a joint European effort to tackle this problem.

      The second challenge to receive much attention from the projects is lock-in effects. Lock-ins can appear both at actor level and at system level. It is the system level that is of primary interest to the projects. Of particular importance is the need to enlarge the regional ‘innovation community’. In CLIQ, this means involving citizens in innovation-related processes. In EURIS, lock-ins are managed by fostering open innovation practices. URMA has a somewhat different but still related approach: the lock-in effects are considered to come from the lack of interaction between urban and rural parts of a region and the project therefore focuses on policies to remedy this.

      The projects focussing on resource deficiencies are outliers when it comes to the problems addressed. Both KNOW-HUB and UNICREDS have quite a specific, but different, definition of the project challenge. KNOW-HUB aims at strengthening the capabilities of the regional authorities responsible for implementing structural funds programmes in order to align these (programmes) with effective innovation policies. UNICREDS focuses on the barriers to innovation-based growth or rural regions lacking universities or higher education facilities. INNOPOLIS also addresses resource deficiency but on a more on system level.

      In this context, IPP deserves a specific comment. The project clearly addresses lock-in effects caused by insufficient international networks of regional innovation system actors. However, the lock-ins are more an organisational issue than a system problem - hence the position of IPP in the table.

      Functions of innovation systems

      As outlined in chapter 1 a regional innovation system is a “…set of distinct institutions which jointly and individually contribute to the development and diffusion of new technologies and which provides the framework within which governments form and implement policies to influence the innovation process. As such, it is a system of interconnected institutions to create, store and transfer the knowledge, skills and artefacts which define new technologies.” The question remains, however, what does an innovation system actually strive to do? As outlined in the analytical framework presented in chapter 1, an innovation system can be said to perform certain functions. This means that the projects covered by this analysis also contribute to these functions but to which ones and in what way?

      First of all, it should be stated that not all functions mentioned in the analytical framework are relevant to the projects. A first analysis shows that a majority of the projects aim at improving the functions ‘Knowledge development and diffusion’ and ‘Facilitation/creation of synergies’. See table below.

      Knowledge development and diffusionCreate knowledge and facilitate information and knowledge exchange.INNOPOLIS, EURIS, IPP, INOLINK, ERMIS, KNOW-MAN
      System infrastructure creationDevelop and maintain system infrastructure. E.g. production plants, educational institutions.UNICREDS
      LegitimationInternally: Create coherence, understanding. Externally: promote the industry or regional agenda, lobbying etc.CLIQ
      Facilitation/creation of synergiesIdentify and exploit synergies within the system. Collaboration and joint projects (e.g. joint product development, processing, R&D, lobbying, resource development etc.)URMA
      Guidance of search (Regional governance)Induce actors to enter the RIS, to direct their search and investments towards the system. Also to direct the attention of actors in the system towards specific problems and growth opportunities.KNOW-HUB

      The projects INNOPOLIS, EURIS, IPP, INOLINK, ERMIS, and KNOW-MAN are all related to the function ‘Knowledge development and diffusion’. Although the projects are quite different in terms of the challenge and problem addressed, they all have in common that they strive to improve, in particular, the dissemination and uptake of knowledge within the system. It is striking how often universities or other research institutions are considered as key actors whose potential is not ultimately utilised within the regional innovation system. A further angle on this is the perceived need to create a more seamless ‘value’ chain of service and information for the good of SMEs and entrepreneurs.

      A few projects do not focus on knowledge development and diffusion, however. UNICREDS is classified as targeting ‘Resource mobilisation’. The reason for this is that the project’s main aim is to bring higher education resources/capacities to very sparsely populated areas. UNICREDS therefore enables rural and peripheral regions to offer a university education that meets the needs of local target groups who are far away from academic centres. CLIQ has many facets and can arguably also be said to aim at the function ‘Knowledge development and diffusion’. However, the more fundamental aspect of CLIQ is the ambition to widen the group of stakeholders involved in regional innovation from ‘triple helix’ actors to ‘quadruple helix’, i.e. also including citizens. In terms of function, we therefore consider CLIQ more to be addressing ‘legitimation’ than any other function.

      URMA is related to ‘Facilitation/creation of synergies’. This classification is justified as URMA strives to connect different settings (urban and rural) though joint projects on a systemic level. Finally, KNOW-HUB differentiates itself from the other projects as it focuses strongly on regional policymakers and their ability to design effective strategies within the structural funds programme. The function closest to this is probably ‘Guidance of search/Regional governance’.

      When matching the projects against functions the spread indicatively becomes smaller than when relating the projects to perceived problems of the regional innovation systems as outlined earlier in this section. This means that the projects often strive to strengthen the same functions of the innovation systems but differ in their views on what the key challenges are that need to be addressed.

      Policy challenges and approaches taken

      To complement the problem- and function-dimensions when analysing the common features of the projects, we believe it is also valuable to review the nature of the challenges the projects have defined for themselves and the approach selected to bring out solutions. In general, a project can have a wide or narrow challenge and a wide or narrow approach to tackle the challenge (low focus vs. high focus). Typically, a project with a narrow challenge or approach focuses on a single, well defined type or actor or problem.

      The table below illustrates our analysis of the projects with respect to the nature of the challenges addressed and the approach taken to tackle these challenges.

      ProjectKey policy challenge definedScope of challengeApproachScope of approach
      CLIQInvolve citizens in processes aiming at enabling local SMEs & entrepreneurs to benefit from centres / innovation facilities so that they can become more innovative and compete in the global marketplace.WideStrengthening the role of authorities in smaller cities with regard to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship based on quadruple Helix, civil society engagement in innovation.Wide
      ERMISMost European regions benefit from innovation support structures (knowledge centres, incubators, venture capital), but the return on investments and actions carried out by territories to foster innovation within SME is generally considered as unsatisfactory or low.WideLeverage effect of local innovation policies and systems through a systemic approach involving the whole value chain of political and economic actors dedicated to SMEs.Wide
      EURISUtilising the complementary strengths of different regions and trans-regional RTDI cooperation and Technology and Knowledge Transfer is necessary in order to manage the ongoing regional competition for funds, brains and resources as well as the increasing globalisation of RTDI.WideEURIS focuses on the exchange of collaborative policies at the regional and interregional level among Innovation Stakeholders conducive to Open Innovation schemes.Intermediate
      INNOPOLISIn supporting innovation, some regional and local authorities have access to strong knowledge endowments and some university city-regions have been particularly successful in exploiting this whilst others have not. Realising the potential impact of greater use of university knowledge endowments at the regional level is at the heart of INNOPOLIS.IntermediateINNOPOLIS is about identifying & diffusing good policy practice from well-performing to less well-performing university city-regions.Intermediate
      INOLINKInnovation activities are usually concentrated on a small number of innovative firms, while most European firms never innovate. Through an improved link between agents in the regional innovation systems, the INOLINK project tackles the inability of the EU economies to take full advantage of the scientific output, ideas and knowledge that it generates.WideSharing policies and practices that aim to involve a higher share of regional firms in innovation activities through a better connection between those non-innovative firms dispersed throughout the territory and the innovation centres/agents.Wide
      IPPThe innovation capacity and capability of firms and regions depend on their ability to create, diffuse and exploit knowledge from outside the region through the regional innovation system. The lack of external links and limited cooperation of innovation intermediaries is a barrier to innovation and therefore for generating growth and employment at regional level. IntermediateImprove the capacity of regions for innovation by increasing the performance of innovation intermediaries in European co-operation and EU innovation programmes.Intermediate
      KNOW-HUBThere is insufficient competence in European regions in strategic management of innovation policies, which negatively impacts the effectiveness of the Structural Funds operations. IntermediateKNOW-HUB focuses on two themes: smart specialisation strategies and policies as well as effective innovation policy instruments.Intermediate
      KNOW-MANIn many European regions, technology parks were developed in order to support cluster and network initiatives. These instruments were not always successful. Usually, networks and linkages among enterprises as well as among R&D-facilities were established, but rarely between them.IntermediateKNOW-MAN addresses the issue of knowledge network management (KNM) instruments that improve the capacity of technology parks to better support industry-research linkages.Intermediate
      UNICREDSPeripheral regions of Europe experience a particular set of limiting factors in achieving the development of high-value knowledge economies. Flexible multi-centred, collaborative universities which link education and research with the needs of local authorities, business and communities can help in reducing these factors.NarrowExchange of experiences, dialogue and solution-finding to bring about change in thinking in Europe on the value to regional development of multi-centred (university), triple helix partnerships. Narrow
      URMAAs most European cities are relatively small in global terms, they need, in order to maintain or gain global visibility, to start cooperating in new ways with their surrounding non-metropolitan and rural hinterlands.WideUsing urban-rural partnerships and unlocking potential for growth within large-scale metropolitan areas.Wide

      Very few projects can be characterised as ‘narrow’ (high level of focus) in terms of the challenges addressed or approaches taken, but there are exceptions. UNICREDS’ challenge is very precisely defined. The stakeholder groups are specific and the approaches to solving the challenge very precise. CLIQ addresses very broad thematic challenges but does so through a very specific approach, i.e. by involving citizens. IPP has a semi-focused challenge and approach, which probably could have been narrower if the partnership had been more homogeneous with regard to experience in managing the project topic.

      A majority of projects aim at a quite broad set of challenges (low focus). The wide range of targeted challenges does not mean that the projects are also mainstreamed in terms of approaches taken. Projects such as EURIS, URMA and KNOW-MAN are original in their approaches to the challenges and also regarding the thematic areas addressed (see below), even though the essence of the problems are shared with many of the other projects.

  • 2.2 Good practices in common and transferability
    • The projects have all together (so far) identified over 500 good practices from their regions. After a first shortlisting as described in chapter 2, some 200 good practices were selected for an in-depth analysis and documentation in this report. Out of these 200 good practices, approximately 80 are considered to be of such potential that further transfer efforts are warranted. A further transfer effort can be anything from a bilateral meeting between core stakeholders to a multi-day training exercise. (14) The figure below visualises this funnelling process.

      Before we can look closer at the good practices in the later stages of the funnel, we need to classify them according to what themes they address. Our aim has been to carry out this exercise for all good practices in the mid-range stage, that is, for approximately 200 good practices. (15) For this purpose, we have developed a taxonomy of themes that are addressed by the good practices (please refer to the analytical framework of chapter 1 for more information). Our analysis reveals that the good practices are distributed across the themes as follows:

      The pie chart shows that the policy areas most commonly addressed by good practices are 1) Cluster development and management (22), 2) Technology transfer/Research commercialisation (44) and 3) Spin-offs and incubation (40). A number of good practices (30) however cannot easily be related to any of the policy areas and are therefore classified under ‘other’.

      Equally important is to note in which areas there are less good practice cases available. These are in particular ‘Financing/VC’ and ‘Internationalisation’. ‘Patenting/IPR’ also has few good practice examples, but this is not surprising as it is a quite specific area with possibly less relevance to innovation systems at regional level.

      Good practices

      When looking at how good practices are distributed over theme and project (see table below), it becomes clear that the areas mentioned not only have the highest number of good practices but also are those with the highest generic degree of interest across the projects. That is, if there is a large number of good practices in a thematic area, there also tends to be a large number of projects showcasing good practices in this area. The exception to this is the policy area ‘Finance/VC’, where there are relatively few practices but where these come from five different projects.

      This said, it should be pointed out that most projects are quite broad in the sense that they address several of the policy areas listed. (16) In fact many projects cover half or more of the thematic areas of the table and, consequently, the same themes are addressed by many of the projects. In this context, it should once more be pointed out that knowledge-producing actors such as universities in their role as sources of ideas, inventions and knowledge very often play a central role in the projects.

      In later stages of their implementation, most projects are able to showcase examples of good practices that are in a ‘process of transfer’. According to interviews carried out with Lead Partner representatives, approximately 40 good practices are in a state of transfer. This does not mean that there are 40 good practice transfers fulfilling the requirements laid down by the INTERREG IVC programme manual, but that at least bi- or tri-lateral exchange processes between project partner regions have started. There are also some examples of practices that have been transferred according to the strict definition of the INTERREG programme. The exact number of such completed transfers is difficult to map, but we estimate that it is not more than 10. Below are a few examples of successful transfer, more information on these practices can be found in the individual project analysis section.

      ProjectGood practiceRegion/organisation of originRegion of reception
      CLIQMake Brighton Rock – engagement of civil society through social media to generate new ideasSussex Innovation CentreCadiz
      INNOPOLISInnovation officerHelsinkiLodz
      KNOW-MANIdeas to Reality – Wiwex CourseWIWEX GmbH Humboldt-Universität Berlin, GermanyKoroška, Slovenia

      From this specific outcome of the analysis, we can draw the conclusion that the transfer of good practices is a challenging task, even if many projects share challenges, objectives and even look for similar types of good practices. There are a number of reasons for the difficulties of actually transferring a practice, and many of the projects have themselves spent quite a lot of time analysing this problem. If one assumes that the practical issues related to transfer could be resolved (e.g. budgets, host organisation, etc.), the key barrier seems to be the absorption capacity of regional policymakers. In many cases, there is also insufficient involvement of policymakers in the projects. This was a particular problem raised frequently during the Brussels thematic workshop of November 2012. Moreover, it should be pointed out that there may be a conflict between:

      1. innovativeness of a practice,
      2. proven success, and
      3. transferability

      For example, we have observed that it is often the simpler (and often less innovative) practices that are transferred between regions, whereas highly successful practices with proven impact often have developed in a specific context over a long period of time - something that tends to make quick transfer less feasible.

      Although hard evidence of transfer success is limited, we can assume that a wider spread and uptake of practices will take place after the closing of the projects. In addition, a number of the projects that have been reviewed (e.g. EURIS that shows promising signs of potential transfer success) are still in the implementation phase. In this respect, it may be argued that investment in additional resources in supporting wider dissemination is required. As for the policies addressed and influenced, this seems to be less monitored by the projects. In fact, it is probably true that a certain percentage of the practices that projects claim are ‘in transfer’ are more likely to influence policies (strategies, guidelines, etc.) rather than become stand-alone regional programmes or initiatives. The actual results will be difficult to monitor, though.

  • 2.3 Same problem – different solutions
    • In sections 2.1 and 2.2, we illustrated that many projects share and address similar problems and challenges. When looking at the good practices put forward by the projects, it is also clear that there are many similar examples of how identified problems can be addressed, not only when comparing one project with another but also within individual projects, i.e. similar good practices can be found within a project and in different projects. This holds true in particular for themes with a high number of good practices such as ‘Cluster development & Management’, ‘Technology transfer & research commercialisation’ and ‘Incubation’. However, there are also examples of quite different approaches to tackle very similar issues. This is best outlined by comparing some good practices under the theme ‘Technology transfer and research commercialisation’ as this is a theme with both a high number of individual practices and a higher number of projects presenting good practices. This comparison is presented in the table below, which illustrates the wide variety of different good practices that can be found in this policy area.

      Project Example of good practice
      CLIQExample: Services and Applications across Converged Next Generation Network the VITAL++ project.
      There are more and more computer based Peer to Peer applications today, e.g. Skype. The idea of the VITAL++ project is to converge Peer to Peer technology and IP Multimedia Subsystem technology into future next generation networks. A critical success factor in this project was scientific research. The cooperation between the stakeholders was also crucial, since the development has many different technical stages.
      ERMISExample: IPN model, Instituto Pedro Nunes is the technology transfer organisation from Coimbra University.
      The IPN model addresses the issue of low levels of cooperation between SMEs and local R&D centres. IPN’s aim is to establish a strong relationship between universities and enterprises in order to promote innovation. IPN provides support in the form of specialised services. IPN also has a business and idea incubator and provides training as well as international connections. The IPN model is a self-sustained business model and claims to generate a return on public funds. The organisation also claims to have created many jobs for the region.
      EURISExample: Technology Transfer Centre of the Technical University of Lodz.
      TTC TUL Ltd. is a company that is owned by the Technical University of Lodz. The idea was to help scientists to commercialise potentially valuable inventions. TTC TUL can help look for licences, negations, create spin-offs and offer other transfer related services.
      INNOPOLISExample: HE, Biomedicum Helsinki.
      Biomedicum Helsinki is a collaboration programme between basic research and physicians scientists. The programme consists of six research programmes aiming to promote collaboration between academia and the industry. The long-term goal is to become an internationally recognised institution reputed for its commercial exploitation of basic research.
      KNOW- MAN

      Example 1: Transfercafé.
      Transfercafé is a virtual platform that serves as a communication platform. This enables SMEs to make contact with potential collaborators such as academic researchers and other experts in a confidential way. The success factors for this project include the simplicity of the system and the access to experts and researchers that can assure well directed information and discussions.

      Example 2: Joint professorship.
      This project aims to bridge the gap between universities and other research intuitions. The professor can get access to information both from the university and the other research institution. The aim is to create a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved, including the researchers since they can only receive the professorship from a university.

  • 2.4 Particularly interesting good practices
    • In the course of the analysis, we have filtered out close to 80 good practices that are considered to be of particular interest according to the criteria outlined in the analytical framework. Reasons for selecting a good practice include extraordinary innovativeness or outstanding implementation success. We have also identified close to 40 good practices that are in the process of transfer. Interviews with Lead Partner representatives indicate that the views on what characterises a good practice varies considerably and it is also context-dependent. In the following table, we list three good practices per project that we think, based upon a thorough review of existing reports, interviews and our own assessment, deserve to be made available to other European regions. The selection is not exclusive in the sense that there are no further good practices from the projects that are of general interest. However, we have opted to highlight a limited range of practices that we believe best represent the variety of problems, functions and thematic areas addressed by the projects. (17)

      ProjectHigh potential good practices Innovation system, problem addressedInnovation system function supportedThematic area
      CLIQBrighton / SINC super-incubation and Inqbate conceptFragmentationEntrepreneurshipSpin-offs and incubation
      Leeuwarden model for financing innovation Lack of resourcesEntrepreneurshipFinance /VC funding
      Mikkeli method for user-driven development of the city and its servicesLock-insKnowledge development and diffusionOpen innovation
      ERMISECOBIZ - Promoting networking and channelling information to SMEsLock-insFacilitation/ creation of synergiesCluster development
      IPN model - RDI infrastructure and cooperation serving SMEsLock-ins, FragmentationFacilitation/ creation of synergiesTech-transfer
      Holst centre - RDI infrastructure and cooperation serving SMEsLock-ins, FragmentationFacilitation/ creation of synergiesTech-transfer
      EURISHigh Tech Campus EindhovenLock-insFacilitation/ creation of synergiesSpin-offs and incubation, Tech-transfer
      Business Angel Region Stuttgart (BARS)Lack of resourcesEntrepreneurshipSpin-offs and incubation
      Competence Centre Stuttgart region - cooperation and networking with a cross-sectoral technology-oriented focus.Lock-ins, FragmentationFacilitation/ creation of synergiesTech-transfer
      INNOPOLISKnowledge Transfer Partnerships, KTPLock-ins, FragmentationKnowledge development and diffusionSME-academia links
      Higher Education Innovation FundLack of resourcesFacilitation/ creation of synergiesFinance /VC funding
      Aalto Design Factory – An experimental platform for education, research and application of interdisciplinary product design.Lock-insKnowledge development and diffusionSpin-offs and incubation, Tech-transfer
      INOLINKCoventry University tech transfer modelFragmentation, Lack of resourcesKnowledge development and diffusionTech-transfer
      Specific Unit of Identification and Monitoring of European and International consortiaLack of resourcesKnowledge development and diffusionInternationalisation
      Revolving funds of AndaluciaLack of resourcesEntrepreneurshipFinance /VC funding
      IPPLeonardo Mobility for the Internationalisation of civil servantsLock-insKnowledge development and diffusionInternationalisation
      Attraction of foreign investments for Daugavpils CityLock-insKnowledge development and diffusionInternationalisation
      Common Internationalisation strategy for Valmiera, Cesis and SmilteneLock-insKnowledge development and diffusionInternationalisation
      KNOW-MANVeneto Start Cup – International business plan competitionLack of resources, Lock-insEntrepreneurshipSpin-offs and incubation, Finance
      Working Breakfast – Open platform for meeting new partners, clients and suppliersLock-ins, FragmentationFacilitation/ creation of synergiesTech-transfer, clustering, networks
      Humboldt Innovation – Tech transfer / commercialisation officeLock-ins, FragmentationKnowledge development and diffusionSpin-offs and incubation
      UNICREDSBringing university education to central FinlandLack of resourcesInfrastructure creationSME-academia links
      Multi-university campusLack of resourcesInfrastructure creationSME-academia links
      Sabhal Mor Ostaig (UHI Scotland)Lack of resourcesInfrastructure creationSME-academia links
  • 2.5 Cross-regional relevance of project results
    • Generally speaking, the proportional distribution of good practices over thematic areas could be expected to relate closely to the general interest of European regions. Consequently, we are likely to find generically interesting results primarily among projects that focus on certain themes such as Technology transfer, Incubation and Cluster development. We are also more likely to find a significant interest from other regions in adopting good practices in these thematic areas. Projects with a large number of good practices covering these themes are KNOW-MAN, INOLINK, ERMIS and EURIS.

      A particularly interesting outcome of KNOW-MAN worthy of further dissemination is the ‘service Blueprint’ ‘REGIONAL APPROACHES TO BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITIONS’. The blueprint includes a detailed description of the standard practice as well as insights into how to better adapt and fine-tune the services in different and heterogeneous contexts. The blueprint is based on analyses of the good practices: VENETO INNOVAZIONE/University of Padova: ‘START CUP competition’, WISTA MANAGEMENT/ Die Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB): ‘BusinessPlan Wettbewerb, Berlin-Brandenburg’, TRC KOROŠCA: ‘Competition for Best Business Idea’ and Lower Silesia Voivodeship/WCTT: ‘Idea for own business based on innovations/findings of scientific research’.

      INOLINK showcases, through a good practice brochure, a large number of good practices in the field of clusters and technology transfer. Regardless of regional context and maturity, the interested policymaker is certain to find one or more inspiring examples in this document.

      ERMIS presents generally good quality and interesting good practices. Through the Regional Action Plans the project partner regions outline which good practices they intend (or are considering) integrating in their regional innovation system. The regional Action Plans do not only provide a bridge to actual transfer of the practices but also an inspirational source for other regions by facilitating the understanding of the contextual preconditions for adopting a good practice.

      EURIS, similar to ERMIS, presents a series of high-quality good practices with a cross-cutting focus on open innovation within thematic fields such as Venture Capital, Human Resource management, Networking and collaboration and Knowledge, Science and Technology base. EURIS is still ongoing but has already presented a useful guidelines document for the assessment & transfer of best practices. The guide comprises a structure, step-by-step instructions and checklists that may be of significant value to any region that is reviewing and renewing its portfolio of innovation policy measures.

      Also in the narrower areas, there are results that should be of interest to other regions. In particular, peripheral regions may find great interest in the results of UNICREDS, which provides inspiration for solutions to a very specific problem.

  • 2.6 Core pre-requisites for a successful implementation of regional policy in the field of innovation systems
    • Reviewing the outcomes and conclusions drawn at a project level, although these are often closely connected to the contents of good practices and their successful transfer between partners, it is possible to identify recurring factors that are of wider significance and which influence policy implementation in a general context.

      These can be considered to constitute core pre-requisites of the innovation system, its structures and actors, for successful implementation of the regional policies at the centre of the individual projects.

      First, the implementation of regional policies requires an understanding of the regions characteristics, its potential and strengths but also its needs and possibly weaknesses, both in terms of actors and structures. New policies may be met with suspicion from those affected or may be held up by institutional structures reluctant to change and by external input. Therefore, regional knowledge is crucial, along with a clear understanding of the goals of a new policy and the results desired, once it has been implemented. [ERMIS] [EURIS] [IPP] [CLIQ].

      Related to this is the importance of stakeholder involvement and commitment. This is true for good practice transfer and regional policy implementation alike. Understanding the region includes understanding what motivates those affected by new policy to embrace or reject the changes; building commitment and engagement relies on a demand for policy change among stakeholders and clearly understandable benefits from implementing the new policy. [INOLINK] [KNOW-MAN] [IPP].

      As is the case with both good practices and regional policies, there are rarely universal solutions readily implementable without taking account of the specific regional conditions. As highlighted above, knowledge of these circumstances is essential, but so is the capability to adapt and adjust accordingly to regional structures and conditions. Flexibility of policies, but also that of the stakeholders, is noted as a necessary condition for successful policy implementation. [UNICREDS] [KNOW-MAN].

  • 2.7 Synergies among the projects
    • Synergies among the projects include those that can be realised through an exchange of project-specific experiences and lessons learnt. One such aspect is being aware of the limits of one’s own insights. Different projects pursue their objectives in different settings and circumstances. Comparing one’s own lessons to the lessons of known and trusted exchange partners (i.e. representatives from sister projects) would highlight that the solutions found are not universal but are heavily dependent on contextual factors. Thus, the understanding of when to act and how is substantially increased. As in any mutual learning process, the exchange of questions and approaches to solve challenges will lead to more than a mere adding of knowledge, it will also stimulate new questions and new answers.

      Collaboration between projects will stimulate inter-project learning not only from others (transfer of know-how) but also bring new insights and solutions (real innovation) as well as prepare the grounds for the implementation of these new tools and approaches.

      Synergies among the projects can comprise, for example, using one project’s focus on a single type of actor or problem as an input to another project with a wider content. The approach taken by UNICREDS, focusing on the value of multi-centred universities for regional development by reducing the limiting factors experienced by peripheral regions, links with the challenge defined by URMA of cooperation between cities and the surrounding non-metropolitan and rural areas. Here, a specific focus on education can contribute to a larger set of challenges involving the urban-rural relationship. From a different perspective, the identification of good policy practice in well-performing university city-regions, as in INNOPOLIS, could potentially contribute to the work performed by UNICREDS. The concept of open innovation and its effects on the exchange of knowledge and technology transfer, and what it implies for stakeholders in the innovation system, as covered in EURIS, has relevance for projects like INOLINK and IPP, where particular actors within the innovation system are concerned, e.g. innovation intermediaries and innovation centres. Likewise, the CLIQ project with its specific niche of civil society engagement in innovation has a perspective that may also contribute to projects with a low focus on innovation.

      Synergies can be realised by integrating the project-specific insights into a wider body of experience and communicating it to third parties interested in innovation systems. There is a multitude of good practice guides available. Most of them are hardly read and even less often are the insights implemented. A body based upon a relatively wide variety of INTERREG projects in neighbouring fields could make a difference for a number of reasons. The existence of the guide would then be known to many relevant stakeholders due to the combined network dissemination activities of all engaged partners. Furthermore, the individuals and institutions that are aware of its existence would be tempted to read the guide and take it seriously because it would offer a comprehensive overview of good practices to study. It would not just be one more guide but would become a compendium. Lastly, the readers would be motivated to consider and implement the ideas and recommendations as they would be sure that the published good practices will have been thoroughly studied and cross-validated not only by field experts, but also by other practitioners.

  • 2.8  Synergies with other EU-programmes
    • Synergies are understood primarily as opportunities of enlarging the operative framework of the INTERREG projects by making use of funding or other opportunities offered by other EU-programmes, and thereby making further advancements in policy knowledge and policy implementation possible.

      The main actors at the EU-level are the General Directorates Enterprise and Industry (DG Enterprise) and Regional Policy (DG Regio). Also, DG Research and Innovation (DG RTD) provides useful information, which, however, may be less relevant for regional policymaking.

      On its website, DG Enterprise presents its offer of information and other assets in the field of industrial innovation. Regional policymakers can make good use of this resource. In addition, DG Regio presents useful information on its website.

      In terms of synergies, it is necessary to understand the position that the projects occupy in the policy ‘value chain’. The INTERREG IVC programme principally enables the analysis and sharing of good practices among project partners but not for the development of new policy measures or implementation. Synergies with other EU-programmes are therefore most likely if these can add operative components to policy development efforts (Implementation synergies). This said, there is always scope for further knowledge input as well; this might be the case, for example, when a project partner has a profound interest in a very specific policy issue and when the INTERREG project does not allow for sufficient depth on this topic, or if the knowledge within the partnership was not sufficient (Knowledge synergies). Before highlighting some possible synergies, it should be pointed out that, as the major relevant European framework programmes, including the structural funds, are coming to an end in 2013, we will, to a degree, be speaking about past opportunities.

      With regard, firstly, to implementation synergies, the FP7 programme ‘Regions of Knowledge’ has certainly provided a suitable platform for developing and testing system-related innovation policies. Regions of Knowledge (see chapter 2 for more information) has provided funding to research-based clusters for the purpose of developing joint research and innovation agendas. Furthermore, the RIS³-platform, which was established in 2011 following the Communication 'Regional Policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020', assists Member States and regions to develop, implement and review Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS³). The role of the S³ Platform is to provide information, methodologies, expertise and advice to national and regional policymakers, as well as to contribute to academic debates on the concept of smart specialisation. In particular, by participating in the peer review exercises, regions can receive assistance in implementing regional innovation strategies.

      In addition, the PRO INNO Europe initiative offered funding for policy development and implementation through the INNO-Net and INNO-Action projects. Although mainly intended for national level actors, a number of regions have been involved in such projects, which have offered valuable resources for implementing innovation policies.

      Secondly, when it comes to knowledge synergies, the RIS³ platform offers a wide range of guides and other supporting material that may be of high interest to regional policymakers. Much of this material is located in the repository maintained by the Regional Innovation Monitor, RIM. RIM was established in the wake of the objectives set out by the Europe 2020 strategy and specifically the Innovation Union flagship action. The Regional Innovation Monitor project provides a useful platform for sharing knowledge and know-how on the major innovation policy trends in EU regions. RIM provides detailed information on regional innovation policies for 20 EU Member States. The core of the RIM service is a knowledge base of information on some 200 regions. This includes 1) an 'inventory' of regional innovation policy measures, policy documents and organisations, b) a single access point for good practice dissemination on regional innovation policy in Europe, c) an online interregional comparison of innovation performance and governance trends by means of the benchmarking tool, and d) a new communication platform for innovation stakeholders.

      In addition, the European TrendChart on innovation policies also has the potential to offer knowledge synergies for the INTERREG IVC projects even if its main focus is the national level.  TrendChart is the longest running policy benchmarking tool at European level. Since its launch in 1999, it has produced annual reports on national innovation policy and governance, created a comprehensive database of national innovation policy measures and organised a series of policy benchmarking workshops. The European innovation policy-monitoring database was first developed under a series of TrendChart contracts from the mid-1990s to early 2009 including policy analysis and thematic reports. The coverage was expanded towards research policy with the launch of the parallel ERAWATCH initiative in 2004. The INNO Policy TrendChart and ERAWATCH databases have been merged, and a joint Inventory of Research and Innovation Policy Measures has been created by the European Commission with the aim of facilitating access to information on research and innovation policies within Europe and beyond.

      The potential for knowledge sharing was more recently highlighted by the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) programme. A project called SCALES ‘Breakdown and capitalisation of ESPON results on different scales’ working on applying the research results of European territorial dynamics from different themes and providing robust scientific data and evidence at both national, regional and city level held a seminar in Berlin 2012 (on the use of ESPON in the INTERREG framework) that revealed the importance of interregional and cross-border data for a wide range of policymakers and practitioners. Seminar discussions revealed that both the formulation of needs by INTERREG regarding ESPON  (more specifically from INTERREG B) and thinking on the future orientation of ESPON are, in thematic terms, highly compatible. The innovation-centered seminar made it clear that innovation in the territorial context is considered of high importance, and ESPON could deliver new and highly relevant insights. (18) For example, much of the data on ESPON’s maps could be of benefit for INTERREG projects. Nevertheless, it is also importance to bear in mind before collaborating with the ESPON programme that discussions also questioned whether input from ESPON might be more ‘of interest’ than ‘of relevance’ for the projects in the INTERREG areas.

      Finally, the PRO INNO Europe initiative also constituted a platform for a number of actions that resulted in useful knowledge for innovation policy development at regional level. In particular, this included a) Benchmarking of innovation performance (INNO-Metrics), b) Analysis of major innovation trends (INNO-Policy Trendchart) and c) Pooling of world-wide knowledge and contacts with regard to innovation policy and business innovation and facilitating a dialogue between public authorities, industry and academia on innovation policy (INNO-GRIPS).

      INTERREG IVC in general and the innovation system projects in particular occupy a vital position in the value chain of European innovation-supporting programmes. Acting mainly upstream of programmes in the same way as ‘Regions of Knowledge’, IVC constitutes an important bridge between such implementation-oriented instruments and pure passive knowledge-disseminating initiatives like Trend chart. This being said, there is still a need for interregional programmes that allow for joint development to a larger extent than IVC does. The INTERREG B strand theoretically provides such an instrument; however innovation policy and innovation policy measures in particular are not optimally suited to be handled in a cross-border setting – it is here that there is potential to further strengthen synergies both with other INTERREG programmes and with other EU instruments.

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