Project Details

Title: Enhancing the regional competences in strategic management of innovation policies
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Innovation, research and technology development

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €2,132,078.62
ERDF contribution: €1,674,108.05

Lead partner

Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation, Poznan Science and Technology Park
ul. Rubież 46
PL-61-612, Poznan

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Elżbieta Książek
      Phone: +48 61 82 79 740
      Fax: +48 61 82 79 741

Project summary

KNOW-HUB addresses a crucial problem of insufficient competence in European regions in strategic management of innovation policies, which negatively impacts the effectiveness of the Structural Funds operations. Even though there had been good strategies developed in Europe, few were fully, if at all, implemented. There are little instruments that effectively eliminate the stumbling blocks of knowledge based economy in Europe, such as little demand for innovation, poor social capital, red tape and institutional barriers, skills and competencies of human capital or poor connectivity between innovation actors. European regions lack experience in designing and implementation of these type of intervention at the same time complying with the EU state aid rules. Seldom analyses are made how the region can develop its unique competitive advantage in the view of global market trends or joining forces with other regions e.g. focusing on its unique specialisation.

The objective of the project is to improve the regional innovation policies and help European regions to develop their competitive advantage. It will involve partners in mutual learning process to influence future policies and practices basing on the experiences and good practices already existing within the partnership. It focuses on two themes: smart specialisation strategies and policies as well as effective instruments of innovation policies. The partners will review the policies and practices of participating regions and identify good practices and problems. The conclusions of the “peer reviews” will be used in the joint learning process. The partners will involve key regional stakeholders to discuss the lessons learnt and prepare implementation plans tailored to specific needs of each region. The knowledge collected in the project will be disseminated in a smart way, with the use of modern knowledge management tools, as blog, wiki-type articles, videos and a training session.

The partner regions differ in size, geographical origin and autonomy level and the track record of innovation policy. The partnership is composed by 12 partners representing 10 regions of 8 EU countries – these are regional governments or institutions directly involved in the shaping and implementing the innovation polices - and 1 European wide association. Namely: Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation, Poznan Science and Technology Park – Wielkopolska (PL), European Association of Development Agencies (BE), INNOVA Észak-Alföld Regional Development and Innovation Agency (HU), Basque Government (ES), North France Innovation Development (FR), Méditerranée Technologies (FR), Lower Austrian Government (AT), Association of Counties and Cities in the Weser-Ems(DE), Banská Bystrica Self-governing Region (SK), Castilla y León Regional Government – the Castilla y León Universities Foundation (ES), Applied Research and Communications Fund (BG) together with Municipality of Gabrovo (BG).

Project achievements

KNOW-HUB project focused on improvement of regional innovation polices via mutual learning process to influence future policies and practices basing on experiences and good practices already existing in the partnership. It concentrated on the fields of smart specialisation strategies and policies as well as effective instruments of innovation policies. Project works started with peer reviews, performed by project partners as a structured review of the innovation policy in another region. Each region played the role of auditor and an audited party for the different partner. This method guaranteed win-win character of this process allowing the reviewed region to receive impartial feedback from outside and for the reviewer to learn from another region. 10 peer review visits were performed as well as 10 reports with clear messages and recommendations were produced. Peer review process of exchanged visits among the partnering regions provided good ground for knowledge transfer and win-win

collaborations to be spread beyond the project implementation. The recommendations from the peer-review made a starting point for improvement of each region policy. The partners worked with relevant stakeholders and step-by-step developed individual Implementation Plans finalised at the end of the project. Collaboration of peer partners continued for the whole project lifetime. Peer reviews helped also to identify good practices, which inspired Partners to take additional activities within the project and on bilateral basis design new or re-organise existing measures of innovation policy. This process was enhanced by three Mutual Learning Workshops on “Smart Specialization Strategies and Polices” organised: in Vienna in September 2012, in Weser Ems in April 2013 and in Debrecen in February 2014. At the first workshops Partners presented the outcomes of the peer reviews which showed diversity of the situation in regions as well their different approach to smart specialisation.

Then the process of mutual learning focused on the definition of smart specialisation strategies – approach in analyses, involvement of actors, priorities selection and approach for individual Implementation Plans for partner regions. Specific topics and GPs were presented and discussed within the partnership. Mutual Learning Workshops on “Effective innovation policy instruments” were organised in Aix-en-Provence in January 2013, in Valladolid in October 2013 and in Lille in July 2014. The workshops dealt with policy mix concept, aligning strategies of different level and field as well as ensuring effectiveness of the policy mix. Horizontal Activity session was organised in Aix-en-Provence in January 2013 on coordination of development of smart specialisation strategies and preparation of Regional Operational Programs and the approach to fulfilment of relevant EC “ex-ante conditionalities”. Within this activity Partners worked also on analyses of their regional potential for RIS3.

Website with Blog and Intranet was launched and fed with videos, reports and manuals related to KNOW-HUB themes . 60 Knowledge Base articles were developed by experts and partners. 24 editions of the electronic newsletter were prepared and disseminated. 2 handbooks were prepared: „Challenges for smart regional specialisation as a way to escape from uniformity of innovation policy” and “Effective policy mix and instruments for Smart Specialisation”. Final conference was organised in Bilbao, jointly with AGORADA 2014+ and TRES project final event. KNOW-HUB results – experiences of effective interregional collaboration, good practices identified within the project were disseminated. Within KNOW-HUB project the local and regional polices were improved in 7 regions: Wielkopolska, Basque Country, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Lower Austria, Weser-Ems, Castilla Y Leon and Municipality of Gabrovo . Several new initiatives in partner regions induced from the interregional exchange of experience.


Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation, Poznan Science and Technology Park, Poznan POLAND Wielkopolskie +48 61 82 79 740
European Association of Development Agencies, Bruxelles BELGIUM Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest +32 2 218 43 13
INNOVA Észak-Alföld Regional Development and Innovation Agency Nonprofit Ltd, Debrecen HUNGARY Eszak-Alfold +36-52-880-252,
Industry, Innovation Commerce and Tourism Department. Basque Government, Vitoria-Gasteiz SPAIN País Vasco 0034 945 018220 / 018254
North France Innovation Development (NFID), Lille FRANCE Nord - Pas-de-Calais 0033 3 20177225
ARII, Marseille Cedex 01 FRANCE Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur +33 (0)4 91 14 05 63
Lower Austrian Government, Dept. Economic Affairs, Tourism, Technology, St. Pölten AUSTRIA Niederösterreich +43 2742 / 900 51-6123
Association of Counties and Cities in the Weser-Ems, represented by the District Ammerland, Westerstede GERMANY Weser-Ems 04488-56-1730
Banská Bystrica Self-governing Region, Banská Bystrica SLOVAKIA Stredne Slovensko +421 48 4325 132
Applied Research and Communications Fund, Sofia BULGARIA Yugozapaden +359-2-9733000;
Municipality of Gabrovo, Gabrovo BULGARIA Severen tsentralen +359-66-818331
Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation, Derio SPAIN País Vasco 0034 902 760 008


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