Title: ERIK ACTION - Upgrading the innovation capacity of existing firms
Type of intervention
Type of intervention: 2: Capitalisation Project
Total budget: €1,893,784.00
Regional Government of Tuscany
PIAZZA DUOMO 10
Click for contact details
Contact Person: Monica Colom
Phone: 0039 055 438 2425
Fax: 0039 055 438 5248
ERIK ACTION is a Capitalisation Project born from 4 years of networking experience within the ERIK network. ERIK ACTION builds on a consolidated experience of exchange by moving towards concrete transfer of identified good practices (already available in the ERIK database) into mainstream Structural Funds programmes in regions wishing to improve policies.
ERIK ACTION’s overall objective is to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies in the field of innovation and the knowledge economy and, specifically, in upgrading the innovation capacity of existing enterprises. This project aims to create additional value for firms by improving regional innovation support services and infrastructure. The good practices transferred, in the form of regional action plans, should have a quantifiable and measurable impact on the statistics of the participating regions.
The project consortium is composed of 11 regions from 10 European countries, all involving (through direct
participation or guaranteed support) ROP Managing Authorities. All partners have identified innovation as a key priority in regional development and have confirmed the importance of the project theme in their current environment. Partners differ in development levels in this field. In some policies on innovation are not yet at an advanced stage. Others have established a comprehensive innovation support system but still look to improve services. ERIK ACTION will go some way to bridging these gaps through intensive cooperation with a view to mutual learning and benefits.
ERIK ACTION is divided into 3 Components: Management and Coordination, Dissemination and Communication and Exchange of experiences for good practice transfer into EU Structural Funds mainstream programmes. Regional action plans for the transfer of already identified good practices will be developed and approved by every region accompanied by training sessions on key themes, transfer workshops
on specific good practices, study visits to see practical good practice implementation and staff exchange in which a good practice expert will visit the region to which the good practice is being transferred. Activities will be supported by transfer help desks for each good practice. Through dedicated communication and dissemination, partners will ensure the participation of regional delegations including all those actors with a role to play in related activities and transfer of experiences to other EU regions. A reliable and skilled management team will guarantee the achievements of objectives with the aid of innovative tools.
The project will produce 11 regional action plans for transfer. It will also produce a mainstreaming guide which will be widely distributed, above all during the final conference. 11 European regions will see their regional policies, instruments and staff capacities being improved as a result of intensive cooperation and concrete transfer actions.
ERIK ACTION aimed to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies in the field of innovation and knowledge and, specifically, in upgrading the innovation capacity of existing enterprises. The project ran from July 2008 to June 2010.
8 project meetings were held to discuss progress, understand technical and administration requirements, compare details on regional communication and plan activities. The Steering Committee met 5 times to approve key project deliverables and provide strategic input.
Partners undertook intensive exchange with a view to transferring good practices into mainstream programmes. Having chosen good practices of interest in initial, partners formed transfer groups undertaking activities ranging from transfer workshops, to study visits and information exchanges, to bilateral meetings and staff exchanges.
Transfer sessions were held for each good practice (Kozani, Month4 and Brussels, Month8). Study visits were held in 5 regions: Flanders (month8)
on the good practice Parenthood Projects; Tuscany (month9) on Fabrica Ethica and PRAI VINCI; Lower Austria (month11) on Innovation Assistant, TIP Coaching and R&D Funding; Småland och Öarna (month15) on Trainee in Time and Sideum; Andalusia (month19), on Helice Net and Campus. All visits saw the participation of key regional stakeholders, and a mixture of presentations and site visits. Many partners also organised staff exchanges and bilateral visits.
4 training sessions were held on Innovation Strategies (Brussels, Month1), Innovation Finance and Innovation Friendly Environment (Kozani, Month4) and Human Resources (St Poelten, Month9). Help Desks ran throughout the project to provide support and exchange on good practices.
Partners developed Regional Action Plans according to a common template. They analysed regional programmes, understood where good practices could be integrated and how to engage key stakeholders. In this process, the lead partner and component 3 coordinator provided
support and advice and several peer review sessions with all partners were organised (Tuscany, month9; Lower Austria, month11; Småland och Öarna, month14; Andalusia, month19). The European Commission Fast Track committee provided feedback on draft action plans and participated in project meetings. Action Plans were completed and signed by partners at the Final Conference (Tuscany, May 2010). All partners will transfer aspects of 1 or more good practices. The project expects to mobilise over €25 million and involve over 1000 SMEs.
Each partner implemented a stakeholder involvement plan for regional level participation and dissemination. The project website (www.eriknetwork.net/erikaction) was continuously updated with key information and documents. The project was presented at various events, for example the INTERREG IVC Info Day in Barcelona (Jan 2010) and the ICHNOS Plus Seminar in Prague (Feb 2010) in the final semester. ERIK ACTION involved 3 Observer regions, who participated
using their own funds: SODERCAN (Cantabrian regional development agency), Regione Molise and Opolskie Centre for Economy Development.
The Final Conference was organised in Florence on 11 May 2010. In addition to presentations of project results and the Regional Action Plans signature ceremony, the conference included thematic sessions, an exhibition with innovative enterprises and a presentation of the mainstreaming guide and film.
Partners provided continued evaluation on project events and progress. The general view is that exchange and transfer have potential to improve regional policies. However, much work is required even after project closure to ensure successful implementation of Action Plans. Partners will continue to cooperate, providing support and information to importing regions. Some spin off initiatives have been born: cooperation on CSR, green buildings, the wood sector and the development of a transfer platform.
|Institution, Town||Country||Region||Contact details|
|Regional Government of Tuscany, Florence||ITALY||Toscana||0039 055 438 2425
|Lower Austrian Government, Dept. Economic Affairs, Tourism and Technology, St. Pölten||AUSTRIA||Niederösterreich||43 (0)2742 / 900 51-6123
|Emilia Romagna Region, Department for Industry, Unit for Local Development, Bologna||ITALY||Emilia-Romagna||39 0516396426
|ADRAL – Alentejo Regional Development Agency, Évora||PORTUGAL||Alentejo||351 266 769 150
|Agency for Innovation and Development of Andalusia (IDEA), Seville||SPAIN||Andalucía||34 955030741 / 955030808
|Banska Bystrica Self – governing Region, Banska Bystrica||SLOVAKIA||Stredne Slovensko||421 48 4325 600
|Bretagne Innovation, Rennes||FRANCE||Bretagne||00 33 2 99 67 42 00
|Flemish Government - Enterprise Flanders, Brussels||BELGIUM||Région de Bruxelles-Capitale / Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest||32 2 553 37 07
|The South-East Regional Development Agency, Braila||ROMANIA||Sud-Est||40339401018
|LTC AB, Jönköping||SWEDEN||Småland med öarna||46 36 30 57 00
|University of West Macedonia, Research Committee, KOZANI||GREECE||Dytiki Makedonia||302461056660