RTD Policies and Practices benchmarked
THE BENCHMARKING EXERCISE
The project partners, supported by their regional authorities, carried out a benchmarking analysis of successful RTD policies within the regions: the exercise contributed to identify implemented regional RTD and innovation policies, to analyse the key areas of interest the regions are focusing on, and to let emerge the best policy practices in the different fields of interest.
The intention was to emphasise those regional policies whose inherent knowledge and underlying processes resulted to be the most effective ones.
The RTD Regional Policies have been studied by using an innovative methodology, the IVEM Benchmarking methodology, which was developed by INNOVA S.p.A., one of the NOVAREGIO partners.
The methodology is structured in four phases and precisely:
- Identification of the RTD policies in each region,
- Validation of the information collected,
- Engineering of the process flow of each good practice and
- Monitoring of the practices selected as benchmarks.
The RTD policies have been examined and evaluated ex-post taking in consideration several performance parameters such as: involvement of key actors (stakeholders), quality of the outcomes, territorial impact, connections with the regional regulatory framework, value for money, long term sustainability. In total, the exercise comprised the selection of 25 RTD and innovation policies showing interesting policy contents and considered as promising for improving regional development.
11 of them have been jointly selected by 7 regional panels of regional policy makers and further important regional stakeholders involved in policy management and financing, as valuable and critical for moving towards knowledge based economies. Moreover, these 11 best practices have been deeply studied in order to produce a benchmarking Practice Manual (“Regional RTD and Innovation Policies and Practices”) for knowledge transfer actions.
THE 11 NOVAREGIO BEST PRACTICES
1) The SISTER project aims at increasing technology transfer activities in the region Friuli Venezia Giulia by enhancing the economic value of research results accomplished by the Public Research Organisations (PROs) located in the region. Through the adoption of a new valorisation process, those research results are brought to the market that are representing high potential for being applied and successfully exploited by industry.
2) Innovation NetworkTM is an initiative sustaining also technology transfer activities in Friuli Venezia Giulia but through the improvement on the industry side by enhancing technology demand. The initiative established a Network of specialised Competence Centres for the different production areas of the region, aiming at boosting the spreading of new technologies at regional level and offering enterprises innovation services of added value.
3) The Baross Gabor Programme aims to improve the local innovation potential in the region South Transdanubia, addressed specifically to the small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. The programme is executed through a Call for Proposals tailored to the specific regional needs, objectives and the six core sectors of the region.
4) The programme Skills Development for Qualified Employees supports an efficient and goal-oriented training in the region Styria in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the local companies and the competences of their personnel. The programme is addressed to different kinds of employees and provides financial assistance for high-quality training schemes with an innovative concept going beyond standard courses and seminars.
5) Start-up Entrepreneurs is a programme of the region Styria that provides support to a new establishment or the starting-up of an activity that contributes to a fundamental change in product management or production. The programme offers a tailor-made approach to different kinds of entrepreneurs and supports in particular those projects that improve the potential fields of strengths identified by the region.
6) The Centre of Excellence is a programme set up in Slovenia, bringing together key players from the scientific-research sector and the economy environment. The programme supports technology transfer activities through facilitating the implementation of innovative projects in the region, focalised on selected technology areas. The establishment of a Centre of Excellence underlies strict requirements as regards the partnership and the financial liquidity of the participants.
7) UNISTEP – University Students Entrepreneurship Programme – is an initiative implemented in the region Crete and aimed at counteracting the brain drain existing in the region by creating a positive environment for cultivating entrepreneurship among university students. The programme includes a theoretical and practical part. Trainings on entrepreneurship are offered and laboratories are made available for the creation, development and testing of prototypes which could be later exploited on the market through a new technology based enterprise.
8) The PanCretan Venture Capital Fund is a funding source for high-risk entrepreneurial incentives, completing the financial instruments existing in the region Crete. The fund provides in particular support to SMEs and new initiatives set up by entrepreneurs, focusing mainly on high-tech activities, innovative ideas particularly with regard to tourism development and the exploitation of local resources.
9) BIC Canarias is an initiative set up in the Canary Islands and aimed at integrating organisations and resources in order to provide services to the entrepreneurs in four selected islands. On each of these four islands, a Business Promotion Unit (BUP) is established, supporting innovative business ideas of local entrepreneurs. The activities of BIC Canarias include a pre-incubation phase in which extensive project search activities are carried out and an incubation phase in which direct services are offered to selected companies.
10) SMED – Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development – develops big ideas in small companies in the region Småland med öarna so as to let more innovators reach the market and stimulate new product development for increasing the existence of competitive companies in the region. The programme informs companies about financing possibilities and focuses on product development, product innovation and product design.
11) The HCTA – Healthcare Technology Alliance is an initiative supporting the development of new products and services in healthcare technology in the region West Sweden. HCTA functions as a network and encompasses a large number of companies, organisations and research and development institutions working in the healthcare technology field. The alliance is a good opportunity to set up development projects and thus to strengthen the regional innovation system for healthcare technology.