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2013. 06. 28.I author: European Association of Development Agencies -

Progress of the RIS in the French PACA region

The region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) is a French region located in the south-east of the country.
Like other French regions PACA acquired autonomy and responsibilities in defining the local economic strategy only recently compared to other European regions. PACA is consequently a relative beginner in the management of the economic strategy. Thus, the cluster policy set up in 2005, and the RIS experience later on, represented two key milestones in the innovation policies design learning process.

The first RIS, whose design was co-driven by the Regional Council and the central government representatives, was voted in 2009 in the framework of EU financial programming period 2007-2013. It relays on the following orientations:

  • PRIDES and Pôles: How to reinforce innovation through a cluster policy
  • Innovation support to companies: PACAInnovation network services
  • Two specific specialization domains: Creativity and Sustainable Mediterranean Sea
  • Social and territorial Innovation: Social and societal innovation, and innovation and territories

Its implementation has been carried on mainly by the Regional Council and the central government, regional representatives and PACA Innovation Network* with Méditerranée Technologies as coordinator.

The RIS is currently under revision in the framework of the smart specialization approach promoted by the EC to prepare the Regional Operational Program 2014-2020. This process is conducted through two complementary approaches:

  1. The assessment of the RIS implemented since 2009 with an in-depth analysis of the objectives set, the actions planned and those realized, the final results and the definition of the current challenges.
  2. The entrepreneurial discovery process initiated in PACA in 2009 was a continuous one, nurtured by quantitative and qualitative data collected through specific studies, workshops and exchanges with all the regional innovation actors.  

One of the most important axes of the future innovation policy is represented by the DAS (Strategic Activities Domains) policy. In the revision process, strategic priorities have been focused on “Sustainable habitat”, “Sustainable mobility”, “Risk, safety and security management”, “Health and food”, and “Tourism and Multimedia/digital content”. The objective is to identify the future markets potentially targetable by regional companies and to develop major investment projects based on local competences and competitive advantages.

Another important focus in PACA 3S approach is the creation of a favorable innovation ecosystem to stimulate innovation and growth.

At last but not least, monitoring and evaluation tools will be also strengthened to support the strategy and its implementation.

The S3 will be adapted in September 2013.


* PACA Innovation network represents 75 intermediaries in the region

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