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2013. 10. 21.I author: European Association of Development Agencies -

Smart Specialisation Approaches - A new policy paradigm on its way from concept to practice

Final results of the survey made by Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI).

The evidence

  • Survey of all managing authorities, relevant regional innovation policy makers and selected consultants across all (then) 27 member states (Online Survey, EFS)
  • Information collected during the period from early July 2013 to late September 2013
  • Challenges:
    • We speak some languages, but not all of them… Questionnaires could be filled in English, French, Spanish, and German but were not available in Italian or Eastern European languages
    • Who is a relevant policy maker? => Inforegio is far from enough to find them. Even in decentralised Spain, the main managing authority is one single unit at the national ministry. => Lengthy process of identifying the true players at regional level
  • From over 500 potential respondents contacted > 130 started to answer (60% EN, 14% FR, 14% DE, 12% ES) and more than 70 completed the questionnaire in full
  • Representatives from 64 regions completed the questionnaire in full, Representatives from 49 regions answered some questions (i.e. limited ‘double counts’)
  • Reference: around 230 ‚ standard‘ OPs nat. or reg.), less managing authorities


Policy Conclusions

  • Overall: A well-designed European Commission Approach
  • But: The actual work rests with the regions so they have to remain in focus

Beware of euphoria:

  • RIS3 is a good fertilizer rather than the tree itself. If anything, the results provide evidence that regional intelligence/experience counts
  • Safeguard and improve what there is, do not reach for more too quickly;if existing achievements can be secured and fine-tuned, much has been achieved
  • Some things will remain hard to reach, despite all strategy (private co-financing): there must be monitored pressure to improve, but it must remain realistic
  • RIS3 should focus on working towards the attainable, it seems important to safeguard the surprisingly strong initial openness.


Click here for the full document.

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