Proceedings. Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships. Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions

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1 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Organised by The Committee of the Regions, the S3 Platform and the Helsinki- Uusimaa, Province of Utrecht and Valencia regions Committee of the Regions, Brussels Conference organised on June 18 th 2014 Proceedings Meshmoon EUROPEAN UNION Committee of the Regions

2 Contents: FOREWORD 1 INTRODUCTION REFLECTION OPENING PLENARY PARALLEL SESSIONS 8 SESSION 1: RIS3 AS A PROCESS 8 SESSION 2: INSTRUMENTS FOR IMPLEMENTING RIS3 COLLABORATION 10 SESSION 3: OPEN INNOVATION SESSION 4: THE ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES IN ENTREPRENEURIAL DISCOVERY 15 SESSION 5: UNIVERSITIES AND SMART REGIONS 17 SESSION 6: EUROPE S INDUSTRIAL RENAISSANCE 19 SESSION 7: LOW CARBON ECONOMY AND URBAN PLANNING 21 SESSION 8: E-HEALTH VIRTUAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT CLOSING PLENARY WAY FORWARD FOR RIS3 29 The views expressed in this document are those of independent experts and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Committee of the Regions. Committee of the Regions

3 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings Foreword Research and innovation are high on our political agenda at the Committee of the Regions which has adopted a significant number of landmark opinions in this field. Examples of good practices in the delivery of the Innovation Union at regional and local level show that the regions and cities are taking action. I believe local and regional authorities have a key role in the implementation of Europe 2020 and in delivering on its promises. The results of the Committee of the Regions survey on the Innovation Union confirmed the involvement of regions and cities in the implementation of the EU flagship initiative. But we also notice that good governance across all levels matters and can nurture the risk of increasing the delivery gaps of the strategy. This is not an option. Creating growth and jobs depends on the right level of ambition and commitment at EU, national, regional and local level. We have to deliver the European project together. The Committee of the Regions strongly supports the objectives of the Innovation Union. During the conference Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships, we had the opportunity to see how Smart Specialisation Strategies can be put in practice and how European Partnerships can be implemented. I congratulate the joint efforts of the three devoted regions: Helsinki-Uusimaa, Utrecht and Valencia, together with the Committee of the Regions and the S3 Platform, in organising this event on the implementation of European Partnerships. Michel Lebrun President of the Committee of the Regions 1

4 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions Introduction F rom over-planning, over-analysing and over-compliance to action and experimenting. This bench-learning conference, with more than 200 participants, was jointly organised by the Committee of the Regions, S3 platform and the Helsinki-Uusimaa, Province of Utrecht and Valencia regions to examine concrete possibilities for European partnerships and to offer an interactive participatory platform for regions and cities to explore relevant collaboration methodologies and important thematic issues. It focused on both regional and city collaboration. Short presentations and relevant cases served as a starting point for practice-oriented and stimulating conversations about activities already in progress, innovative methodologies in use, and concrete steps for further developing partnerships. The approach of the conference promoted a high level of interaction amongst participants, including the facilitated use of the Meshmoon online virtual environment before, during and after the conference. It brought together people from cities and regions concerned with exploring practical suggestions for implementing their RIS3 programmes and finding appropriate collaboration partners for their initiatives. Europe abounds in seminars, workshops and conferences aiming at fostering a culture of participatory interactive communication and real learning. With this conference the organisers wanted to pioneer something new. The conference approach can be summarized into three key ideas: Bench-learning: International experts and practitioners presented recent insights from work-in-progress to inspire discussions. After short presentations, participants shared their experiences and examples, discovering common interests, and exploring ways to work together. The majority of conference time during the parallel sessions was devoted to this. Purposeful conversations: The conference design encouraged interaction, and facilitators were available both in the parallel sessions and during the networking lunch to help people participate, bringing together attendees with similar interests, experience and requirements. Working with virtual worlds: In addition, the innovative Virtual Worlds provided by Meshmoon supported participants in working together before, during and after the conference. The conversations have continued in an on-line space for facilitating collaboration and partnerships. The conference was part of an ongoing initiative, building on work begun at the Committee of the Regions Innovation Union -conference on the 27 November It will serve as the basis for further follow-through sessions later in 2014 and in This event is part of a process instigating different forms of interaction between people over a longer time span. 2

5 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings 01. Reflection Digitisation drives change, and convergence towards digital services is accelerating. New business ecosystems and value-creation arenas are often driven by new consumer behaviours as a result of user-centric designs and openness. They challenge top-down construction approaches inherited from the old, analogue world. Due to national characteristics, no one-size-fits-all solutions exist. However, there are areas where interesting lessons can be drawn. Today, all open economies are increasingly subject to global influence and international competition. In the EU policy, the objective is not to avoid competition, but to improve and sustain competitiveness. Deeper understanding of global development trends and seeing changes as opportunities are important for policy-makers. Intellectual capital, and as part of that, renewal capital, is the major success factor for nations and regions. The conference Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships covered a wide range of issues to realize the potential of RIS3 and make it more effective and successful. Europe faces many challenges, not least of which are the disconnectedness of its regions and the disengagement of its citizens. The keynote speakers challenged us to change our way of thinking and working and to take action now. Otherwise, the danger is that, distracted by novelty, we add many more examples of local initiatives however excellent they are and neglect the bigger picture, thinking we have done enough, and move further down the road towards collective complacency. Despite all the good examples, the question remains: are we on the road to even more disconnection and disengagement? T oo often, we write reports in a chronological order and expect people to read them completely. This time our conclusions are in the beginning, under Reflections. We hope this will inspire people to read further and be challenged to think and act differently. RIS3 is not just about those regions already active pioneers, frontrunners and well connected. It is about all of Europe, and we must activate the less active, energize the less developed, connect the disconnected, showcase the unusual suspects, and respect the diversity of aspirations and expertise that Europe is, fostering the spirit of collaborative co-creation that will help Europe become what it aspires to be. New ways of thinking are needed for dealing with these challenges: more ecosystem thinking, more creative thinking, more synthesis, more thinking about outcomes and impacts, more attention to pattern recognition and awareness of weak signals. More thinking about solutions and less focus on problems. We have to practice thinking together, synthesizing, and comprehending: collective and distributed thinking about societal change, real challenges, contributing relevant support, building renewal capital. Europe needs a thinking renaissance next to its industrial renaissance. People must learn to think at a European level, at a discovery level, in an entrepreneurial way, holistically, synthetically, with a sense of opportunity to deal with those issues of urgency we already know, and those we have not yet acknowledged or seen. People must think about Europe as our project and not their project. It is essential to involve many more regions and cities, not just the usual suspects. We can do this through leveraging Europe s diversity - recognizing and respecting the work accomplished in all the 3

6 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions H ow can we break out of the cycle of papers and presentations and start experimenting with promising ideas in practice? regions of Europe. We have to change the language used to describe remote regions, disadvantaged regions, and regions with underdeveloped IT and knowledge infrastructure. Changing the language changes the frame and both the expectations people have and the ambitions they pursue. We can reframe pioneer/frontrunner to be more inclusive, respecting and leveraging the energy of potential pioneers ( innovation builders ) with the will to move forward, and the drive to build strong RIS3 programmes. Once we start thinking of them as high-potential regions and innovation builders, we can leverage their skills and expertise for enriching the entire European enterprise. We must learn how to tell stories that motivate people, and bolster their energy to contribute to positive change. They should use simple language so that ideas and initiatives are accessible to normal people. These are not public relations stories, but the stories that touch us and become part of our lives, the stories everyone tells: The stories politicians tell to voters about investing in the future, collaborating across borders, and how Europe is improving their lives The stories people tell each other in casual encounters and cafes The stories children tell each other in the classrooms, at the playgrounds and sports fields, and on-line. Modernising the Triple Helix is of crucial importance in challenging and supporting regions towards Smart Specialisation and in creating a Stairway to European Excellence through increased European collaboration and bench-learning. For this, multi-financing that is, synergic activities enabled by structural funds, other local and regional funding, and Horizon 2020 financing needs to be a high priority in closing the research and innovation divide in Europe. Such multi-financing means systemic application of existing knowledge. The synergic collaboration of the projects underway requires orchestration and a new type of management culture, characterised by knowledge sharing and shared knowledge ownership as the key values and manifestations of the operating mode. We need large-scale demonstration projects, in which the allotted funding is directed to the application of existing global high-level knowledge and the build-up of synergic collaboration between several parallel projects. This also means teaming up, for example, with top universities and research institutes working with institutes in less-developed regions, and facilitating innovation policy learning at the regional level. 4

7 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings 02. Opening Plenary Mercedes Bresso, First Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions, welcomed the participants and stated that the time is right to focus more on partnerships at the local and regional levels. She highlighted that cities must carry out their role in innovation and research to achieve the 2020 objectives. The European Commission has recently published the State of the Innovation Union report, taking stock of the four-year period of implementation and the first results delivered. Ms Bresso also referred to Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn s wake-up call to governments and businesses across the EU: fostering innovation is widely accepted as the key to competitiveness and better quality of life, especially in Europe where we cannot compete on costs. Therefore research and innovation reforms are needed right now or the price will be paid for years to come. There are encouraging signs in this direction, as when the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group joined forces the week before the conference to invest up to 48 billion in research and innovation. EU Finance for Innovators (InnovFin) is the new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services launched on 12 June that will help innovative firms to access finance more easily. D espite all the good examples, the question remains: are we on the road to even more disconnection and disengagement? Ms Bresso also emphasized that the Committee of the Regions calls the next Commission to enhance the role of smart specialisation strategies in Europe to tackle the innovation divide between EU regions, as well as a call for an Action Plan for the Stairway to Excellence providing practical steps and a permanent monitoring in linking Europe s research programmes (and especially Horizon 2020) and Europe s Structural and Investment Funds. In concluding, Ms Bresso stressed that the Committee strongly supports the objectives of the Innovation Union and all its linkages with other relevant flagship initiatives, in particular with the Digital Agenda for All and Industrial Policy in the Globalised Era. Local and regional authorities play a key role in the implementation of Europe Vladimir Šucha, Director-General Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, commented that this conference came at the right time, calling for new ways of engaging with each other and enhancing the willingness to cope with fundamental challenges in areas such as climate, environment, materials and healthcare. The Horizon 2020 programme will address several of them, but other challenges are less obvious. According to Mr Šucha, a new European narrative is needed to attract people to work on European initiatives; at the moment not enough people, are actively engaged in the European Project. He warned that Europe could become a tired and apathetic society, due in part to the lack of leadership and the absence of openness of the regions, states, and among cultural and religious groups. These are clear symptoms that something is wrong and we need to better understand these signals. Creative solutions and a fundamental change are needed if we wish to avoid a huge crisis. We should go beyond the traditional and not keep repeating the customary. Three kinds of Innovation are needed, and it is necessary to go for political and social innovation in the first stage and for technological innovation in the second. Political innovation within the EU is necessary, as the EU at the time of its creation was itself an innovation but must now be reinvented to meet emerging needs regarding engagement and leadership. Social innovation is now even more needed than in the past. Open minds are a precondition for innovation. We live in times of rapid paradigmatic change, driven by technology, and this causes isolation and loneliness. We need to insist on innovation to address this; as society becomes more individualized and personalized, our policies must do so too. Our Mercedes Bresso Vladimir Šucha 5

8 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions New ways of thinking are needed for dealing with societal challenges: more thinking about solution options and less about problems. Practice thinking together, synthesizing, contributing relevant support, and building renewal capital. challenge is to create new solutions that go beyond the rational, repetitive and linear. The need for change is pressing, the way is long, and we must begin now. We should challenge traditional thinking and think more in terms of ecosystems and how they are deeply rooted in geographical areas. Mr Šucha stated that we should admit the need for paradigmatic changes in education and learning, as the current education and skills do not fit the needs of the 21st century. With programmes such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and Creative Europe, which are also important at the regional and interregional levels, the Commission aims to initiate the needed changes. Máximo Buch Torralva, Regional Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce for the Region of Valencia, explained the research and innovation smart specialisation strategy in the Valencia region. Given the backdrop of fast changes in the economy and society, we need to change our mind-set and assume leadership. Interregional cooperation brings forward innovation in the whole of Europe. We need Innovation-based enterprises that push for innovation to create new jobs. The RIS3 strategy of the Valencia region is being built upon strong public-private collaboration between the government sector, business, and the science, knowledge and creativity sector. In building the Valencia Region 2020 industrial strategy, seven clusters (hyper sectors) were defined along with key enabling technologies that are crucial for future success. A strategic framework was developed, defining the vision, mission and strategic objectives in terms of re-industrialisation and research and innovation expenditure. The clusters with the highest importance and economic potential were identified and a prioritization matrix was elaborated identifying the key enabling technologies for these clusters. With this in mind, research and innovation action lines for the region have been defined, supported by a coherent policy mix as well as continuous monitoring and feedback. This approach stimulates companies in the region to start investing themselves in innovation and establishing cooperation with public research entities. Mr Buch Torralva concluded with a call for indicators that demonstrate what goes well and what not and that enable benchmarking with other regions. Markku Markkula, conference chairman and member of the Committee of the Regions, addressed the issue of pioneering innovation ecosystem development. He stressed that RIS3 must be seen in a broader context of the role of regional innovation ecosystems as drivers of change. He observed a wide gap between the latest research knowledge and real-life practice, and presented proposals from the CoR to address these gaps, including a stronger role for pioneering regions as frontrunners in implementing Europe In his view, this role can be realized by changing the mind-set towards entrepreneurship and innovation, building on the opportunities provided by lifelong learning and ICT. For this to happen, the public, private and third sector need to learn how to operate together in a context of open innovation and living labs. For effectively implementing RIS3 at the level of European co-creation and transformation, Europe needs new instruments. The starting point for this would be that RIS3 serves as an economic transformation agenda, a dynamic and evolutionary process (and not a structure), deeply grounded in an entrepreneurial discovery process where governments facilitate the process instead of commanding and controlling. Mr Markkula stated that Europe needs new entities which combine broad stakeholder networks and bottom-up experimenting and stakeholder engagement, social media, and new insights into renewal of capital, new practices for intellectual property rights and dynamic funding. These new innovation instruments include Incubators and Accelerators, Living Labs and Social Innovation Labs, Fab Labs, Societal Innovation Learning Camps and Future Centres. Most of these have only been set up in the Máximo Buch Torralva Markku Markkula 6

9 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings past few years and they usually operate as joint entities of universities, municipalities and businesses located at university premises. As an outcome of this development, regions can become smart and citizens smarter, leading to a widespread entrepreneurial discovery mentality in society. Mr Markkula presented some emerging examples of such innovation instruments, varying from the Espoo Innovation Garden ecosystem to initiatives promoting new learning spaces for learning as exploration. Valencia RIS3 Integrated Priori za on Matrix INSTITUT VALENCIÀ DE COMPETITIVITAT EMPRESARIAL Areas of technological specialisation Development Axes Advanced materials and nanotechnologies ICT Advanced manufacturing Biotechnology Micro/ nanoelectronics and photonics Energy and environmental technologies Logistics Tourism and quality of life AXIS 1 QUALITY OF LIFE Heath promotion and efficient healthcare Agri-food, cosmetics and household products Quality of life AXIS 2 INNOVATIVE PRODUCT Personalised consumption goods Habitat: Housing and its environment Innovative Products Sustainability Axis AXIS 3 ADVANCED MANUFACT. PROCESSES Automotive and mobility Capital goods Advanced Manufacturing Processes Maximo Buch Torralva

10 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions 03. Parallel Sessions Session 1 RIS3 as a Process Stimulate transnational collaborate spirit, and send a message to people across Europe: Learn from your peers, inspire your colleagues, encourage your neighbours. European regions have created their RIS3 programmes, but the real question is how these strategies can be put into practice. This session explored recent insights into implementing smart specialisation as a continuous and iterative process. Manuel Palazuelos Martínez, Expert from the IPTS / S3 Platform, chair of the session on RIS3 as a process, opened the session by pointing out the lessons learned in the S3 platform. In particular, he emphasized the need for looking outward for a change in innovation culture, and for collaboration and fine-tuning on priority setting and balancing the policy mix. He also accentuated the importance of entrepreneurial discovery and the role of RIS3 as an entrepreneurial discovery process. Manuel Palazuelos Martínez Claire Nauwelaers Claire Nauwelaers, independent STI policy expert in Belgium, addressed in her keynote the benefits of cross-border strategies in RIS3. She echoed Vladimir Sucha s concerns about the lack of openness in regions and inertia and shared his views on the need for innovation in policies and policymaking. Cross-border cooperation in innovation gives access to a wider pool of actors enhancing the chances for building relevant synergies for innovation. It may also give rise to identifying new diversification paths for regional economies. Furthermore, cross-border regional innovation policies increase regional attractiveness by establishing knowledge hubs and enhancing critical mass. Ms Nauwelaers emphasized the relevance of the concept of functional region as a centre of gravity for innovation interactions. This concept is highly relevant as there are missed opportunities currently in cross-border cooperation. The question is: how can cross-border cooperation be justified to policy makers only interested in their own administrative regions? The cooperation region (functional region) is different from the administrative region. Functional regions (such as the Eindhoven Leuven Aachen region) share commonalities and linkages that create interdependencies and cohesiveness, making them distinctly different from other territories. The concept considers the density of innovation-relevant internal interactions. Efficient cross-border regional innovation policies should be built upon a shared identity of the cross-border area and a joint strategy, translated into a common policy mix co-funded by the regions involved. Richard Tuffs 8

11 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings Richard Tuffs, Director of the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN), focused on the development of partnerships for RIS3 based on a strategic analysis of collaboration opportunities of regions. In his view, regional partnerships should be built upon a cross-regional value creation analysis. His first key point was internal: making the smart specialisation process right with entrepreneurial discovery as the key; and the second was external: identifying partner regions for building world-class European value chains. Jan Larosse, Policy Advisor at the Flemish government, introduced the recently established Vanguard initiative, an 18-party Smart Specialisation Platform for Advanced Manufacturing. This is a political initiative aiming at impacting the debate on European industrial policy. It is a fresh approach with a bottom-up perspective on new growth in Europe through smart specialisation. The main idea is Leading by example in interregional cooperation and mobilising the coordination power of smart specialisation. RIS3 is about all of Europe: we must encourage the pioneers, activate the less active, energize the less developed, connect the disconnected, fostering the spirit of collaborative cocreation that will help Europe become what it aspires to be. Victor Piriz, from Extremadura region, stressed the importance of breaking the past when trying to implement RIS3. Also, strategies need to be realistic and focused; this has brought benefits to the region of Extremadura. Discussion and conclusions The session focused on how RIS3 programmes can be put in practice, bottlenecks removed and RIS3 processes improved. The mutual benefits from inter-regional cooperation need to be identified and showcased as they not yet form an integral part of RIS3 ways of working. Cross-regional cooperation has to be developed in stages, and piloting could be a valuable approach especially in moving away from old models. To avoid platform fatigue the focus should be on valueadded and long-term partnership. Also, identifying the right partners is challenging. To conclude, the main points of this session were: 1. Cross-regional cooperation is not (yet) natural in the EU and needs to be developed in stages. 2. Identification of the right stakeholders (entrepreneurs) and real involvement in process (in spite of cooperation fatigue. 3. There is a risk in developing specialisation strategies that sound nice politically but are not necessarily adequate or realistic. To develop and implement realistic strategies is crucial. 4. Adaptive learning from past experiences is needed to shape effective RIS3 processes. This also implies a high level of engagement by stakeholders, and improved communication among policy and stakeholder actors. In this context, the cooperation culture is a critical factor. Attention is also to be paid to the scalability of solutions. Regional Partnerships Build Value Chains The complementarity of Horizon 2020 and the structural funds should be properly reflected in the operational programmes and in the strategies for research, innovation and smart specialisation. Committee of the Regions opinion on the Proposal for a regulation on the ERDF (CdR 5/2012 fin) Regional Innovation Ecosystem A Aware Open Contact Cooperate Complement Regional Innovation Ecosystem B Building a value chain RIS3 Strategy RIS3 Strategy Cluster Cooperation Platform Twinning (structured exchange between institutions in a particular fi eld) Deadline 2nd Dec 2014 Interreg Europe H2020 Societal challenges Marie Curie COFUND COSME, PPPs, KETs EIT/KICs JTIs, JPIs, EIPs Erassmus ERA Chairs Teaming (creating centres of excellence) Deadline 17th Sept 2014 Jan Larosse Richard Tuffs

12 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions Session 2 Instruments for Implementing RIS3 Collaboration Stimulate innovation builder regions to partner with pioneers. This session explored the practical instruments employed in facilitating collaboration in the implementation of RIS3, both within and across regions. Inger Midtkandal, Expert from the IPTS/S3 Platform, Chair of the session, presented some requirements to be met in implementing RIS3 as regards the need to replace silo-driven policies with policies driven by outcomes, and the challenge to create open regions as nodes in global networks. She emphasized that collaboration needs thorough reflection on what we are collaborating on, with whom, and how collaboration serves well-established goals related to the smart specialisation agenda. There might be policy tools that have been in place for years, but they may not be good for RIS3 and may need restructuring. Some degree of experimentation might be necessary. In this sense, regional authorities and other stakeholders are challenged to take into account a wide range of policies: education, research, employment, taxation and other key factors of collaboration. Joaquin Rios Casanova, Director General for Industry of the Regional Government of Valencia, went into more detail regarding the smart specialisation strategy approach in the Valencia region. This stepwise approach could be interesting for other regions, as well. He explained how the RIS3 strategy development process engaged the entire ecosystem in the Valencia region. RIS3 defines key clusters that are important for Valencia region s future, as well as the key enabling technologies for these clusters. Both high-tech and low-tech sectors are addressed; sectors where Valencia is good at were traditionally low-tech sectors and high technology is used to modernize them as is the case e.g. in manufacturing and materials. The instruments that implemented the goals of the smart specialisation strategy include financial allocations as well as loans, periodic calls, support mechanisms of R&D recruitment, and training mechanisms. Inger Midtkandal Katja Reppel, DG Regional and Urban Policy of the EC, stressed the need to realize a transformation from silo thinking (within regions and sectors) towards entrepreneurially-driven collaboration in value chains and for global markets. Entrepreneurial thinking in value networks forms the basis for development of collaboration strategies. She discussed the support for collaboration provided by the EC, such as support to find cooperation partners and create networks. Platforms developed in the past, such as KICs and ETPs, as well as RIS3 Platforms, provide a good starting point for developing collaboration. In this respect, the RIS3 Platform and its RIS3 database will offer a useful instrument. The support for collaboration provided by the Commission includes financial support instruments including Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, COSME and European Territorial Cooperation. Ms Reppel suggested various ways of initiating new forms of collaboration, such as including Joaquin Rios Casanova Katja Reppel suppliers and customers of the enterprises 10

13 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings involved in RIS3, and she highlighted the importance of involving foreign innovation actors into in the definition of the RIS3 strategy. Petteri Vahla, CEO of Easy Procurement Ltd, presented an easy-to-use cloud-based database tool for procurement. A procurement tool in a database makes it possible for SMEs to obtain information and take part in the procurement processes of municipalities. The tool also can be applied to facilitate collaboration within virtual organisations of multiple regions. It facilitates publicsector projects driven not only by big companies but by small ones, as well. We need knowledge management toolkits to support partnering, prototyping, to put strategies into practice. Björn Asheim, Professor at University of Stavanger and Lund University, presented his view on smart specialisation strategies as diversification or diversified specialisation. Regions should identify domains of existing and potential competitive advantage, where they can specialise in a diversified way compared to other regions. It is key to aim for a high road strategy of innovation-based competition and not for a low road strategy as cost-based competition. The focus is thus more on creating unique products or services. Mr Asheim also brought up the challenges in making traditional industries more innovative. His recommendation was to first strengthen the absorptive capacity of firms relying on an experiencebased innovation mode to be able to increase their research-based competence (e.g. functional food). Second, he proposed moving these industries into high value-added niches by combining knowledge bases where intangible knowledge, i.e. symbolic knowledge is especially important. Examples of symbolic knowledge to obtain product differentiation can be found in the fashion industry with the use of branding and design (Zara) or in tourism in the creation of unique services and experiences (example: Ice hotels in Northern Sweden and Finland). Investing in knowledgebased capital comprising intangible assets forms the basis for new sources of growth. Discussion and conclusions The discussion addressed various aspects of the RIS3 instruments. Although examples of RIS3 strategies are available, it also became evident that for many regions, RIS3 strategies are not well developed. In general there is a need for creating concrete action plans for acquiring more insight into implementing RIS3 strategies in practice. It is important to understand the bottlenecks and which good practices can be learnt from. Another point raised was what makes instruments specific for RIS3 strategy implementation. There is a need to experiment with and learn from applying new types of policy instruments; instruments are needed to support the full innovation process across regions, from technology development to small-scale testing, to larger-scale testing and market introduction and adoption, whereas the current policy instruments mostly support isolated parts of this cycle. An example was given of a technology developed in one region to be tested, modified, adopted and marketed in another. In this context, more synchronization and synergy creation between Horizon 2020 and Cohesion Policy instruments is needed. Stronger emphasis on collaboration, both within and among regions, pushed by entrepreneurial thinking and risk taking, and driven by concrete goals of the envisaged collaborations, is needed. The CoR highlights measures to implement entrepreneurial discovery, which is considered one of the cornerstones underlying use of the Structural Funds and smart specialisation. Committee of the Regions opinion on the Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan (CdR 2447/2013 fin) The issue of trans-regional cooperation and instruments for implementing it was also discussed during the networking lunch. Trans-regional cooperation is a new topic in the RIS3 context and not yet at the forefront. But there is a sufficient level of awareness that we need to go beyond traditional territorial cooperation. One recommended option is to follow the track of existing value chains cutting across a given region, to assess the current strategic positioning of the region and identify opportunities for improvement with all stakeholders engaged. A first step could be identifying the gaps of the value chain and developing ways to improve the value chain, as well as determining the need to invest in enabling conditions (infrastructure, education, human talent). We also need to consider which instruments are suitable to facilitate value chain enhancement. The current policy toolbox is being enriched by a set of new resources (e.g. art. 70(2) of CPR, quadruple helix, social innovation, public demand). IPTS and DG Regional and Urban Policy published, in July 2014, guidelines on integration of funds and trans-regional cooperation. Our focus should be more on SMEs, quite often micro-companies, in need for appropriate translation of approaches to innovation. Additional resources might prove useful to frame the environment, e.g. foresight analyses and strategic assessments of innovation potential of certain technologies. These are little practised on average and need extra efforts and resources to be implemented from scratch (but the challenge is worth meeting as an opportunity for bench-learning). A challenge is that sharing knowledge between regions implies acquiring deeper insight into the way things are accomplished (processes, but also initial conditions, objectives, constraints) and not just the instruments. The same instruments work differently in different territories. This brings up the Petteri Vahla 11

14 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions issue of alignment of regional instruments for policy learning. An idea is also to use these projects to reduce the regional imbalances in R&D and innovation capacities. It should also be considered that cooperation across regions belonging to the same member state requires a role for country-level strategic planning and national RIS3 policy development. In summary, the key insights of this session include: There is a substantial potential of collaboration between regions, based on how connections between value chains can be strengthened across the regions. SMEs experience bottlenecks in entering European markets. This raises the issue of how SMEs are to benefit from the EU programmes and be ready for involvement. The potential synergies between research and technologies developed in H2020, on the one hand, and opportunities for RIS3 wide-scale testing and adoption using cohesion funding on the other, should be explored. For small companies, the problem is not at the level of determining their priorities but in acquiring better and easier access to the European funding instruments. The SME instrument in Horizon 2020 is an important tool. Regional innovation agencies could align their SME support instruments to the SME instrument 3-stages model, as Horizon2020 will not have enough funding to support all excellent SME projects. The Horizon2020 support at the first stage of the SME instrument is 50,000 for feasibility work. Collaboration within and across regions driven by entrepreneurial spirit is a must; regions should identify fields for smart specialisation and proactively seek partners for collaboration. They should actively make use of, match and combine different sources of funding including their own funds, national funds and European programmes to maximize synergies. Implementing RIS3 New Perspectives 1. From silo -driven to outcome driven policies What do we want to obtain? Effectiveness rather then effi ciency 2. Need to break the path-dependency? Radical restructuring and experimental tools 3. Wide range of policies - governance challenge But also specialisation specifi c instrument 5. Open regions - a local node in global networks Inter-regional partnerships for the reinforment of international value chains Inger Midtkandal 2014 Source: Upcoming Nauwelaers C, Periañez I, Midtkandal I. S3 Policy Brief Series No. 07/

15 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings Open Innovation 2.0 Session 3 Open Innovation is a concept coined by Henry Chesbrough, which denotes the use of external as well as internal ideas and paths to market. Open Innovation means innovating with partners, sharing both risks and benefits. As such Open innovation is strongly connected to the Quadruple Helix model of involving institutional bodies, research, the business domain and citizens. Open Innovation 2.0 is embraced by the Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group, as a new paradigm based on cross-fertilisation of ideas and driving for experimentation and prototyping in the real world, to speed up and increase the potential for innovation and change. This session focused on how this model of innovation is implemented in practice. Tuula Antola, Director Economic and Business Development of the City of Espoo, discussed the PublicAppLab as an environment to match-make the agility and problem-solving orientation of startups with public service challenges and problems. This environment helps to provide residents with better public services, with the help of mobile applications, and to provide start-ups with reference cases to support their growth and new job creation. Elmar Husmann, of IBM and European Learning Industry Group, emphasized the need for new spaces for learning, creating and making. As an example, IBM smart city class in New York aims to understand the problems of today s living environments (regions, cities) by developing ideas, testing, prototyping, designing solutions with technology such as smart networked sensors and big data analytics. In this, connection with the world outside is highly important: to immerse in real life situations for observation and understanding; to create opportunities to interact, to find likeminded and complementary people; and to encourage debate, controversy and exploration. Mr Husmann introduced the we.learn.it initiative, a European network for learning to innovate, create and explore. The example of Classroom of the Future was introduced, based on the concept of classroom as a workshop. Also a new initiative for a network of regional innovation labs for schools was presented. This initiative piloted school experimentation, project creation and team working environments based on such models as the Aalto Design Factory, also involving a makerspace for schools (e.g. with 3D printers, tools, materials). Bring citizens actively into the innovation equation. Regions need new arenas as hotspots for innovation co-creation. These could be described as innovation gardens and challenge platforms. Innovation communities operate as ecosystems through systemic value networking in a world without borders. Committee of the Regions opinion on: Closing the innovation divide (CdR 2414/2012 fin) Pieter Ballon, Director Living Labs at iminds, concretized open innovation with the example of the Creative Ring, which is an infrastructure but also a European platform of loosely coupled technical components for the Creative Industries and a market and networking place for stakeholders in the Creative Industries. In his view, connecting smart cities provides new opportunities for creativity and open innovation. Three examples from the Tuula Antola Elmar Husmann Pieter Ballon 13

16 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions Engage people broadly to participate in their own innovation ecosystems. Creative Ring were briefly mentioned: the Music Lab (Brussels / Barcelona), which explores new music co-creation mechanisms and bringing artists together; the Tourism Lab (Trento / Brussels), which promotes ICT innovation in tourism; and the Makers Lab (Trento / Barcelona), which unites maker communities across Europe. Jarmo Eskelinen, President of the European Network of Living Labs and CEO of Forum Virium Helsinki, started with the observation that smart technology is commonplace and service platforms are available for many areas. Increasingly, cities are enablers of innovation as they invest in new developments, drive developments through the support of incubation, and are continuously looking for new opportunities. However, many challenges remain, and one of the most important is interoperability among platforms and applications to be implemented in multiple cities. City Service Development Kit was presented as a method of collaboration between cities, cities and developers, enabled by open interfaces. Mr Eskelinen listed the missing pieces as open innovation, creativity, testing, and prototyping and bottom-up mind-set. Claudio Dondi, MENON Network EEIG, presented his view on technology-enhanced learning and how this could benefit innovators. He recommended fostering and rewarding grassroots innovation and providing tailored funding support to e-learning micro-innovation in Europe. The VISIR partnership (http://visir-network.eu/) with support from the Lifelong Learning programme of the European Commission brings together several networks in the domain of learning and ICT, thus stimulating the use of ICT for learning at macro-, meso- and micro-levels and addressing the existing gaps. Discussion and conclusions The attendees agreed that large differences exist among cities and regions as regards how active they are in open innovation activities. There is a need to increase the level of activities oriented to open innovation and to create networks of innovation and co-learning that are self-organised and not inclusive and engage the right partners. It was proposed that developer communities in and beyond Europe need to be engaged as they are the best sounding board on what works and what does not. Partnering should also be stimulated beyond Europe as markets are increasingly global. Based on the smart class case presented, it was discussed how the boundaries between educators and innovators are becoming blurred. One of the observations was that classroom teachers have the potential to transform into innovation agents. Educational policies could stimulate and support this transformation. As the boundaries between education and innovation are blurring, educational policies could foster this transformation. New questions were raised, and old questions that have no clear answers were reiterated: How to bring open innovation to the real life environment? How to create platforms with voluntary contributions to innovations? How to create an effective mix of virtual and face-to-factors in communication about innovation? How to support SMEs in IP management? How to engage wider developer communities? How could collaborations between different types of networks be stimulated? How do we achieve real impact via small-scale initiatives in cities and regions? Learning as Exploration & New Learning Spaces Solutions to today s most pressing problems will not be found by people in isolation. Support teams, give them space, possibilities, support and protection to learn and grow. Create flexible facilities to make things, collaborate on solutions virtually. Cross boundaries, experiment, fail, learn, repeat. See unique learning expeditions: we.learn.it Photo: Aalto Design Factory Jarmo Eskelinen 14 Elmar Husmann 2014

17 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings The Role of Universities in Entrepreneurial Discovery Session 4 This session centred on the ways universities could contribute to the creation of an entrepreneurial mentality and accelerators for renewal, while supporting start-ups and scaling innovations. Alfonso Molina, Professor from the University of Edinburg, chaired the session. Ilkka Niemelä, Professor and Provost of Aalto University, stated that universities could play a key role in creating efficient ecosystems for entrepreneurial discovery. Among the critical factors for such ecosystems he listed experts with an entrepreneurial mind-set and multidisciplinary skills, networks of partners with diverse complementing competences, hubs for interaction such as physical locations to meet, interact, and collaborate, and an entrepreneurial community of startups, incubators, accelerators and investors. Aalto University aims to educate game changers in collaborating and co-creating with industry, stimulating entrepreneurship, and crossing borders in multidisciplinary programmes and research. Aalto has created hubs for interaction such as the Aalto Factories which are environments for learning, research and co-creation, and the Open Innovation House, which is an open innovation environment for corporate partners, start-ups, and research and innovation institutes. E urope needs a thinking renaissance next to an industrial renaissance. Mattia Tarsi, Member of the Committee of the Regions, has drafted the CoR opinion (to be approved in the CoR Plenary in October 2014) to support the creation of high-tech start-up ecosystems. These proposals include simplification and harmonization of regional regulations avoiding unnecessary load to national legislation; training activities for local and regional authorities, encouraging entrepreneurship and the launch of new businesses, and publishing relevant regional data. Takis Damaskopoulos, Executive Director of EIIR, discussed some lessons learned regarding smart specialisation strategies for cluster improvement in South-East Europe as explored in the ClusterPoliSEE project. He proposed several priorities for policy improvement. Cluster development should be based on strengthening Triple Helix mechanisms and coordination across different cluster initiatives and R&D activities. Mechanisms for enhancing cluster stakeholder involvement should be reinforced. Networking opportunities with the clusters in neighbouring countries should be increased, creating new opportunities for export hubs and investment attraction hubs. Mr Damaskopoulos also recommended the establishment of coordination mechanisms to address fragmentation and increase focus on RIS3 strategy development, and increase regional stakeholder engagement with RIS3 strategy implementation along with public-private partnerships. Alfonso Molina Ilkka Niemelä Takis Damaskopoulos 15

18 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions Learn to learn together how to take the essence of lessons learned in other regions and understand how they apply to yours. The CoR calls on the Commission to develop a new political approach focused on entrepreneurship and Smart Specialisation strategies, as well as entrepreneurial discovery at all levels of education, from primary schools to vocational schools and universities; emphasis should be placed on how Europeans - ranging from local and regional leaders, to industrialists or start-up entrepreneurs - can interact with primary school pupils so that they can become more entrepreneurial in their attitudes and daily activities from a very early age. Nicholas Coutts, Director at Genesys Global Enterprise Network Ltd, stressed the need for a systemic approach in building bridges from ideation and innovation to incubation and growth. Eventually the output of an innovation ecosystem should be growth and jobs. Discussion and conclusions Universities remain of key importance in entrepreneurial discovery and need to be open up to society and the markets. The models through which this happens are changing. The position of universities in society is undergoing a change, generally leading to more effective interfaces and interactions, and we are still in an experimentation phase; however, there is wide agreement that universities are the key to competitiveness, sustainable development and job creation. At the same time, universities are under pressure in terms of addressing a range of excellence-oriented evaluation criteria, coping with decrease in public funding, and at the same time justifying their societal impact. Several examples were presented of new models of openness and academia-industry-society collaboration (Finland, Netherlands, England, Scotland, Spain ), but obviously there cannot be just one model given the different contexts. However, it would be possible to identify some best practices (e.g. the places for interaction at Aalto, or the hubs for attracting foreign investment) and see if they can be transferred to other regions. Universities are also increasingly collaborating, adding a geographical dimension to innovation ecosystems. A general view was that more attention needs to be paid to the role of civil society in the innovation process, and some expressed that the Triple Helix model should be replaced by a Quadruple Helix. The key lessons from this session can be summarized as follows: Universities continue to play a key role in relation to the critical success factors of the futureoriented innovation ecosystem; however, this role is changing. Various best practices for universities entrepreneurial discovery role in the innovation ecosystem have been identified; the next step is to learn from such practices, and transfer and contextualize elements of these practices in other regions in Europe. There is a continuing need to develop more effective interfaces between universities, businesses and society (however, a range of examples already exist). Flows from Incubation to Growth: Integrated Approach GOVERNANCE INDICATORS ROI Priorities of the CoR for 2014 with a view to the work programme of the EC (CdR 4044/2013 fin) Stage gates Decision checkpoint Value potential Time to market Confidence & risk IDEATION INNOVATION INCUBATION GROWTH UNIVERSITY ENTERPRISE Nicholas Coutts 2014 Presentation Personality Professional Team PEOPLE PROJECT PROCESS Idea Project Process Support Funding made Social value Economic Value Environmental Value Employment 16

19 Smart Specialisation Strategies: Implementing European Partnerships Proceedings Universities and Smart Regions Session 5 Continuing from the previous session 4 on entrepreneurial discovery, this session focused on the role of universities in creating Smart Regions through the modernisation of the Triple Helix. Hank Kune, New Club of Paris, chaired the session. Jose Capilla, Professor and Vice-Rector of Valencia University of Technology, discussed the role of universities in creating smart regions through the modernisation of the Triple Helix model. In his view, smart specialisation is a strategic approach to economic development through targeted support to research and innovation. Taking his point of departure in the Triple Helix model, Mr Capilla stressed the role of knowledge and innovation communities (for example through KIC instruments) as a basis for lab to market acceleration. Mr Capilla explored the idea of a Quadruple Helix model including the role of citizens, and ended up with some open questions: Are KICs an effective strategy to promote S3 strategies? Have initiatives for excellence changed the role of universities? Are universities an active agent of change towards a knowledge-based society? How can S3 regional strategies be fostered within a low-intensive knowledge environment? P rototype active matchmaking, linking regions that have resonating needs and complementary expertise. Magnus Jörgel, Senior Strategist at Skåne Region, also addressed the modernization of the Triple Helix model, introducing the concept of Smart Open Innovation, which is based on closer cooperation with business to tackle global challenges and develop strategies for smart specialisation to establish Smart Innovation Areas. John Goddard, Professor Emeritus Newcastle University, elaborated on the role of the university in smart specialisation and a shift from the Triple Helix to the Quadruple Helix. He observed what he called a disconnected region. At the level of the public sector, there is a lack of coherence between national and regional / local policies, a lack of political leadership, and a lack of a shared voice and vision at the regional / local levels. The private sector is motivated by narrow self-interest and shortterm goals, and dominated by firms with low demand or absorptive capacity for innovation. The higher education sector is seen as in the region but not of the region, and focus being on rewards for academic research and teaching. All this contributes to ineffective or non-existent partnerships and entrepreneurs locked out of regional planning. Mr Goddard painted the vision of a civic university, where teaching, research and societal engagement are intertwined to lead to transformative, responsive and demandled action. A Quadruple Helix model will be more appropriate, with its emphasis on broad cooperation in innovation, and representing a shift towards a systemic, open and user-centric innovation policy. He cited ISTAG by noting that as new stakeholder groups are joining the party, combinatorial innovation is becoming an important source for rapid growth and Jose Capilla Magnus Jörgel John Goddard 17

20 Bench-Learning Conference for Pioneering Innovation Regions Regions and cities are smart when their citizens are smart and able to leverage their intelligence and imagination to co-create better quality of life. commercial success. Continuous learning, exploration, co-creation, experimentation, collaborative demand articulation, and user contexts are becoming critical sources of knowledge for all actors in R&D & Innovation. The Quadruple Helix model would be centred on firms and living labs, thus forming the core of connected regions as strong partnerships based on shared understanding of the challenges and ways of overcoming them. Taina Tukiainen, Senior Scientist at Aalto University, discussed the approach to creating smart digital service ecosystems and new digitized Open Innovation 2.0 activities in the Helsinki area. As a key instrument for this she mentioned the new EU Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) funding, which in Finland is totally targeted in open data, open innovation platforms and creating digital service innovations across six major cities in Finland. Luis Delgado, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in Spain, examined the development of a knowledge-based socio-economic growth model through the strengthening and interaction of knowledge-related agents with socio-economics agents, i.e. Universities, research institutions, firms, civil society and administrations (Quadruple Helix Model). In this, universities constitute core of university-centred Knowledge ecosystems / clusters of Education, Research and Innovation. The CoR shares the Commission s view that developing the EU s cities into smart and sustainable environments in social, economic and environmental terms is one of the Union s biggest challenges. The CoR feels that one of the prerequisites for creating smart cities is application of the principles of systems integration and interoperability. Committee of the Regions opinion on: Smart cities and communities European innovation partnership (CdR 589/2013 fin) Mr Delgado presented a new instrument: the International Campus of Excellence initiative which aims to increase the quality of the Spanish university system, thus contributing to economic recovery. The role of ICE initiatives, which are selected from calls, is to encourage cooperation among universities, technology centres and business and to promote the smart specialisation of university profiles in specific knowledge domains. Furthermore, ICE initiatives aim to strengthen international cooperation in teaching, research and innovation, and to develop new models of sustainable university campuses, as well as to promote the contributions of universities in regional socio-economic development. Discussion and conclusions There is a need to balance the top-down approach of RIS3 with bottom-up approaches in the regional innovation ecosystem. Universities are key actors (but not the only ones) in developing and implementing smart specialisation strategies. They must continue to reinvent themselves in order to be embedded in civil society. University rankings and dominant focus on scientific excellence sometimes provide wrong incentives from the perspective of societal demands. As the way we innovate is continuously changing, also the management processes and systems of universities and governments should adapt, giving more emphasis to dialogue across boundaries. In these KICs and other excellence initiatives are highly promising instruments enabling universities to assume an active change agent role. Universities Co-Creating Smart Regions Development of a knowledgebased socioeconomic growth model through the strengthening and interaction of knowledge-related agents with socioeconomics agents, i.e.: Universities, research institutions, fi rms, civil society and administrations (Quadruple Helix Model) University-centred Knowledge ecosystems / clusters of Education, Research and Innovation Productive and Services Sectors Technological centers PROs Universities Sustainable Territorial Environment Hospitals Enterprises Foundations Spin-off Scientifi c parks Incubators Research institutes VET Centers University/RT Regional Authority Regional R&D-Driven Clusters Taina Tukiainen Luis Delgado Luis Delgado 2014 Business Other actors e.g. consultants 18

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