Putting Research and Innovation at the heart of Regional Policy


Putting Research and Innovation at the heart of Regional Policy

Putting Research and Innovation

at the heart of Regional Policy

Javier Ossandon

President of ELANET (CEMR)

Prelude’s Project CEO

Some considerations from the

eEurope 2005 Mid-Term Review

• Validity of proposed targets: need to align

common goals and objectives

• Broadband is enabling factor to access

web-based content and services:

- different platforms need to complete and

to compete against each other

- importance of regulation to ensure

competitive markets

• Mapping of broadband accessibility and

national strategies are a must

eEurope 2005 Mid-Term Review

• increase broadband coverage in under-served

areas (eg: rural / satellite)

• Common challenges on network and information


- Modern and interoperable on-line public


- Continued attention on digital divide

- articulate regional and national implementation


On- line Public Services Goals

• Increase public administration productivity

for the benefit of citizens and enterprises:

e-Government strategy

• eHealth management plans

• Development of ICT skills and strong role of eeducation

and training


• Major action-line in all countries

• Need of legislation for new administration

procedure (reengineering)

• Priorities set-up by Commission Communication

on eGovernment

• Urgency of ensuring coherence between the

various levels: local, regional and national

• Security and privacy are major policy concerns

• Importance of combining technology approach

with change in organisation and acquisition of new

skills in the public administration


• Provision of a dynamic and innovative ebusiness


- legal framework

- stimulate ICT investment in SMEs: European

e-business support network (eBSN)

- standards and interoperability on

transactions, security, signatures,

procurement, payment

• Secure and effective e-payment systems

• Increase consumer involvement

Cohesion Policy after 2006

• Cohesion policy: major contributor to sustainable

growth, job creation and competitiveness

• 3 new community objectives:

- convergence (cohesion fund, ERDF, ESF)

- regional competitiveness (ERDF) and

national employment policies (ESF)

- territorial cooperation/ internal and external

cross-border Regions (ERDF)

• ERDF priorities:

- innovation and knowledge economy,

- accessibility to services of general economic interest

- environment and risk prevention

- reinforcement of the institutional capacity

• Reformed delivery system

ERA (European Research Area)

• Integrate applied research and innovation efforts at all


• Bring forward new solutions ICT-based closer to

citizens’ needs and economic growth strategies in the


• Critical factor of success to implement the Lisbon

Strategy (2000 – 2010) to build a competitive

knowledge-base society


• Defined as the successful production, assimilation

and exploitation of novelty in the economical and

social spheres (COM688-1995)

• Involves a number of actors and decision-makers at

different levels

• Need for a far-sighted R&I policy in European


Regional level is most appropriate for an effective

innovation policy that impacts the social and

economic spheres of the territory

New Regional Research and

Innovation Policies are Urgent

• economic factor: loss of competitiviness of the

traditional system of local enteprises in the global

market. Productivity is strictly linked to how you


• social aspect: reduce digital divide between different

class of citizens (accessibility to high added-value

services and job opportunities requiring ICT skills)

• growth is desirable if it leads to prosperity (standard of

living improves – Porter: sources of prosperity are

created, not inherited)

The actual R&I EU scenario

is not promising

• Although EU produces almost one third of the worlds

scientific knowledge the gap with US and Japan in

ICT-based markets has increased (except for Northern


• New competitors are strongly challenging traditional

players in the ICT and digital content markets (China,

Brazil, India);

• Key EU objectives are to increase 50% research

spending by 2010 (3% of GDP) and bring the private

sector share up to 67% (from 56% in 1999).

Where will the EU RTD funds go

• cross-border networking among centres of excellence

in universities, reseach bodies and business


• Integrated projects, involving a critical mass of

scientific and industrial partners (projects must target

significant products, processes or service applications)

• Participation by the Union in specific science and

technology cooperation programmes set up jointly by

government or national research organisations

Prelude’s Social Learning Model

Innovation capacity building is the key

• It involves several organisations and not only

researchers (business and public actors, community

organisations, etc.)

• stresses participation, engagement and interaction

between all the actors involved

the economic factor of competitiveness couples

with the social factor of learning (new rules, new

customs and new identities as a crucial ingredient

of most technological changes enabling innovation)

Enabling conditions for innovative

capacity building

• Awareness (on the existence and dimension of the

problem by innovators and decision-makers)

• Involvement (early participation of all actors

supported by a concerted action of all public

administration levels)

• Vision (long term innovation policy based on a

common vision among actors involved)

• Knowledge (sound technical and organisational

espertise as an endogeneous process)

Why the Regional Level

• Competence (delivery of infrastructure and policies

that increase uptake by citizens is delegated to the

regional level)

• Scale (critical mass of contacts, ideas and

opportunities but small enough to allow personal

contacts, ensure trust and self esteem)

• Institutional thickness (to ensure consensus among

different institutional interests)

• Knowledge Management (knowledge can be

codified, shared and disseminated horizontally)

• Social & Capital Trust (between researchers,

academincs, businesses, policy makers, etc.)

Regional Clusters of Innovation

• Redundancy (innovation rooted in many different

institutions reduces risk of partial losses)

• Systematic linkages and interaction (universities,

research labs, technology transfer agencies,

regional public and private governance

organisations, vocational training institutions,

banks, venture capital suppliers, firms of all sizes)

• Governing organisations systems (to combine

collaborative learning with innovation)

• The network paradigm (robust networks add

institutional support for business innovation)

Education and research


Relations in the Cluster




and research


Actors outside the


The Orgware

• Organising capacity of Cities and Regions as the

ability to enlist all actors involved and with their

help generate new ideas and develop and

implement a policy designed to respond to

fundamental developments and needs

• Key roles (Roger and Shoemaker)

- Opinion leadership (core politics/core politicians)

- Change agent (clearly identified actors like

regional agencies and ICT stakeholders)

- early adopters (administrations, Industry and

SME’s leadership by example)

Organisation Capacity

A framework for Organising Capacity

Source: Van den Berg et al. (1997)

The Prelude Experience

• IST acc.measure, 2.7 million euros, nine Regions,

Elanet (Cemr) coordinates supported by eris@

• Out of 20 Regional clusters for innovation 9

European clusters have been organised

• Clusters address key Regional needs from an R&D

perspective in the fields of eGovernment,

eBusiness, eTransport, Knowledge Management

and eLearning, Benchmarking and eInclusion

• Main objective is to consolidate the clusters by

incorporating new Regions and a two-years Action

Plan (SUITE 2005-2006)



• uses an open-source platform

• flexible

• modular

• allows an easy creation of thematic web-sites with

same or selected functionalities

• easy to manage with limited resources

The Prelude Follow-up

• An opportunity for North Jutland and the Digital

North Denmark

the Danish Region of Funen has already signed

the Memorandum for Cooperation (20 Regions are

expected to participate)

• Some mainstream European initiatives are at stake:

- Network of excellence in RTD work (IST)

- Benchlearning and network building (Interreg 3C)

- Clusters initiatives (DG INFSO and other


Welcome to the


Clustering Digital Innovation in the EU Regions

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