SO RIS aims at creating a space for cooperation and communication, between the business, scientific, research, and political sphere.
The Network of Regional Specialized Observatories (SO RIS), has proven to be an answer to regional problems and needs:
- retain and attract the talents necessary to build the region's innovative potential,
- stimulate trust between various regional actors through promoting cooperation and animated networking processes of entities within the regional innovation system.
The Observatories are tools for obtaining current data on the needs of enterprises and their level of innovation in the region. They also provide data and predictions on market trends in areas related to the thematic smart specializations.
SO RIS conducts activities aimed at identifying the state of development of enterprises operating in technological areas and analysis of the trends at European and global level enabling positioning of companies in value chains. Those analyses also allow further identification of potential development barriers in existing smart specializations. Conclusions and results of this research are used in preparing the new financial perspective by the Managing Authority. An important element of the Network's activity is the development of an integrated model of networking of specialized observatories with local authorities, business, and science sectors. The main objective of the network is to develop the technological and innovative potential of the region through building competitive advantage of the voivodeship.
In total, 30 people are involved in running SO RIS, the financial investment was 1mil. €. SO RIS is led by the Marshal’s Office of the Silesian Voivodeship. The Network tasks are coordinated by the Department of Regional Innovation Strategy, while teams of units are involved in their implementation.
Evidence of success
For years, SO RIS has been implementing tasks for the regional government and supporting SMEs, e.g. through the development of solutions and tools. The Network has thus been growing successively in terms of areas and services offered. The implemented activities within the Network allowed to create a cooperation platform with an impact even beyond the Network. The implementation of the Network's activities also serves as an input for the strategic innovation policy of the region.
The key issue for creating the SO RIS was the right selection of Partners who constitute it, e.g. clusters or R&D units. Their potential, experience, and cooperation with enterprises – the services they offer and implement for them - is crucial for effective implementation of the Network’s tasks.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Network can provide regions with a tool for implementing and monitoring regional policies related to technology development, which seek to improve their systematic knowledge of the current development stage and intend to accelerate and further accentuate regional specialization. It serves to:
- support and improve regional development management towards stimulating pro-technological development and strengthening regional specialization
- strengthen the region's adaptive potential, the regional market for research services, and regional personnel by building relations between the R&D sector, enterprises, BSIs, and regional authorities
- develop knowledge, competence, and exchange of experience
- build and strengthen the regional innovation ecosystem, e.g. trough establishing connections in the form of projects, joint ventures, or consortia in the field of innovative activities under the quadruple helix
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