Province of Fryslân
European island regions face several challenges: loss of population, isolation, vulnerable environments and limited economic activity, which is often small scale and focuses on few economic sectors, such as agriculture and tourism, due to the island regions' territorial characteristics. One of the largest threats islands faces, is the loss of popolation due to limited work opportunities, especially the young people and talent. However, the islands have their advantages compared to mainland: they have to be more self reliant, with stronger community involvement and isolation situation that can trigger innovations and provide a distinct, resourceful environment for experimental implementation of innovations.
Therefore, insular regions in this project want to address the opportunities of diversification of their economies by improving their innovation policies. Our project focus is to investigate and improve public policy measures in order to turn the islands into innovation "test-beds": islands as innovation-promoting, experimental "probing and learning" environment which can keep and attract young, innovative and entreprenuerial people and activities to the islands. This will be done through policy improvement, learning sessions, action plan development, good practice identification and sharing and active work on the islands with involvement of regional stakeholder groups. The project will collect and disseminate the knowledge gained in good practice directory and innovation guide for island regions.
The project partnership consists of geographical islands or island regions/archipelagoes from The Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Estonia, France and Greece.