What has Beyond EDP project supposed for the region of Extremadura? - Part 1
FUNDECYT-PCTEX chose the RIS3 of Extremadura as the policy instrument to be addressed within the Beyond EDP project, tackling in particular the Programme C2.3 «Facilitation of Entrepreneurial Discovery Processes» included in the Strategy.
When talking about regional smart specialisation processes, we think that one key factor for their success is having a regional innovation system that enables the continuous implementation of collaborative innovation processes which, progressively, will lead to new ways to address regional needs and challenges in the framework of the smart specialisation through concrete innovative and collaborative projects.
Also a global approach to Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) support policies is needed to arrange a multi actor governance, foster the regional specialisation potential through a well-designed policy mix and asses the results achieved.
Which were our main starting challenges with the RIS3?
Extremadura RIS3 has a regional governance system quite well established, with three levels of governance (strategic; coordination and management; and performance) and functions clearly defined.
Moreover, Entrepreneurial Discovery Processes (EDP) have been systematically used in the region at the different stages of the RIS3 policy making process (design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation).
However, preserving a strong dynamism of regional actors throughout the different phases of the policy cycle was one of the region´s greatest challenges.
As in other regions with weak RDI systems (i.e. low R&D intensity, low private R&D investment, deficient cooperation between public and private RDI actors, small number of stakeholders with RDI capabilities, etc.), it was difficult to implement a quadruple helix approach and involve some specific stakeholders, such as private companies and other “non-traditional” actors of the civil society in EDP.
Likewise, we have found difficulties in keeping the continuous dialog and common understanding needed between politicians and policy makers with the rest of regional stakeholders so as to ensure the effectiveness of RDI support actions.
On the other hand, the coordination and capabilities of regional quadruple helix actors had to be increased to better transform the entrepreneurial discoveries (the knowledge) into improvements for the policy mix (at the policy level) as well as innovations (at the company level).
Bearing this in mind we decided to focus on the improvement of:
- The participative governance system already functioning;
- The actions and instruments to foster the coordination and collaboration between regional quadruple helix actors.