Insights from the place-based approach in Kainuu.
Overall objective of BRIDGES project is to significantly improve partner regions’ RIS3 implementation governance and the delivery of the structural funds; to benefit from policy learning and enhance industry-led Centres of Competence (CC) as RIS3 implementation units. The industry-led focus is Bioeconomy, an industry common to partners’ RIS3.
BRIDGES partnership is from Finland, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. It combines RIS3 diversification and specialisation regions, contributing to the achievement of the objectives in complementary and synergetic way. BRIDGES regions face challenges deriving from the effectiveness of their RIS3 implementation. In some cases challenges relate to the process of valorising research results, while in other cases to the transformation and renewal of regional economies.
The overarching improvement need is for better RIS3 implementation governance, to deal with:
1) relatively weak impact of RIS3 on growth, jobs and regional economy renewal (linked to low upscale investments, research excellence absorptiveness, and exploitation of related variety potential),
2) mismatches between RIS3 productive and RDI bases,
3) distance from and better exploitation of research excellence as a path to further specialisation,
4) restricted resources towards RIS3 impact.
BRIDGES wants to primarily break the vicious circle of regional lock ins, dominant in less advanced regions, and restricting the RIS3 impact. By addressing knowledge asymmetries through networked solutions it also contributes to the uptake of commercially unexplored excellence results of the more advanced regions. Thus the RIS3 performance is improved in both types of regions. And thus awareness, methodological and resource gaps between advanced and less advanced regions are bridged, concretely and for the long run. Thus we create or upscale existing paths, i.e. upscaled sources of increasing returns for all the regions.
Research and innovation
Kainuu RIS3 priorities: Pr1 ICT, Pr 2 Raw materials/Bioeconomy (Objectives: 2.1 The ecosystem economy, 2.2 Bio-&circular economy, 2.3 Bioenergy), & Pr3 Health & well being. Finland has one ERDF/ESF Sustainable growth & jobs 2014–2020 - Finland's structural funds programme' with a budget of 2,9 billion €. The aim of the ESIF OP is to create more than 12,000 new jobs and 1,200 new enterprises by the year 2023. It is composed of 3 OPs one for Helsinki-Uusimaa, one for East and North Finland, and one for South and West Finland.
BRIDGES project is aligned with Producing and using the latest information and knowledge; Thematic priority 1 Research & technology development, & effectiveness of innovation; Investment priority 4, specific objective 4.1 Research, knowledge and innovation focus on the development on the basis of regional strengths (this is how RIS3 in Finland is integrated into the structural funds) and Investment priority 5, specific objective 5.1 Strengthening enterprises’ innovativeness. The main result indicator is an increase in RDI spending by the private sector.
BRIDGES focus: Kainuu RIS3 Pr2, specific objective 2.2.
Improvement needs: (1) Criteria for & upscale investments in Bioeconomy; (2) Partnerships addressing region’s RIS3 mismatches between productive & RDI base; (3) Enhance centres of expertise and innovation for better RIS3 implementation (KE- CC), (4) leverage of resources for innovation.
RIS LV 2020 priorities: Pr1 Implementation of innovations in the business sector, Pr2 Creation and commercialization of knowledge in the science sector, Pr3 Strengthening business environment and administration. Smart specialisations: Bioeconomy, medicine&health, IT and automation and low carbon-emission energy. BRIDGES focus: Pr2. Improvement needs: (1) Increase of added value in Bioeconomy; (2) Create long lasting and effective links between productive & RDI base; (3) Enhance platforms for better RIS LV 2020 implementation: (4) leverage of resources for innovation.
The main RIS3 LV 2020 financial instrument is the Lubelskie Regional Operational programme (ROP): Priority Axis 1 Research & Innovation & Priority Axis 3 Competi-tiveness of enterprises.
The priorities of the RIS3 in Helsinki-Uusimaa are determined by the spearhead industries, key enabling technologies and cross-cutting theme of well-being solutions enabled by digitalisation. The RIS3 priorities of HUR are Urban Cleantech, Human Health Tech, Welfare City, Digitalizing industry and Smart citizen. Finland has one ERDF/ESF Sustainable growth & jobs 2014–2020 – Finland's structural funds programme' with a budget of 2.9 billion €. The aim of the ESIF OP is to create more than 12,000 new jobs and 1,200 new enterprises by the year 2023. It is composed of 3 OPs one for Helsinki-Uusimaa, one for East and North Finland, and one for South and West Finland. BRIDGES project is aligned with Priority Axis 2, ERDF 434 369 000€, 33.5% of ERDF, Producing and using the latest information and knowledge; Thematic priority1 Research & technology development, & effectiveness of innovation; Investment priority 4, specific objective 4.1 Research, knowledge and innovation focus on the development on the basis of regional strengths (this is how RIS3 in Finland is integrated into the structural funds) and Investment priority 5, specific objective 5.1 Strengthening enterprises’ innovativeness.
The main result indicator is increase in RDI spending by the private sector.
BRIDGES focus: HURC RIS3 key enabling technologies (among which Bioeconomy RDI).
• help the region accelerate innovation research,
• build innovation capacity through multi-financial instrument.
The OP supports 10 thematic areas and those relevant to BRIDGES project are:TO1 Research & innovation, Funding Priority "Strengthening research, technological development and innovation" (ERDF – 3.13% of EU allocation) and TO3 – SMEs competitiveness, Funding Priority "Enhancing competitiveness of SMEs" (ERDF – 9.40 % of EU allocation). The OP budget is ERDF: 245,794,494.00 € + ESF: 18,795,693.00 € = 264 590 187€. The relevant impact indicator is support of more than 240 SMEs and promotion of cooperation with research institutions.
Improvement needs: In spite of strengths in the productive base and overall potential in terms of rural economy, energy and manufacturing tradition, Western Macedonia faces:
• weak absorptiveness of research excellence of the RIS3 industries and the economy in general;
• low effectiveness of innovation management, including RIS3 implementation;
• RIS3 implementation needs to clarify implementation agency;
• clusters for growth and innovation weak.
Slovenia has prepared one single Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014–2020. The Operational Programme(OP) is the implementing document serving as the basis for the absorption of the EUR 3.2 billion available in the period 2014–2020 under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). BRIDGES project is aligned with Thematic Objective 1 Strengthening research, technological development and innovation while strengthening its links with enterprises and the higher education sector. The primary Slovenian source of funding of fundamental research will be secured through national funds, while the ESI Funds will support strengthening the links and new synergies created in the innovation system and enhancement of the collaboration between the economy and knowledge institutions in the areas defined by the Smart Specialisation Strategy.
Improvement needs: Investment under priority axis 1 will target improvement of infrastructure for research and innovation and enhancement of capacities for excellence in this area in accordance with the Smart Specialisation Strategy. RIS3 is in final level of stakeholder consultations and when adopted it will be one of the key documents for the implementation of the OP. The industry focus will agro food and forest economy: improvement of quality, clustering, and linkages ot new product lines.
It is linked to the National Structural Funds operational programme. The BRIDGES project is aligned with Priority Axis 2, Improving knowledge Economy; Thematic priority 1 Research & technology development, & effectiveness of innovation; Investment priority 1a, specific objective, 2.1. Improved participation in H2020 with strengthening of R&D capacities. Priority 2: R&I, the budget of which is EUR 1687.9 M. The programme (source: ERDF, ESF, IKF; a total of 9,004.2 M EUR over 7 years) aims to stimulate the economies of the less developed regions in Hungary. Its most important priorities are the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises, research and innovation, and employment.
The strategy – in its form – functions as a general framework for R&D and innovation and avoids mentioning concrete sectors. In Hungary there is a National Smart Specialisation Strategy (as part of the National Research and Development and Innovation Strategy 2020), based on the aggregated regional data. Within the Strategy three national smart specialisations are identified in accordance with the types of regions, i.e. the regional productive base strengths. Prioritised sectors, serving as reference, include among others material sciences, physical, sciences, biological sciences, agricultural science, pharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals.
Improvement needs: The industry focus needs to be focused on innovations, & tailored tools improved. The BRIDGES project provides exactly this opportunity.
Insights from the place-based approach in Kainuu.
Regional innovation platforms explored through good practice transfer
A good practice is born capitalising on the BRIDGES project pilot action through the implementation of the BERRY+ S3 industrial modernisation partnership.
Implementation of the BRIDGES pilot action, mini - project between Helsinki-Uusimaa and Western Macedonia.
We interviewed partners from the Lubelskie region in Poland to find out more about their project results in bioeconomy.
The final publication of the BRIDGES project is available upon request.
Reflections on the implementation of the BRIDGES project action plan in Kainuu region.
Organisation of the closing conference of the BRIDGES project, on line, 10.12.2020.
BRIDGES closing conference_10.12.2020
The S3 industrial modernisation partnership BERRY+ was approved by the EC.