The present condition to strengthen the effectiveness and sustainability of innovation policies funded by the ERDF operative programme is creating a real social consensus around these policies. Policies have to be enhanced through more widespread bottom-up participation. Among the main actors of European Structural Funds policies for innovative local development (public administrations, knowledge-production centers, businesses and citizens) particularly limited has been up to now the engagement of citizens. On the contrary, as final receivers, they should have a relevant place (voice) in order to assure the social acceptation of the investment. In most experiences, they objectively remained at the edge of decision and implementation processes. Conversely, innovation policies based on new technological vision and intended to produce added value, need to reach a social and economic commonly shared and supported acceptance by all the stakeholders, citizens included. Moreover, being social welfare (and not only the success of investment projects) the public administrations' mission, an increased involvement and dialogue with social partners is desirable as a tool for improving local social capital. DIALOG project has a main aim which is to improve the effectiveness of innovative policies for regional competitiveness through the creation of a networking, negotiation and exchange model that can involve all the local stakeholders, not only in the design but also in all the stages of local policy implementations. Through identification, modelling and circulation among DIALOG partners of best practices in the field of social innovation focused on increasing the participation of all the stakeholders, the project will define action plans aimed at strengthening the role, skills and participation capacity of the social partners and citizens in the definition and implementation of the innovation ERDF investments.
Research and innovation
The ERDF 2014-2020 Operational Program focuses on three intervention priorities - Axes, to which technical assistance is added.
An integral part of the Program is the Provincial Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation, which identifies the priority research and innovation areas in which to intervene.
The total resources allocated to the Autonomous Province of Trento for the implementation of the aforementioned OP amount to € 108,668,094.
The challenges on which the investments related to the ERDF OP 2014-20 are concentrated are the following:
Axis 1 (Thematic Objective 1) - Strengthening research, development, and innovation: support the growth of productive investments able to incorporate innovation and research, enabling continuity and spreading Research & Development and innovation by companies and research institutions, making full use of the development potential identified by the Smart Specialisation Strategy;
Axis 2 (Thematic Objective 3) - Promoting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises: strengthen and increase the presence of companies on the market, also by supporting the start-up and consolidation of new companies, especially those with a higher rate of innovation such as technological spin-offs;
Axis 3 (Thematic Objective 4) - Supporting the transition to a low carbon economy, reducing energy consumption and environmental impact.
OPIC 2014-2020 directly engages in smart growth (under priority axes 1, 2) and sustainable growth (under priority axes 3 and 4), aiming at the complementary effect in terms of inclusive growth. The support under OPIC 2014-2020 aims at addressing the needs, overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities for development of Bulgarian economy.
The Investment priority aims at directly contributing to the promotion of innovation activities of enterprises in the thematic areas identified in RIS3:
a) fostering partnership between innovative enterprises and academia;
b) introducing specific measures for support of innovation activities in enterprises;
c) further development of existing or introducing new financial instruments for
funding innovation activities;
d) support for research and innovation infrastructure for business needs;
e) internationalization of innovation process;
f) popularisation of good practices of innovation activities.
The Operational Programme in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) 2014-2020 is connecting different funds and is overarching various funding regions. The merging of ERDF and ESF funds in one Multifund Programme marked a substantial change in Lower Saxony from the previous programming period.
Through the combination of ERDF and ESF in one programme and through the joint strategic approach aiming at improving the developments in the different parts of Lower Saxony, synergies and efficiency should be reached. With a regionalized and integrated approach, the programme should help addressing the needs and potentials of the region to generate growth and employment. At the same time, the strategy of the Multifund Program supports the objectives of the Government in the field of innovation defined in the Lower Saxon Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3).
The Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund in Flanders in the 2014-2020 period supports initiatives that increase employment and improve social cohesion. In the years to come near 1 billion euro will be invested, of which 600 million euro financed by the Flemish budget and 387 million euro by the European budget.
The programme not only aims to stimulate employment and social inclusion, but it also intends to promote innovation and transnational cooperation. It supports targeted actions for more entrepreneurship, an increased flow from social economy, as well as a better integration and inclusion of unskilled youngsters and Roma.
The Flemish OP will assist 250,000 people in finding or keeping a job, in setting up a company, or in participating in vocational training.
The priorities of the programme are:
-Investing in sustainable and qualitative jobs on the Flemish labour market and investing in VET and lifelong learning.
-Supporting social integration and equality and to combat poverty.
-Strategic measures to support companies and for making working environment more attractive for their employees.
-Promoting transnational exchange and cooperation, as well as innovation or the sponsoring of innovative labour market services.
Fondounimpresa is an action aiming at promoting entrepreneurial spirit and competences in IVET pathways, and simultaneously at fostering self-employment attitudes and opportunities of the population as a whole (including workers and unemployed adults), through training, coaching, access to seed capitals. Although the action had already been launched during the early years 2000s, the innovative character is strictly linked to the integration of Fondounimpresa in a framework policy aiming at creating a competitive environment for entrepreneurial activities and economic development. Ticino’s RIS is geared by the Triple Helix approach, and it is based on an integrated set of sectorial policies, including economic promotion instruments, territorial marketing actions aiming at attracting investments (thanks to good infrastructures, institutional stability and high quality services), measures for promoting industrial innovation and the availability of a first-class human capital (thanks to a very solid VET system and the presence of academic and research institutions). Ticino’s RIS, as well as Fondounimpresa, have been planned and are actually managed and monitored activating a participative approach (“Tavolo dell’economia”), involving the social partners, academic and R&D institutions, decision makers. Different Cantonal Departments are involved in the management of the RIS, and particularly the DFE and the DECS (VET and CVT policies).
The Operational Programme for the implementation of the European Social Fund (ESF) in Castilla la Mancha in the 2014-2020 period supports initiatives that promote the creation of employment and the improvement of the employability, especially, by encouraging entrepreneur initiatives and by promoting the active inclusion in the labour market of the most disadvantaged people.
The strategic goals of the programme are:
-Reduce unemployment rate among the population.
- Stimulate and support entrepreneurship as a measure of job creation.
- Increase and improve professional qualifications, and the growth of productive sectors to facilitate employment and lifelong learning.
- Reduce social inequalities, promote equal opportunities and fight against discrimination.
The ESF OP budget 2014-2020 of Castilla-La Mancha amounts to a total of 236.805.624 euros, of which 80% is co-financed through the European budget, 189.444.499 euros.
In order to promote multilevel governance, the design of the ESF operational program has involved the active participation of regional and local authorities, other public authorities, economic and social partners and representative bodies of civil society.
In this sense, any program aimed at implementing social innovation projects in order to stimulate entrepreneurship, economic development and employability in disadvantaged geographical areas of our region, shares the objectives of the ESF operational program.