Thanks to the exchange of experience with the InnoBridge partners we have been further analysing the policy instruments to foster innovation and research that there are at the disposal of the actors of R&I in our Province. The debate about the importance of the collaboration between research centres and enterprises was very active within the project and it is considered a challenge in many regions. Also, grasping how municipalities in other regions are carrying out and boosting innovation made it clearer how strong their role can be. Furthermore, it was interesting to see how the S3 approach was developed and implemented. All the reasoning during these years of exchange of experience let us come up with 4 actions, which are included in the Action Plan of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.

The first action deals with the Implementation Criteria to the Provincial Law for Research and Innovation, which have been updated in 2018, comprising many novelties to keep up with the current developments in innovation, like measures to foster industry 4.0 or crowd-funding opportunities.

The second action regards R&D cooperation projects between research institutes and enterprises: these have continued to be supported by the calls for proposals launched under ERDF Axis 1 – Research and Innovation. Four calls for projects proposals have been launched in the 2014-2020 programming period, thereby fostering such collaboration and the know-how transfer, which are key to R&D development.

The third action is addressing the municipalities: with ERDF calls for proposals, projects for the development of the peripheries have started; these have been coordinated by the bigger municipalities of the province. To reach the aim of regional development and to avoid the migration from the peripheries to the centres, which causes in turn social cohesion problems on the territory, some instruments at the provincial level have been analysed in order to guarantee that these activities are maintained over the time. The involvement of the municipalities is the key to reach the citizen: actions addressing the involvement of the municipalities shall serve to reduce the gap between citizens and public institutions and create an environment of trust among the various actors.

The last action regards the update of the Smart Specialisation Strategy of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano. The revision process of the S3 strategy has started in February 2020: the working programme with various meetings for the involvement of the stakeholders has been set up. Discussions are currently going on and we are very interested to see what the outcome will be!

The actions mentioned above were the outcome of the thinking done thanks to the InnoBridge projects. Many ideas came out from the interesting exchanges of experiences with the project partners. We also wanted to transfer measures and take some nice ideas from the project partners, but one has always to take into consideration its own context. Who knows, maybe in the future?!