This Good practice represents the closest implementation of Quadruple Helix in practice as Lithuania could achieve.
Lithuanian public agency MOSTA which is responsible for the coordination of smart specialization process has faced with a commitment problem, because formal approved strategies were not later been followed by important actors. Lithuania has not managed to involve important stakeholders, because Lithuania do not have a culture of debate with different stakeholders, as well as evidence based policy making. As a consequence, sectors like "Health" has not received as much attention as it needed.
In order to solve this problem, MOSTA has designed a sophisticated engagement scheme: many different supporting documents were prepared (analysis of potential challenges, reviews by international experts). Those documents were extensively discussed by stakeholders from all Quadruple helix sectors (government, research, business) and tested with 2000 experts who represented “public” side. Into this discussion the experts from public and private health sector were involved and they made a significant impact on Smart Specialization strategy. Their arguments were based on the evidence of the aging society which was approved by the society and they have managed to make the priority “Advanced applied technologies for individual and public health” as one of the priority areas of national smart specialization strategy. This priority has a direct impact on the increased resources assigned for the research and innovation projects developed in the Health (including Home care) sector.
The implementation process took about 1 year.
200 000 Euros were needed to make an analysis and arrange important events, workshops.
About 30 people were permanently working.
Enough authority/skills is required to engage relevant actors in debate, because many experts were not paid.
Evidence of success
The process of debating on smart specialization strategy included many different stakeholders and one of the selected priorities - “Advanced applied technologies for individual and public health” can have a direct connection on Home Care research & innovations.
An Increased amount of specialized support measures were presented, which provide support for innovations in Home care sector. For ex. the costs of developing a "Robot-nurse" was covered by new support measure "Ikiprekybiniai pirkimai".
If you want to engage business companies, you need to put 3 times more energy and effort into the process than with Government / Research side. And to engage society in general – the effort needs to be 5 times higher. That’s what one needs to consider when planning the transfer of good practice.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Good practice was implemented as part of general EU regulatory framework to connect EU Structural Funds to the Smart specialization strategies of EU countries. Especially that was relevant to new EU countries who rely on support from Structural Funds to make structural change. The Good practice is not about the strategic/thematic priorities for S3, but about the open and transparent process how to work with stakeholders, how to engage them into the debate about S3 priorities and how not to allow going sideways by using a lot of preparation. It can be easily transferred not only at the regional level for the whole S3 strategy, but can be used also for debating one priority.
There are few preconditions that should exist in order to have a successful implementation process:
- Internal motivation to have good debate (In Lithuania MOSTA wanted to ground the priorities with the evidence)
- Support from the key decision makers
- Clear time framework (at least 1 year is recommended)
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