Monitoring system implemented in order to coordinate the ERDF’s monitoring with a learning process of the 4H dynamics and economic transformation ensuing.
The RIS3CAT monitoring system performs two main functions:
•Guiding the design, implementation and evaluation of RIS3CAT for maximum efficient use of public resources and overall impact of the strategy.
•Providing information to enable different decision-making processes so that stakeholders can adapt the strategy, instruments and projects to the changing environment.
The system has four layers or levels of analysis: projects, tools, smart specialisation process and overall impact of the strategy. The main sources of the RIS3CAT monitoring system are: project implementation indicators (which focus, basically, on companies, R&D&I system stakeholders, public administrations and non-profit organisations), policy instruments’ indicators (including ERDF), RIS3CAT specific indicators; and more qualitative information, which is obtained through questionnaires and other qualitative tools. The RIS3CAT implementation indicators are complemented by information from the Catalan production system and other general and statistic sources in order to better assess its impact.
The monitoring system is key to the governance of RIS3CAT, since it enables the RIS3CAT instruments and its Action Plan (which is revised annually) to be adapted to the real needs, challenges and opportunities evolving in the Catalan economy.
The stakeholders involved (and also beneficiaries of the system) are mainly companies (including SMEs), R+D+i system stakeholders, public administrations and non-profit orgs.
The RIS3CAT monitoring system involves at least 3 persons (part-time) and different IT systems of the Government (including the ERDF’s one). It relies on outside help for specific tasks and technical assistance.
Evidence of success
There is a public available annual report with all the information gathered during the period and a specific analysis of the main results achieved. The Action Plan of the regional strategy has been successfully updated annually by the RIS3CAT governing bodies based mainly on the information provided by the monitoring system. There have been 3 Annual Reports and 2 updated Action Plans already implemented regarding the RIS3CAT deployment.
Improving the accuracy of the information and the timing of the feedback loops is critical for the success of the system. Obtaining qualitative information is hard but increases the accuracy of the analysis and enables a learning process that goes beyond the monitoring.
Potential for learning or transfer
The RIS3CAT monitoring system is one of the few fully-scaled and specialized systems working right now in the European regional level. Its design principles allow different levels of analysis (bottom-up, or up-down, from micro to macro level, etc.); it also interacts easily with other working monitoring systems in its environment (specially the ERDF and other policy instruments)
However, its design also allows a ‘learning path’ of the processes involved in the RIS3 deployment, such as the EDP or the interaction of the 4-Helix stakeholders. This meta-learning allows the improvement of the strategy in its day-to-day implementation but also in its future evolution and adaptation to the circumstances of the RIS3CAT and the regional economy.
The development of the monitoring system has abundant available public documentation and its system of indicators, protocols and methodology are easy to implement, especially in environments with ERDF presence.