This practice represents the Norte Region Smart Specialisation Strategy (NORTE RIS3) methodological approach for the definition of monitoring systems for RIS3.
The setting-up of a monitoring mechanism represents one of the most challenging steps in the RIS3 process. The RIS3 are a distinct strategy by the fact that thematic and sectoral bets in the priority domains allow, with the same mix of public policies, to achieve better results, expressed in the respective indicators, and to accelerate the process of structural change in the regional economy. The monitoring system must reflect the strategic nature and therefore be comprehensive.
NORTE RIS3 monitoring system approach assumed that the bottom-up and top-down logical approaches are complementary. The aim is to monitor whether resources are allocated in the planned way, whether the achievements are the ones planned and are focused on the most relevant priority domains, giving rise to the expected results and to the structural change of the economy at the desired pace.
The monitoring system approach starts with the input and output indicators that are associated with the monitoring of the policy mix, moving to the result indicators, including those that measure the bets in the different priority domains, allowing the monitoring of the strategic objectives. Finally, the context indicators allow to verify the overall level of achievement of RIS3 and its vision. The indicators associated to the priority domains are the nodal point of the whole monitoring model. It is the information obtained at this level that allows, in every moment, to improve the fine tuning of public policies.

Resources needed

The main resources needed are: (i) adequate skills and capabilities within the regional administration, namely skilled human resources in the design and monitoring of R&I Policies; (ii) data availability, namely official statistics and administrative data from the Cohesion Policy and R&I Programmes.

Evidence of success

The S3 Platform/JRC from the EC congratulated for the document produced about the NORTE RIS3 methodological approach for monitoring systems of RIS3 and published it in the S3 Knowledge Repository (Link in "Further information").

Difficulties encountered

The monitoring of the RIS3 presupposes that result, output and input indicators of operational programmes associated with smart specialisation strategies are presented by priority domains. One of the main problems encountered concerns the data availability for those indicators.

Potential for learning or transfer

The development of a monitoring system is an integral part of smart specialisation strategies, since it is essential to assess if the strategy is being implemented as planned. At the same time, the setting-up of a monitoring mechanism represents one of the most challenging steps in the RIS3 process. This practice presents a methodological approach to structure a RIS3 monitoring system that could serve as inspiration for other RIS3 strategies to learn from. This practice as also a high potential for transfer to other regions, offering an approach of how to structure the RIS3 monitoring framework and the system of indicators, starting with the input, output, priority domain and result indicators that are aligned with the monitoring indicators of cohesion policy's operational programmes established in documents of the European Commission and ending with the context indicators that are linked with the main variables included in the Regional Innovation Scoreboard also published by the EC.

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Main institution
Commission for Regional Development and Coordination of Norte
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
January 2017
End Date
November 2018


Carolina Guimarães Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Cristian Gotia

Agentia pentru Dezvoltare Regionala Vest