With a identified low level of engagement with R&D&I projects, IVACE (the regional development agency of Valencia Region) enacted a strategy and plan for R&D&I
In 2014, having identified a limited number of supported Research and Innovation projects in the regional development agency of Valencia (IVACE), R&D&I promotion activities were launched. In 2015, several initiatives (strategy development) were undertaken to forward the aim of building trust between stakeholders and IVACE to enhance participation in Research and Innovation projects. The launch of a new regional plan for R&D&I in 2016 was instrumental in establishing the first step towards solving IVACE’s engagement challenge. Principally, the creation of a brand for the innovation plan was the first step which had different measures and specific brands to effectively engage actors. The plan was also linked to new developments in innovation: Industry 4.0, Circular Economy, and Horizon 2020.
R&D&I promotional activities ranged from social media campaigns to in-person events with institutional conferences in the Region’s principal areas of economic activity related to R&D&I. This widespread promotional campaign coupled with technical seminars and sessions with companies and their intermediaries (Research and Technology Organisation, Universities, Business Associations and Advanced Service Companies were also included). Additionally, an online platform was created to facilitate the creation of a space for collaboration.
20 million EUR were used for the whole R&D&I programme following the best practice (i.e. R&D&I plan) of which 1.2 million EUR were used for dynamization activities.
Evidence of success
The implementation of activities (branding and R&D&I plan) has brought tangible real gains for IVACE and its region. Now, there are 1500 R&D&I project mobilized per year and 1200 projects supported which translates into 250 innovation projects and 150 R&D projects.
To ensure efficient delivery of the voucher scheme and maintain SME confidence, an internal process for approving service providers is critical.
Potential for learning or transfer
The R&D&I Plan of IVACE provides a critical lesson to be learned. That is that a stable operating environment must be established with clear and viable dates, budgets, and lines of credit with rational and balanced aid intensities. Stability is viewed as fundamental to the plan’s successful re-establishment of trust with stakeholders from which all other successes (increase in project participations) will emanate.