Contest for research activities/business ideas in the field of R&I Strategies for Smart Specialisation (ICT/photonics, smart factory, chemistry and nanotech).
Researchers/startuppers have little resources to invest in promotion of their research activities/business ideas. So, even if their activities are valuable and promising, they might meet some obstacles to reach end users & research and/or business partners. RIS3 Constest is a format that address such problems and it is is structured as follows: 1. call for research activities and business ideas; 2. evaluation carried out by a technical committee; 3. identification of the most valuable and promising ideas and award to the best two ones; 4. public award ceremony, within an institutional and international framework (annual event of ERDF ROP) at the presence of companies, universities, regional/national and European public authorities). The prize consists in dedicated promotional kit direclty designed by the MA (not a voucher) and granted to the 2 finalists. It consists in: a promotional video, press releases, personalized communication materials (headpaper, blog graphics, e-mail graphics). Furthermore, an e-book with all the projects has also been realized for all participants. The promotion was carried out also in the framework of the communication activities of the ERDF ROP of Tuscany (at regional, national and international level). Innovation consists in reaching, with one practice, different purposes: promotion/valorisation of regional innovation and (young) talents, dissemination of the research results/business ideas, matchmaking, cross fertilisation and inspiration.

Resources needed

Direct costs: 3.000,00 euro (press office, graphic design and realisation of promotional material); cost for room rent and technical devices 1.000,00 euro (cost for public award cerimony).
Personnel costs: (2 officers, half time) 10.000,00 euro approximately

Evidence of success

- 12 research activities and 10 ideas of business applied for the award;
- 12 companies/startups and 9 researchers belonging to universities or research centres involved;
- 6 finalists selected;
- 1 publication realised for the promotion of the 6 finalists;
- 2 promotional video and other material, for the presentation of the activity and the idea of business that won the contest, realised;
- 1 public award ceremony held in the framework of other events involving relevant stakeholders.

Difficulties encountered

Providing an appropriate time frame for the candidatures, involving relevant target groups and stakeholders, reaching the target group of young researchers and entrepreneurs (age:24-40).

Potential for learning or transfer

- Low cost but effective practice
- Scheme could be applied to other sectors
- Scheme could be developed at transnational level (network of regions)

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Main institution
Tuscany region
Toscana, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
November 2016
End Date
October 2017


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