EDP implementation in the regional Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3 Crete) to invest novel entrepreneurial remedial activities.
Through RIS3Crete the Region of Crete aims to link research and innovation potential with economic activities and stimulate the cooperation between businesses and research institutions. The environmental remediation sector is a high research objective for the research institutions in Crete, yet of limited business development. For the implementation of RIS3Crete the EDP innovative procedure was followed. In the environmental sector, an Innovation Platform for the Environment was set up including a working group on “Energy Saving and Water Cycle”, in order to reveal specializations on thematic priorities of RIS3Crete unknown so far. Through the EDP process novel technologies for sewage remediation emerged as a priority. During the technical meetings a lot of effort was made to enhance research and business cooperation, highlighting the benefits from such a partnership. A successful campaign on RIS3 Crete led to proposals/ideas, followed by a series of technical meetings with SMEs, academic and R&I bodies. The consultation was coordinated by specialized thematic experts who helped the participants interact with each other and evaluated the ideas. The conclusions of the 1st EDP phase were approved by the Regional Council of Research and Innovation and the M.A. issued three calls for proposals (one in 12/2018 and two in 2019), based on priorities identified by the EDP, including remedial activities.
The EDP solution is a continuous process that requires dedicated human resources more than financing. Requires cooperation of people from various departments and institutions. Financing costs relate: the organization of the workshops, experts and external expertise costs and dissemination material.
Evidence of success
The M.Α. of the RoC issued the 1st call for proposals in Dec 2018, based on thematic areas identified by the EDP. Since then, another four proposals have been launched and three of them are ongoing. The EDP can be transferred to other regions implementing RIS3 regardless the priority areas of each region. It is noteworthy that many of the participants in the EDP were stimulated and finally financed by regional, national RIS3(national RIS3 has also the same priorities) or HORIZON 2020.
The prime difficulty at the initial stages was the lack of comprehension between business sector and Academic & Research institutions followed by a lack of trust on the EDP procedure. The key of success was to persuade researchers to share innovation and feature the potential benefits for each part.
Potential for learning or transfer
It constitutes a significant tool for discovering the critical mass of investments in a region and enhance the cooperation between Academic & Research Institutions and the private sector and can be transferred to other regions implementing RIS3 regardless their priority areas. The EDP implementation in RIS3Crete was a political decision made from the Region of Crete’s Governor. The clear separation of responsibilities between Implementing Authority and the Funding Authorities and the acurate design structure with distinct responsibilities in every level were the key factors for EDP success. Vital elements for the success are: a) innovation platform for each priority and where necessary ay at hoc creation of specialized working groups b) website which also performs surveys for evaluation of EDP and for preparing for the next programming period and c) electronic platform, for the submission, classification and initial evaluation of ideas/projects by potential stakeholders.
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