To set up structures and systems to stimulate, guide and drive the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process at national level
RELOS3 focuses on implementing regional RIS3 in a local context by actively involving local authorities, innovation actors and companies. To ensure a continuous entrepreneurial discovery process involving all actors of the quadruple helix, the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) set up a Core Group, a Steering Group as well as dedicated focus groups to fine tune and refine the identification of Malta’s competitive strengths and smart specialisation areas. Through these mechanisms, stakeholders are also assisted to develop their R&I ideas and proposals. The Core Group and Steering Groups are both high level groups. The former is composed of high level ministerial representatives (ministers and permanent secretaries) whilst the latter is composed of high level representatives (i.e. heads of institutions) of key stakeholders such as the University of Malta, MCAST, Chamber of Commerce, Malta Enterprise etc. The Core and Steering Groups are tasked with overseeing the entrepreneurial discovery process, ensuring political commitment at the highest of levels, coordination among the various key stakeholders and the oversight of the process as a whole.
Dedicated team of 2 FTEs.
Evidence of success
The nature of what we proposed as a good practice example, the “governance structure” cannot really be summarised into quantifiable results. However, it is through the governance system that Malta has managed to achieve good cooperation between ministries and entities, since research and innovation are in themselves cross-cutting in nature. This relationship that has been strengthened over the years is bearing its fruits in the drafting of the new RIS3 for post-2020.
Engaging the quadruple helix. Getting the key people in one room sometimes has proven to be a challenge. Particularly engaging civil society has not been easy, as they do not always understand what RIS3 means and how it is important to civil society.
Potential for learning or transfer
The governance structure established for Malta’s RIS3 is an effective method to tackle fragmented government systems and can easily be applied to other regional authorities without incurring heavy costs. Bringing together high level technical stakeholders and high level political representatives ensures ownership and engagement, resulting in a smoother RIS3 implementation process. If players are involved in the decision making, implementation on a national and regional level can be streamlined. Learning includes how to engage the full quadruple helix in a bottom-up approach for RIS3 policy making in small economies. Also methodologies to overseeing the entrepreneurial discovery process, ensuring political commitment at the highest of levels, coordination among the various key stakeholders and the oversight of the process as a whole is part of the learning transfer.