Innovative methodological scheme for strategic planning decisions in public administrations, based on foresight, roadmapping and stakeholders’ participation.
Goods production and services delivering shifted to a knowledge-based economy and to an acceleration of innovation processes: policy makers are requested to adopt innovation policies, dealing with a) technology transfer governance, b) set up of regional innovation strategies (RIS). This requires a direct and structured involvement of relevant stakeholders and implies a high level of complexity. Tuscany Region (TR) developed a 5-step model for strategic planning, based on foresight and roadmapping. 1. Foresight/roadmapping: 13 regional Innovation Poles (IP) have been requested to organise open workshops on their specific fields and focused on technologies able to: a) upgrade the current state of art, b) introduce discontinuities, c) diffuse innovation/technologies, d) activate the innovation potential. As result of this phase, IP indicated relevant main roadmaps suggesting policy initiatives enabling strategic investments. 2. External Expert (EE) assessment of the roadmaps. EE completed a matrix stressing and describing main concentrations of good technological roadmaps and connections between technologies and sectors. 3. Open thematic workshops for roadmaps discussion. 4. Draft RIS3 document: main result of previous phases, the draft contains: context analysis; technological priorities; main integrated roadmaps and an action plan (indication of policy tools and financial framework). 5. Final RIS3 document/institutional validation after a peer reviewing with foreign regions.

Resources needed

A total of about 200.000,00 euro: covering costs of internal personnel, external experts, workshops and working groups organisation, communication and visibility actions (covered by Tuscany Region ROP ERDF funds).

Evidence of success

40 initiatives (entrepreneurial discovery process) organised by 13 regional IP; 119 roadmaps proposed by the IP; 12 EE engaged for roadmaps assessment and evaluation; 1 plenary session with stakeholders exposing the whole processes; 10 open thematic workshops; 1 final session presenting the main findings of the thematic workshops; 2 peer reviewing workshops with foreign regions, supported by the JRC-S3 Platform; over 300 stakeholders involved; RIS3 validated after a large participative process.

Difficulties encountered

To avoid asymmetries among participants/coalitions, external experts have been engaged for validation/legitimacy of contents/results of foresight exercises. To guarantee stakeholders participation, even remote participation has been encouraged (streaming/webcasting/twitter/online questionnaires).

Potential for learning or transfer

The methodological scheme proposed represents an interesting tool for public administrations in charge of strategic planning and, in particular, for regional RIS definition, updating, monitoring and evaluation. The described methodology addresses strategic planning uncertainties, both in terms of problem setting and solution finding with a scheme based on foresight and large participation processes, combining both wide participation and shared vision construction processes.
The proposed model could be also easily applied by regions in order to implement discovery and participatory processes to enhance regional opportunities through interregional partnerships, with a view of designing regional policies leveraging on constructed interregional advantage.

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Main institution
Tuscany Region
Start Date
May 2012
End Date
November 2014


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Good Practices being followed by

Lotte van Meijel

Policy Learning Platform

Manuel Heinrich

Regionalmanagement Mittelhessen GmbH