EROI: a web platform hosting a digital community which fosters exchange of knowledge and collaborations and proposes solutions through open innovation processes
EROI raises awareness on open innovation practices and fosters connections among the regional innovation ecosystem (SMEs, labs, incubators, startups, clusters).
The platform allows users to tackle innovation needs collaboratively. It builds upon the knowledge/competencies of a broad community.
Users can:
- demand/offer solutions to specific problems or needs: participants share innovation challenges; provide potential solutions; create thematic discussion groups;
- connect with partners to participate in innovation projects requiring abilities from different fields;
- receive updates on technology and innovation developments.

This digital tool reinforces an already structured regional innovation system which counts on support measures developed by Emilia-Romagna Region.
EROI adopts the priority sectors identified by the Region in the framework of the S3 - including CCIs: users can choose specific categories according to their fields of interest.

By encouraging supply/demand for innovation, EROI encourages the advancement of technological competencies and solutions for CCIs, which generally don’t fully exploit the advantages of the digital world.

The platform is a key tool to support CCIs in facing COVID19 challenges: the group Cultural Antidote was opened to gather stakeholders who can share information, reports and cross-sectorial solutions that can help these industries in adapting to new scenario.

Promoted by Emilia-Romagna Region and managed by ART-ER.

Resources needed

€ 40.000 for collaborative processes aimed at designing the tool
€ 40.000 for the development and launch of the tool
€ 30.000 for administration and maintenance of the tool (per year)
€ 25.000 for community management and communication

The tool is financed by regional and european funds.

Evidence of success

The platform - launched in '19 with only 117 early-bird subscribers - can count on 1700 active users.
Participants vary greatly (which is the ultimate aim of the platform itself): 43% employees, 25% freelancers, 8% entrepreneurs, 5% startuppers, 19% researchers.
In June '20: 25 challenges shared, with 51 potential solutions; 110 news published; 34 thematic groups created.

Subscribers’ main topics of interests are: open innovation (15%), creativity (14%), greentech (10%), ICT (9%).

Potential for learning or transfer

For decades, European regions have been investing several resources in research and development in order to foster competitiveness: EROI is an ally which can further support already existing innovation policies implemented by other regions.
It does not propose disruptive change, rather it brings added value to innovation ecosystems by favouring connections and collaborations.
Several Italian regions have already adopted it: indeed, the platform was first developed by a public administration in OSS, which enables other entities to replicate and adjust the tool according to the specificities of a certain area.

In this uncertain context generated by COVID-19, the group Cultural Antidote can also be easily replicated: it is a digital space allowing players from different sectors operating in a specific territory (and with specific needs) to virtually meet and rethink together the future of the cultural sector, which is experiencing backlashes at a global level.

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Main institution
Emilia-Romagna region
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
June 2018
End Date


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