This good practice presents the possibilities to engage in developing innovation ecosystems to tackle common challenges (shared agendas).
Bages is a county in central Catalonia with a population of around 180,000. Its capital, Manresa, hosts the Bages University Foundation (FUB) – UManresa, one of the branches of the University of Vic – University of Central Catalonia. The university has been fostering the definition and implementation of share agendas to tackle the challenges of the territory through innovation-based projects.
The shared agenda on dependent persons and chronicity tackles two main axes: ageing and its effects on chronical illnesses, and the economic development of the health sector and social assistance. To define and undertake innovation projects around these challenges, agents from the quadruple helix were mobilised, including public administrations (Manresa’s City Hall and Bages’ County Council), R&I providers (led by FUB, a large technology centre, and R&I institutions, including hospitals and other HEIs), industry (including SMEs, large companies, and business associations), and civil society (several associations related to these challenges). They have generated a network including the abovementioned institutions to foster the collaboration under innovation-based projects to tackle common territorial challenges.
Under these collaborations, and tackling this challenge, they are developing a health observatory, a cluster around this sector, a network of business angels, or an accelerator platform for projects, among other initiatives. Throughout public and private funding (organisations
The shared agenda works under the logic of projects. That means that every project has its own funding scheme (with public and private resources). Additionally, some general funding can be used to implement or co-finance several projects or the horizontal activities of the agenda.
Evidence of success
The undertaking of this shared agenda has meant the development of new collaborations in the region, which has already been translated into actual project where public funds are involved (including the request of ERDF) but also private funding, and the use of their infrastructure to implement projects tackling these common challenges.
While the initiative has been successful, there is room for improvement. Larger support from public administrations would be desirable, including better funding schemes, or more flexible ones, which can ensure that project adapt fast to societal needs around this challenge.
Potential for learning or transfer
Developing shared agendas (where stakeholders collaborate under common territorial challenges) is becoming a key aspect to consider when assessing how to foster collaborations among stakeholders. Therefore, promoting these initiatives based on ensuring that organisations and companies collaborate under challenges that are of the interest of them all can be a good practices to be explored and further implemented, for its logic can be applied to any territory and its stakeholders.