Innovation approaches depend on the local context. To assess the maturity of the context a self-assessment tool for Demand-Driven Innovation was developed.
Successful cases of implementing demand-driven innovation proves that it matters a lot how innovation approaches are designed and implemented to fit the local needs. The healthcare systems are shaped by the context, and features of particular innovative interventions need to “fit” in this context appropriately. If not done effectively, the intervention(s) may not deliver the expected benefits. The SCIROCCO Exchange tool for Demand-Driven Innovation addresses this need by helping stakeholders to understand the local conditions enabling the uptake of innovation. In particular the Tool helps stakeholders to understand:
• the local context and conditions for delivering innovation in health and social care, including its strengths and weaknesses;
• the readiness level of an ecosystem to adopt and scale-up innovation;
• the actions that more progressive regions have taken to be successful and enable information sharing, twinning and coaching to overcome barriers and accelerate results in innovation.
The Tool is being used in the following steps:
• selection of stakeholders to conduct the process;
• individual assessments;
• consensus-building meetings to facilitate complex, multi-stakeholder discussions and guide regions on how to improve their readiness for the implementation and scaling-up of innovation. The main beneficiaries are all innovation intermediaries such as policymakers, SMEs, academia, innovation centres, living-labs, citizens, industry and other.
The SCIROCCO Exchange tool is free to use for all interested stakeholders; It was developed in collaboration with the EU Health Programme funded project – SCIROCCO Exchange - which funded the technical development of the Tool; the total of 40K was used for the technical development of the Tool.
Evidence of success
The initial version of the Tool was developed to capture the maturity for integrated care, used in over 50 regions, with nearly 1200 assessments completed and 650 unique users. The successful use of this version led to its adaptation for two new areas: demand-driven innovation and digital neighbourhood. In addition, the Tool has been translated and adapted in 10 languages. Recently, there is also a great level of evidence on embedding the Tool locally to support the improvement planning.
The main challenge during the use of the Tool was the translation into additional languages to improve the experience and engagement of users. This process proved that the translation was not enough and the adaptation and flexibility of the Tool to reflect the local context was inevitable.
Potential for learning or transfer
The good practice has already proven to be interesting for other regions which can be demonstrated by the high uptake of SCIROCCO Exchange tool and by the demand to expand the use of the Tool to new areas such as demand-driven innovation. Currently, the SCIROCCO Exchange Tool for Demand-Driven Innovation was applied by organisations in Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Flanders (Belgium), Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), North Denmark, Scotland and Timis (Romania). With its 12 dimensions and maturity assessment scales, the Tool provides a unique framework for the multi-stakeholder discussions and exchange of knowledge. Understanding the local needs also allows much more effective learning tailored to the local strengths and weaknesses identified in the maturity assessment process. Some stakeholders also reported that understanding of the local conditions enabling the uptake of innovation also help to inform decision-making and planning of future priorities.