Nouvelle-Aquitaine has experiment the negotiation of partnership agreements with industrials leaders.
Within its regional innovation policy, Nouvelle-Aquitaine promotes the animation of key industrial sectors (advanced materials, Aeronautics,…) and has developed long-term relationship with strategic companies. In order to formalize reciprocal commitments to anticipate technological and industrial mutations, the Region has experiment the negotiation of partnership agreements with industrials leaders. This approach seeks to define shared objectives, especially in terms of emergence of new activities with high development potential. The main objectives of those contracts are to reinforce the local development of the partners and their anchoring on the territory. The partnership agreements provide a framework to reinforce regional collaborations with academics, SMEs as suppliers or co-developers under animation and coordination of 2 referents (a project manager from the Region and the other one from the company). A special attention is paid to promote networking and cooperation through the definition of collaborative projects. Depending on the enlisted actions or projects, the referents rely on skills of operational teams from the Region, the company or associated partners as the regional agency for growth and innovation. They report the progress of the program to a steering committee involving the company CEO and the President of the Regional Council.
A project manager for each partnership + communication budget (internal/external)
The partnerships are steered as a coordination tools and mobilize existing policy instruments; the actions/projects are funded on the base of budgets of operational directorates.
Evidence of success
The policy has demonstrated its ability to foster synergies between the political (long term vision), the financial (projects funding) and the engineering (networking, projects mgt.) skills of the Region.
Partnership agreements were signed and evaluated for the 2009-2011 period with following indicators: amount of regional investments, No. of collaborative R&D programs, No. of associated regional SMEs, amount of grants. Most contracts have been renewed
Each company is different in terms of objectives, decision-making, organization and the negotiation of each agreement needs a a tailored approach. Considering human factors that govern the nature of relations, time is needed to build the required trust and address ambitious long-term challenges.
Potential for learning or transfer
Following the RIS3 requirements, the role and weight of important industrial stakeholders in the definition (and implementation) of the regional policy is a question of interest. Partnership agreements may help to achieve a balance between the response to their needs and their contribution to a regional strategy which has to consider other interests.
Such partnership agreements may contribute to the dissemination of the regional objectives, ensure a better ownership of the regional RIS3 and reinforce the Stakeholders involvement.
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