The Policy Learning Platform organised an online peer review on the topic of 'Sector prioritisation and the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP)' with Vestland County, Norway, on 15-16 September 2020. Five talented peers from France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden shared with the host region their experiences and suggestions for designing Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) with a particular focus on Sector Prioritisation and the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process. 

The host's main policy challenges and peers' suggestions can be found in the peer review in the follow-up report

On 1 January 2020, two counties, Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane, merged to form Vestland County. The two counties have different strategic planning traditions, sector strengths and institutional contexts. The merger has offered Vestland County an opportunity to adopt new policy concepts such as Smart Specialisation Strategy and a mission-oriented innovation approach when merging strategic plans. 

The main policy challenges that the online peer review was addressing were:

  • to merge two planning traditions and create a common Smart Specialisation Strategy,
  • the entrepreneurial discovery process when merging strategic plans,
  • the entrepreneurial discovery process linked to societal challenges,
  • monitoring the EDP.

Building on two days of intense and very rich exchanges with the host and a dynamic group of key stakeholders from the Norwegian context, the peers gave relevant and actionable suggestions on the main policy challenges such as:

  • For the prioritisation process, to concentrate resources is necessary to guarantee a potential impact through critical mass and to avoid spreading investments too thinly across too many sectors.
  • For selecting missions and the EDP, to design a process that becomes more and more specific along the way to achieve the right granularity of priorities.  

Discover more insights and suggestions from the peer review in the follow-up report.

Image credit: Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels