Vestland County Municipality (SFCM)(until 31.12.2019 Sogn og Fjordane County Municipality)
Young people are leaving rural areas because they do not find jobs answering their professional aspirations. There is therefore a need to boost innovation in these areas in order to develop knowledge-based or creative businesses, offering attractive jobs for well-educated and creative young people. The partners from Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Spain have identified that triple helix (3H) or quadruple helix (4H) cooperation is important to boost innovation in rural areas. Management of innovation tools must not copy lessons and solutions from metropolitan areas but be adapted to the specific features of rural innovation systems, which are characterised by asymmetric relations and uneven resources between public, R&D and SMEs actors, and by shortage of scientific disciplines.
The overall objective of P-IRIS is to improve policies related to 3H / 4H cooperation in rural innovation systems. We want to increase the number of SMEs in innovative networks and the number of innovation projects including R&D. It is also an ambition to improve the skills of public authorities & support systems as managers and mentors of 3H or 4H networks, and the use of related innovation tools. A 3-step interregional learning process will be applied:
Mapping challenges & opportunities of managing 3H or 4H cooperation in rural innovation systems. Exchange experience in thematic seminars and demonstrate potential good practice in study visits. Prepare regional action plans.
Six policy instruments will be improved in terms of governance measures and new projects. 9,5 MEUR in Structural Funds, as well as 5,1 MEUR of other funds are estimated to be influenced by the project. The implementation of improved policy instruments are envisaged to improve the innovation readiness in rural areas by increasing the number of SMEs cooperating with R&D institutions and authorities, and raising the share of businesses based on advanced knowledge or creative skills - increasing green growth and eco-innovation.