Drawing funding and financing scenarios for effective implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies
This report uses the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) framework to characterise the different funding that is available. The major bottlenecks in the innovation process that can arise through the lack of appropriate funding are discussed along with the background and the utility and criticisms of the TRL. The use of TRL to characterise and map research and innovation in the EU provides a useful framework. However, there is a need to broaden the scope of TRL to include commercialisation of new products and services and scale-up business capacities. Furthermore, it is limited by its technology focus, while innovation can embrace many aspects beyond the purely technological.
This work has also highlighted many issues that can affect the optimal combination of funds. There is a need for cross-cutting knowledge of the different funds rather than there being ''silo-thinking'' where a person only considers the area in which they directly work and not interrelated areas in other domains. Hand in hand with this is a better understanding of how beneficiaries decided between funding options and the support they may require. This support can include clearer information communicated with regards to the funds and also the financial instruments that are available, such as those implemented by the European Investment bank. Finally, an improved alignment of the rules of participation of the various funds is needed, both between the different funds at the EU level but also with national funding.