S3 Peer Review Workshop for National RIS3 in Budapest (HU)
24 Jun 2013 - 25 Jun 2013
S3 PlatformPeer Reviews MainS3 Communities
Independently of whether they are developed at regional or national level, the RIS3 are to be understood as a tool for structural change. Designing RIS3 implies a governance mechanism that involves intensively all appropriate levels of stakeholders and decision makers: it should be an exercise that includes policy development by local, regional and national authorities with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and moreover a sound coordination among the levels. The national level of governments faces strong challenges related to coordination: coordination of related policies and coordination of RIS3 planning and multilevel governance. How to meet these challenges will vary, taking into account diverse governance structures and institutional set-up and capabilities in the different Member States.
The 09th S3 Platform peer-review workshop was held on 24 and 25 June 2013 in the premises of the National Innovation Office in Budapest (HU) and permitted four Member States to present their work on Research and Innovation strategies for smart specialisation and receive peer feedback from 'critical friends' from both national and regional authorities. Around 60 participants from 20 different countries participated.
A warm welcome focusing on the importance and potential of RIS3 as a tool for change was given by László Turóczy, Deputy Minister of State for Competitiveness, Ministry of National Economy and Normunds Popens, Deputy Director General, DG REGIO.
Nicola Bellini, Professor of Institute of Management, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa and expert of the Smart Specialization Platform underlined in his presentation the need for having an outwards looking perspective ("being self-referential leads to the risk of being irrelevant) and for policy makers to understand relational assets (who talks with whom).
Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of Unit of "Knowledge for Growth" at IPTS strongly supported the message from Nicola Bellini and showed how the RIS3 steps are a strong tool for structural change.
In the second session on multilevel governance of research and innovation policies, Armin Mahr, Head of Strategy Unit for regional & location policy, Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research gave results from the OCED project on Smart Specialisation and emphasized the importance of the entrepreneurial process of discovery and the need for long term stakeholder involvement and engagement of actors. Armin Mahr stressed the need for trans-national cooperation and underlined the potential for the Danube strategy.
Adrian Healy from Cardiff School of Planning and Geography stressed the importance of bringing people together ("Creating spaces where things happen and people meet") and to consider firms interest in innovation before granting public support.
Kevin Richardson from the Department of Business, Innovation and skills in UK, explained the difficult multi-level governance situation in the UK following the abolition of the regional development agencies and the set-up of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships in England. He announced that England would register at the S3 Platform.
Fernando Mérida Martín, from the Spanish Ministry of Economy presented an interesting mapping of the different specialisation fields of the Spanish regions and explained the complexities of multi-level governance in Spain and rather weak coordination on innovation between the regional and national levels in Spain.
On day 2 of the workshop, Fatime Barbara Hegyi from the S3 Platform at the Joint Research Centre, European Commission, gave an introduction to the services and activities of the platform.
Åge Mariussen, Institute leader of Botnia-Atlantica Institute and expert of the Smart Specialisation Platform talked about why transnational learning is crucial for structural change and hence why it is important for RIS3 while Inger Midtkandal, also from the S3 Platform gave an introduction to the S3 Peer Review and explained the objectives and methodology for the peer review sessions that were to follow.
In the closing session of the workshop, the four member states thanked the active participation of the other participants in the role as critical friends and identified the main lessons learned they would take home.
The experts underlined the strength of the S3 process and its potential for testing out big ideas for re-industrialisation. Emphasised was the importance of allowing necessary time as a rushed approach might lead to failure and lack of credibility. More important in the process than coordination are both collaboration and engagement.
The RIS3 process is also about knowledge management. It boils down to individuals talking together and having things done. We might have to accept failure, but then it is important to know how to learn from it. The S3 Peer Review Workshop can be one step in a longer process of structural change.
Key words identified from the peer review discussions were CREDIBILITY, RE-INDUSTRIALISATION, BIG IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT.