The significant changes to R&I funding in our region was made possible through the relevancy and legitimacy of the selected RIS3 priorities. The five specialisation domains which have arisen are much more precise than those of previous RIS, such as “system design for energy storage” instead of “energy efficiency”. This was a result of the methods we adopted and support from the S3 Platform. In particular, four factors were instrumental:
- The highest political authorities were involved from the beginning
- The choice of the priorities was based on very clear and agreed criteria
- The Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) only involved entrepreneurs who had a vision for the future of their company and, more largely, of the emerging value chains.
- A genuine dialogue was established with stakeholders and not just a formal consultation
The process allowed us to more easily change and focus the policy mix. For example, since the adoption of our RIS3 a new tool has been designed: “Ambition R&D 2020” grants which are projects clearly connected to a RIS3 priority and worth up to €10M instead of €200K for similar projects before. Thus the legitimacy of the specialisation domains has allowed us to dedicate the largest part of ERDF to R&I.We have already approved five major projects linked to RIS3 priorities, which are based on their ability to generate socio-economic impact. They relate to energy storage (Lavoisier), biopharmaceuticals (Biomédicaments), cosmetics (CosmetoSciences), environmental engineering (Pivots), and tourist heritage (Intelligence des patrimoines). These projects illustrate the concrete implementation of RIS3 on the ground.