RIS3 Assessment Wheel: A synthetic tool to position yourselves and your RIS3 *

Driving economic change through Smart Specialisation/RIS3

The development of a tool for the synthetic representation of the progress made in drafting/designing a RIS3 allows condensing a huge amount of information in one visual modality. Although limitations might play a significant role, namely those linked to making a complex process appear simple, the assessment wheel can usefully support a number of activities, e.g. self-assessments, peer-reviews, expert contributions, presentations at dissemination, discussion and negotiation meetings, etc.

The wheel is built on the basis of the six steps described in the RIS3 Guide and the identification of 3 critical factors for each step.

The scaling tool (from 0 to 5) estimates the seriousness of the evidence provided in the process as far as each critical factor is concerned with the following meaning:

0 = no information available on the specific element
1 = poor
2 = to be improved
3 = fair
4 = strong
5 = excellent

Once the assessment is complete, the final result would appear in a form of "spider graph" where the strongest and weakest positioning would be easily highlighted. This immediate visual recognition of strengths and weaknesses would allow focusing further activity such as:
  • completion / upgrade of the national or regional RIS3;
  • appropriate consideration of territorial features, priorities and needs in the multi-level governance process at country level;
  • preparation and negotiation of funding programmes such as the EU cohesion policy operational programmes;
  • reviews, comparisons and benchmarking;
  • reflection on training/coaching activity needed in a particular defined segment;
  • definition of co-operation activities and establishment of mutual learning / twinning tools.
Please note that the concise explanatory table below is just a quick reference tool to assist you with the assessment of the regional/national RIS3 using the steps of the RIS3 Guide. Therefore, a thorough evaluation exercise requires an assessment of the region/country according to the detailed definitions/explanations available in the RIS3 Guide and Annexes.
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RIS3 Guide Steps Sections RIS3 Guide reference Short explanatory Marks
Regional / National Assets Step 1 (page 18) + Annex I (pages 28-33) - regional / national assets' endowment
- innovation potential & skills for knowledge based development
0 to 5
Outward Dimension Step 1 (page 19) + Annex I (pages 28-33) - connectivity - knowledge, trade & skills flows 
- positioning in trans-regional and international value chains
- trans-regional/international collaboration networks
Entreprenurial Dynamics Step 1 (page 20) + Annex I (pages 28-33) - start-ups, clusters, entrepreneurial networks
- new forms of self-employment, etc.
Governance Structures Step 2 (page 21) + Annex I (pages 34-44) - identification of specific bodies and definition of their tasks, roles and responsibilities 0 to 5
Broad Participation - interactive, consensus-based application of collaborative leadership principles
- quadruple helix actors (involvement of boundary spanners)
Management & Communication - use of open forum discussion and citizen dialogue
- e-governance
Broad View of Innovation Step 3 (page 22) + Annex I (pages 45-50) - are social, organisational, service and market innovation considered beside technological and science based innovation? 0 to 5
Grand Challenges - societal inclusive, environmental and sustainable economic development
Scenario Analysis - risk assessment and contingency plan for possible future changes
Revision of Past Priorities Step 4 (page 22) + Annex I (pages 51-52) - critical revision of past experiences (from RIS to RIS3)
- dynamic identification of actual or potential areas with competitive advantages
0 to 5
Consistency - alignment with context analysis and harvesting of entrepreneurial discoveries and DAE
Critical Mass - concentration of resources to the limited number of priorities
Roadmap Step 5 (page 23) + Annex I (pages 53-58) - including action plan and pilot projects 0 to 5
Balance - appropriate mix of targeted and horizontal measures
Framework Conditions - e.g. allowing for support to experimentation, etc.
Output & Result Indicators Step 6 (pages 24-25) + Annex I (pages 59-64) - selection of a limited number of output & result Indicators linked to priorities with clearly identified baselines and targets 0 to 5
Monitoring - mechanisms, supported by appropriate data collection, to verify how the activities in the RIS3 are delivering the output and result targets
RIS3 Update - revision of priorities and policy mix as a result of the monitoring exercise

*The final layout of the RIS3 assessment wheel was elaborated by the S3 Platform on the basis of the original contribution and proposal by Christian Saublens, Executive Manager of EURADA – the European Association of Development Agencies.

S3P Assessment Wheel: A quick guide to use the wheel
(182 KB - XLS)