Integrating policies around RIS3 priorities


Wallonia (2016)

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Walloon Regional Government

The preparation of our RIS3 has resulted in the integration of industrial R&D and innovation policies with clusters acting as the central node. Furthermore, the specialisation niches (smart combination of markets and technologies) emerging from the clusters (which mix enterprises, universities, research centres and training centres) are more widely considered as core priorities for the region overall. The RIS3 is now the main reference for all the related policy tools at regional level - and not only for the ESI funds - allowing greater coherence and synergies.

The strategy identifies four mutually reinforcing axes to deepen smart specialisation: Fostering innovation along the whole cycle, Involving innovative SMEs, Internationalisation, and Circular economy and resource efficiency. The objectives are to stimulate a continuous renewal of innovation dynamics, reveal and consolidate the most relevant specialisation niches and innovative value chains, so as to drive economic renewal and transformation of the regional economy in a globalised context.

With regard to internationalisation, we have opened a dialogue to map regional priorities in the context of European programmes, allowing us to act on a coordinated basis with stakeholders. This approach has already borne fruit: Firstly, a stronger collaboration has developed between clusters organisations and the regional contact point for identifying opportunities in Horizon 2020. Secondly, we have strengthened our involvement in European networks such as the Vanguard Initiative, the European Chemical Regions Network and the Bio-Industry Consortium, with the collaboration of regional stakeholders. Concrete projects are already emerging from these activities, especially around the additive manufacturing thematic and bio-based economy.
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The objectives are to stimulate a continuous renewal of innovation dynamics.