Interactive RIS3 Guide Interactive RIS3 Guide


Step 6 - Integration of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms

Mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating should be integrated in the strategy and its different components from the very beginning.

Monitoring refers to the need to follow progress of implementation. Evaluation refers to assessing whether and how strategic objectives are met. In order to perform evaluation, it is essential that objectives are clearly defined in a RIS3 in measurable terms at each level of implementation, i.e. from the strategic overall objectives to the specific objectives of each of its actions. A central task of RIS3 design is to identify a parsimonious yet comprehensive set of output and results indicators and to establish baselines for the result indicators and target values for all of them.

The design effort a RIS3 implies does not come to an end when the strategy moves on to the implementation phase. A strategy for smart specialisation should evolve and adjust to changes in economic and framework conditions, as well as to emergence of new evidence during implementation through evaluation and monitoring activities.

Example 7 - Integrated monitoring and evaluation in Lower Austria

The Innovation Assessment Methodology Lower Austria is a comprehensive system of different monitoring and evaluation tools for Lower Austria’s innovation policy. Its aim is to gain insight into the results of innovation support services with the aim of improving delivery instruments, justify amounts spent and promote its success.

One of the tools used is the Balanced Scorecard Methodology, a strategic performance management tool, developed and heavily used in the private sector. In Lower Austria it is used to define the objectives and target values for the 6 components of Lower Austria’s economic strategy (including innovation) and to break them down at intermediary level as well as at programme level.


A particularly important source of information and indications on how to review a RIS3 is peer review, which is a comprehensive RIS3 examination carried out by peer regions. Engaging in this sort of exercises allows learning lessons from regions that might have already experienced some of the problems the peer-reviewed region is facing and/or establishing direct contact with potential partners for cooperation.

Example 8 - Fine-tuning RIS3 through peer review

Peer review can provide regional policy-makers with new and important insight into their RIS3 strategy by looking at it from other regions' perspective. As such, peer-review exercises are currently organised by the S3 Platform (IPTS) in order to allow regions to learn from other regions. In general, such a peer review exercise goes through three stages: preparation, assessment (a review by peer regions and experts) and post-review follow-up.

Stage 1: During the preparation stage, a region has to prepare a structured presentation of their RIS3 strategy following a report template, which addresses a number of areas defined in the RIS3 Guide. The template is provided by the S3 Platform. During this preparatory stage, the representatives of the region under review prepare a review of their region's RIS3 in consultation with the S3 Platform team and experts.

Stage 2: The actual review phase generally takes the form of an interactive workshop. During the workshop, the region under review presents its strategy and has an opportunity to engage in dialogue with peer regions, representatives of the European Commission and independent academic experts working in the field of smart specialisation. Following the peer review phase, the S3 Platform team prepares a summary report, which includes an outline of the peer review session, feedback from peer regions, as well as any conclusions and expert recommendations.

Stage 3: During the post-review follow-up stage, the S3 Platform team will then contact the reviewed region to monitor its progress based on the actions listed in the post-workshop report. The region will be asked to complete a follow-up questionnaire twice: three and six months after the peer review workshop.


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