The S3 monitoring system needs to represent and keep track of all the main elements of the intervention logic at the basis of S3. This means to set up an articulated system of indicators associated to each and all of the priority areas defined in the strategy.
The minimum required elements for a meaningful S3 monitoring system are: (i) output indicators (measuring the actual level of implementation of the policies and related actions), (ii) result indicators (measuring the degree of achievement of the strategy's socio-economic objectives), (iii) their explicit articulation by S3 priority areas, (iv) their logical link with the expected changes and objectives to which they will contribute. The S3 monitoring system may also include (v) structural change and specialisation indicators (measuring the evolution of production systems within and between the S3 areas), and (vi) context indicators (providing a picture of the competitiveness of the regional economy and the evolution of the regional innovation system as a whole).
The current approach of Emilia-Romagna (IT) to smart specialisation focuses on two lines of action: reinforcing and modernising existing clusters as well as discovering emerging ones with a high potential for innovation and employment. The idea is to support the evolution of the industrial system towards a higher capacity for better managing the immaterial/intangible aspects of value chains. ASTER - a consortium for industrial research, technology transfer and innovation - oversees the monitoring activities of the S3 through a system capturing four measurement dimensions:
- Implementation (output indicators);
- Change of the regional economy in terms of specialisation domains (specialisation and transition indicators);
- Effectiveness of the overall strategy (result indicators);
- Evolution of the regional economy (context indicators).
This differentiated approach allows catering to different target groups. Especially ‘change indicators’ are at the core of Emilia Romagna’s effort to promote specialisation in activity areas with proven strengths and potential. Within this broad category, the ‘specialisation indicators’ cover e.g. patents, research grants, value of business-research contracts, share of new start-ups and number of SMEs per specialisation area. These indicators show how the regional economy is advancing in the selected specialisation areas. They also capture how the regional economy is moving along the selected innovative drivers. An online portal is under construction and will allow the visualisation of monitoring data. This device will be a key communication tool to inform stakeholders and the broader public about the implementation of the S3 in the region, providing freely accessible data.
Emilia Romagna’s presentation at the Peer eXchange and Learning workshop in Bologna (IT), Nov. 2015 (in English)
Monitoring, priorities, indicators