Section-2.3-Guidance.. - IntelSpace Innovation Technologies SA

Objective: The scope of this section is to provide guidance on setting-up the RIS3
decision making system and discuss the rules for participation, taking into account the
RIS3 Guide and conclusions of the regional and national assessment reports prepared
by DG Regio Expert Group.
1. Governance
Starting a RIS3 it is necessary to define the decision making and management
structures, which will ensure the participation of key actors, regional ownership of the
strategy and action plan, and a balance between bottom-up and to-down governance.
Because of current changes in the economy and the rise of “intention” and “pull”
economies, it is necessary that new demand-side perspectives, embodied in
innovation-user or interest groups of consumers, are represented along with
organizations that offer a knowledge-based but supply-facing perspective. The most
important types of organisation that need to be involved in the RIS3 process are public
authorities, universities and other knowledge-based institutions, investors and
enterprises, civil society actors, and international experts. Such organizations can be
identified by a quick mapping of the regional knowledge ecosystem, and the different
categories of actors included.
2. Leadership
Leadership is "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal". In the case of
RIS3, leadership has to achieve a truly place-based entrepreneurial process of
discovery, combined with intensive experimentation and discovery of niches for
specialization / differentiation. Leadership of RIS3 can be political, led by elected
governments, managerial, led by entrepreneurs and private sector representatives,
and intellectual, led by people in the academia and research.
Since smart
specialization, differentiation, and productive modernization are main objectives of
RIS3, leadership and priority setting should be heavily oriented by entrepreneurs and
private sector participants. This is particularly needed in Greece where private sector
investment in research and innovation is the major challenge to address. However,
“No matter who is involved, the RIS3 process needs to be interactive, regionally-driven
and consensus based” (RIS3 Guide, p. 35). Effective collaborative leadership among
the key actors involved in the RIS3 requires the emergence of common practices and
ways of setting common objectives and win-win strategies.
3. Innovation governance in Greece
Most Greek regions have previous experience in bottom-up participatory innovation
policy, gained from RIS, RIS plus, and Regional Programs of Innovative actions, all
funded by DG Regio during 1995-2006. Regional Innovation Poles implemented by
GSRT in 5 regions were also bottom-up approaches. Besides this know-how, since
2006, R&I policy was centralised and undertaken by GSRT. GSRT elaborated a
‘shadow’ program of research and technological innovation based on aggregation of
funds from the 13 regional OPs. Continuity with regional innovation strategies was
lost. The current innovation program is top-down and it is being implemented without
even informing the regions. The design for the period 2014-2020 started also top –
down, led by the Intermediate Managing Authorities without involvement of
stakeholders from academia and the business community. The DG Expert Group
introduced the agenda and organization of bottom-up RIS3 according to the RIS3
Guide during the assessment visits in the 13 regions. At the regional level, the
credibility of national authorities managing innovation funds is extremely low. Elected
regional authorities consider that Athens is taking advantage of regional funds without
benefits for the regions.
4. Current institutional framework
To date, the institutional framework for innovation policy has changed: Regions and
elected regional councils have new responsibilities for economic development,
industry, energy, tourism, and productive restructuring, given by the law 3852/2010
(Kallikratis reform) and have to endorse the regional Operational Programs of 20142020. For the programming period 2014-2020, the design of cohesion policies started
in April 2012. However, the first Ministerial Directive and the produced accordingly
regional reports do not provide guidance for collaborative and bottom-up elaboration
of innovation priorities as foreseen in RIS3. Reports prepared by the Regions are not
S3 strategies, but reply to specifications for SWOT and first priority setting for 11
objectives of EU 2020 strategy. Governance of RIS3 can follow the same pattern to all
Greek regions, because: (1) bottom-up elaboration of RIS3 is missing in all regions, (2)
the institutional framework for innovation governance is common to all regions, and
(3) Greek regions, besides the differences in development levels and innovation
capability suffer from the same weaknesses in the governance of innovation. This
common framework will provide also the links between strategies for research (usually
decided at national level) and strategies for innovation (usually under the
responsibility or developed in coordination with regional authorities).
5. Proposed RIS3 governance tiers
Regional authorities, having now the legal responsibility for OP 2014-2020, should
establish a new framework for bottom-up strategic planning with the direct
involvement of regional stakeholders from the business community, academia, and the
society. We recommend the adoption of a decision making structure composed of
three tiers
(a) The regional council under the Governor and the elected council as top
decision making body.
(a) A Steering Committee or Regional Innovation Board composed of regional
stakeholders from the quadruple helix, allowing for a variety of innovations
other than the ones strongly based on technology or science,and
(b) Thematic working groups focusing on main sectors of smart specialisation
under the IMA, with the participation of experts, entrepreneurs, and public
servants with management know how.
The rules of participation, roles and responsibilities should be clearly defined. Bottomup and participatory strategic planning should extent over the entire planning process,
from regional needs analysis, foresight, SWOT analysis, scenario assessment, priorities
setting, design of actions, monitoring. This collaborative decision making will provide
legitimacy in the selection of large-scale projects and ownership of proposed policies
and actions.
6. Members for RIS3 partnership: Selecting members
Members of RIS3 participatory decision making in tiers 2 and 3 should be selected
according to clear criteria ensuring the involvement of the most creative and efficient
members of the regional society. Below we provide a list of quantitative and qualitative
criteria for selection.
Companies selection
Higher turnover
Higher turnover growth
Higher exports
High participation in EU research
Successful cases in start-ups awards
Public administration
Regional development agencies
Geographical units representation
Individuals having high managerial
R&D labs selection
Industry focused
Contracts with companies
Most contracts from EU research
Managing open infrastructures and testbeds
Users and NGOs - Coordinators of
Open clubs / open coffee initiative
Producer networks
Non-profit associations
Product development platforms
Open source initiatives
7. Wrap-up: Questions to address
This section concluded with a series of questions to discuss one-by-one with the
participants of the workshop. Points of view and suggestions by the participants will
facilitate the next steps of the RIS3 process. Main questions for a wrap-up are:
How to coordinate national and regional decisions making. Which division of
roles and responsibilities?
How to make a quick mapping of the regional knowledge ecosystem?
How to set-up the overall structure of RIS3 governance?
How to select members for different RIS3 tiers?
How to achieve private sector leadership?
How to achieve continuity with previous bottom-up innovation initiatives?
How to adapt the development reports of the 1st Directive to RIS3 rational and