Bringing key stakeholders together – IMPROVE
IMPROVE project aims to develop better delivery of RDI policies by creating new management and implementation methods. With the contribution of project´s activities containing Thematic Workshops and Peer Reviews, learning processes have launched both on interregional level between project partners and regional level with local stakeholders. Regional level cooperation with stakeholders takes place in a regular basis playing a major role through the project bringing regional level knowledge to support project`s activities.
During 1st year of the project the purpose has been to raise awareness and understanding among regional stakeholders of project`s objectives and key activities. Representatives from authorities, industries and RDI-organisations have gathered together to discuss the project`s overall objectives and meaning for the region as well as finding new tools to develop implementation of RDI. Through discussions areas of improvements and possible solutions to specific issues are jointly identified. Stakeholders` contribution to project`s activities support partner regions to design their activities further taking into consideration different actors` viewpoints and fit them together while creating joint commitment to project`s activities. Stakeholders` involvement through project is highly important in order to guarantee the proper elaboration and implementation of the Action Plans.
Regionally specific needs, challenges and areas for improvements were discussed in 1st semester`s stakeholder meetings. Topics were related to regional strategies as Smart Specialisation strategy with it`s priorities as well as coordination and implementation methods of structural funds. Discussions with stakeholders created a good basis for analysing regional situation in terms of implementation of RDI policies. Some of the partners focused on reviewing the policy instruments as Smart Specialisation strategies while the other partners focused more on topics such as how to foster public-private partnership and involvement of companies in the field of innovation. In semester`s 2 stakeholder meetings discussion was related to several topics such as design of RIS3, identification of new priorities, incentives and commitments for partnership with the private sector as well as the main conclusions of the State of the Art report.
The most relevant findings for further work in IMPROVE were related to redefining of Smart Specialisation Strategies, coordination of different funding instruments as well as enhancing cooperation between companies and RDI organisations. Also the dedicated calls for S3 and needs for monitoring system for the next programming period were considered important findings. Fruitful discussions with key stakeholders create a good basis for project`s further activities and serve as excellent opportunities to prepare for the next programming period.
IMPROVE webpage https://www.interregeurope.eu/improve/