Published on March 13, 2014
Synergies between Structural Funds and EU programmes for supporting innovation: Strategic alignment or back to the future ? Alasdair Reid 11 March 2014 ERRIN Fringe Event, Innovation Convention
Déjà vu ? 2 “…the new EU research and innovation policy offers many opportunities for synergies with the new Structural Fund programmes….this potential is best developed at ‘grassroots’ level by structured strategic collaboration between regional stakeholders” Strategic Evaluation on Innovation and the knowledge based economy in relation to the Structural and Cohesion Funds, for the programming period 2007-2013 Report for DG REGIO, 2006 “…potential synergies of funding from different EU instruments will depend on a bottom-up process of selecting strategic objectives reflected in the policy mix of SF Operational Programmes at national and regional level. The need to combine more than one funding source must be internalised into planning at an early stage.” Synergies between the EU 7th Research Framework Programme, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and the Structural Funds Report for the European Parliament, ITRE Committee, 2007 “…a more detailed assessment of spatial coverage of possible synergies is required, as an initial review suggests that only a limited number of regions have currently potential to benefit from synergies between the programmes.” As above
So have things improved since 2007 ? http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/innovation/policy/ regional-innovation/ 3
Absorption of funds allocated to RTDI - 2007-13 • ‘Absorption rate’ defined as funds committed to projects as a share of what was initially allocated under RTDI priorities • Regions in Northern Italy show a very high absorption rate of SF • Good absorption rates found in SE, BE and NL • Weak absorption rates in regions in GR, ES, IT and PL • Lowest rates in Hungarian regions 5
Marked differences in funding priorities… • FP leading absorbers mainly located in SE, AT and DE • SF leading users focus on • Research and technological activities: DE and PT • Services for business innovation & commercialisation: FR, IT, PT, ES • Low users of SFs mainly in FR, PL, IT, ES 7
… and marked differences in levels of funds used/leveraged 8
Matching leverage and absorption capacity to innovation performance • 50% of the FP leading absorbers are innovation followers. In contrast to the results of the RIS 2012 ! • 63% of leading innovators but low SF users are in German regions (but also in the UK, NL and FI) • Modest innovators and low SF users are from Italy (28%), Spain (26%), France (17%), Greece (13%), Poland (11%) and Hungary (9%). 9
Observed strategies towards creating synergies • ‘Stairway to nowhere’: Significant investment by SF in research infrastructure and to some extent business R&D capacity – with no marked change in FP7 penetration or innovation performance. • ‘Convergence regions’ but not only.. • ‘Super NCP’: co-ordinated effort to boost success in EU funding bids – aimed at HEI/PRO and business (with mixed results) • Widely observed more rarely linked to SF RTDI priorities. • ‘Inspiration seekers’: pro-active regional involvement in EU level initiatives - feeding-back ‘new ideas’ to regional stakeholders and positioning region on European ‘playing-field’ • ‘Joined up thinking’: regional strategy integrates the full set of options to ensure funding for priority initiatives • Few and far between, even during current push for RIS3 10
Timing is everything • Early pre-identification of funding options for the entire programming period • Ideally the RIS3 should include a tentative mapping of synergies • Avoid fixing in stone SF allocations from day 1: • build in flexibility and an on- going ‘discovery process’ allowing iteration between SFs and other EU funds 11
Think out of the box • Synergies are not just about getting more €€€ • EU projects can help change regional mindsets • Strategic positioning in line with region priorities (KICs, EIPs, JPIs, etc.) • Involvement in EU/inter/ macro-regional initiatives should be used to create structured & lasting ‘value chains’ / shared platforms • avoid ‘project syndrome’ 12
13 Thank you Alasdair Reid firstname.lastname@example.org www.technopolis-group.com technopolis |group| has offices in Amsterdam, Brighton, Brussels, Frankfurt/Main, Paris, Stockholm, Tallinn and Vienna
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