The recently published white paper on “Intelligence and Co-creation in Smart Specialisation Strategies’ outlines some key conclusions from the Online S3 project. The project was funded under the Horizon 2020 programme. According to the authors, Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3), linking regional, national, and EU policy frameworks, regulations and strategy objectives require a variety of data and methods to define problems, priorities and objectives, and use suitable policy instruments.
The Online S3 project has produced an online platform composed of software applications and roadmaps, that facilitate the design and implementation of RIS3. According to this paper, using a baseline set of methodologies for strategy design, Online S3 is advancing the understanding of RIS3 as a place-based and evidence-driven innovation policy. It relies on large datasets and software for user engagement, co-creation and collective intelligence in policy design.
In this white paper, the core building blocks of RIS3 are presented, as they appear in EU documents and related literature. Additionally, the weaknesses of the current period and what can be done better in the near future is discussed. RIS3 is placed in retrospect and prospect for 2021-2027. The authors look into critical dimensions for the next stage of RIS3, focusing on how strategies can be improved by datasets and software, enabling the implementation of complex methods. This facilitates collective intelligence and co-creation of solutions, which both are able to usher a transition from the triple to quadruple helix model of collaboration.
Online assistants for 28 methodologies have been developed and were documented as the most used or useful in 30 EU regions. The implemented web solutions have been tested in four regions: Scotland, Central Macedonia, Galicia, and Northern Netherlands. The degree of acceptance of the proposed online applications assisting RIS3 methodologies was very high, with strong and very strong acceptance ranging between 58 – 82 percent.
According to the project, online services contribute to smart specialisation strategies in three ways:
- easier access to data, use of larger datasets, and data-based evidence on regional context and trends,
- use of complex methods, transferring the complexity to algorithms, roadmaps, and routines embedded into software applications that facilitate their use, and
- wider user engagement, easier dissemination of strategy vision, and collaborative elaboration of priorities and action plans.
The authors are foreseeing that these directions are setting the scene for the coming programming period 2021-2027, in which the smart specialisation agenda and RIS3 will reach a more mature stage, enabling higher quality and more informed strategies.
You can find the paper here