The Regional Programmes of Innovative Actions co-financedby the European Regional Development Fund(ERDF)was specifically formulated to give regions the opportunity to experiment in the Innovation Policy field. As the opportunities for experimentation are often limited under the main support of the Structural Funds, the innovative actions provided regional actors with the "risk space" needed to respond to the challenges set by the new Knowledge Economy.
Under this initiative more than 173 such regional programmes have been implemented on the last 7 years, providing a huge pool of Best Practices and experiences leading to the improvement of Regional Innovative Strategies all over
Regional Innovation Strategies are at present time a consolidated tool allowing EU regions to plan, implement and evaluate their policies on this field taking into consideration the regional and international economic development contexts.
Notwithstanding, the achievement of Lisbon Agenda’s goals and the efficient construction of the European Research Area (ERA) demand the further evolution of Regional Innovation Strategies towards a progressive Opening Up of
Regional innovation Strategies, following the market based Open Innovation concept.
European regions vary considerably in their capacity to develop knowledge and technology, and at the same time, they do also compete among themselves as they try to attract
money, brains and resources. Many regions acting alone can not develop the critical mass that will produce the innovations needed to compete on the world market, but there is enormous potential in Europe to build on the complementary strengths of different regions. In this context,
European innovation governance urgently needs to anticipate changes, into which some have named the shift from a “closed” to an “open and collaborative” innovation paradigm.
Thus, RIS main challenges to the achievement of EC’s goals will have to deal with coopetition (cooperation/competition) concept and will have to provide for networking, clustering
and experimentation schemes aimed at the business sector,Universities, Research Centres, consumers and public authorities. Such strategies will not be limited to the regional level, but open to an interregional or transregional perspective.
The scale of co-opetition is on a European level, where Regions with common typologies, ambitions, drives and agendas might connect their innovation systems to gather momentum and become more competitive, through "winwin" strategies.
Regional Programmes of Innovative Actions have been in the previous Programming Period (2000-2006) an effective tool to increase the shift of many EU regions to Knowledge based Economies. At this time when such Programmes are wrapping up, Navarra region in Spain proposes to hold a
RPIA Seminar where to:
• Reconsider the current challenges facing RIS at the new period in terms of collaborative and interregional strategies (Open Innovation, Networking, Clustering).
• Assess the solutions provided by RPIAs and other
EU Programmes to such challenges.
• Promote the new tools available to regions to capitalise existing best Practises and experiences.
Open Innovation and Lisbon Strategy