The MERIPA project proposal takes an integrated approach to regional development by bringing together actors from different sectors (research institutions, public authorities, the business community) from across European regions. It seeks to boost innovati ve thinking and to assess the existing regional approaches for innovation in order to propose a common European innovation methodology based on the project studies in 5 different European regions. The overall objective of the RIPA project is to develop a c omprehensive and coherent methodology for assessing different regional policies on research and innovation, which can contribute to improving the regional understanding of effective innovation policy measures in a European context. In connection with this, a set of benchmarking indicators will be defined and a benchmarking tool developed in order to allow the trans-regional comparison of the impact of different strategies and policies on innovation performance. The aim is to improve the policy-making proces s by involving a critical mass of politicians, researchers, industry representatives and other promoters of regional innovation to ensure commitment and permanent integration of the project results into regional policy-making procedures. The project bases its regional commitment on a strong public-private partnership principle in pursuing successful innovation strategies. A key issue of the project objectives, and an expected force of the project, is to obtain new knowledge about the dependency of actors in regional settings. Analysing behavioural aspects can have a large impact on the successful outcome of innovation policies. The aspect of networking and actor-focused analysis is a challenge as it is often based on informal contacts and relation, and often it can prove predominant for success. Network-based development plans and the behaviour of the involved actors will be investigated. The MERIPA project will be a mutual learning platform.
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