Skip to main content

Collaborating for the excellence of public entities for business promotion. An example of policies aimed at the improvement of the competitiveness of the regional enterprises throughout the EFQM

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CooExcell2015 (Collaborating for the excellence of public entities for business promotion. An example of policies aimed at the improvement of the competitiveness of the regional enterprises throughout the EFQM)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-04-30

"The objective consists on using the ""EFQM Framework for Innovation Agencies"" as a tool for self-assessment by ADER (Spain), with a peer learning approach in which 2 other European Innovation or Economic Agencies participate: REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY OF THE WEST REGION ROMANIA (Romania) and NORDIC INNOVATION (Norway)
The project ended achieving the deliverable 'Recognised for Excellence EFQM assessment' that has provided training and learning for all bodies involved in the process.
This proposal is in line with the objectives of ADER, in its guidance to incorporate innovation and excellence as elements for improving the competitiveness of companies in La Rioja.


The specific objectives of the Project are:

• To use the EFQM Framework for Innovation Agencies as a tool for self-assessment by the Regional Economic Agency of La Rioja ADER (Spain).
• To progress in the implementation of a roadmap aimed at achieving the “EFQM Recognised for Excellence” certificate.
• To build capacities in the partners human capital, to define and implement a consistent EFQM strategy.


1 - ADER is a Spanish public agency aiming to improve the competitiveness of companies in La Rioja by promoting research, innovation and technological development, internationalization and promotion abroad, business excellence and corporate design through different instruments and technical and financial support services for the companies. One of its strategic objectives is to promote the use of the EFQM model by companies in La Rioja through a program developed since 2007 called Business Excellence ADER. The programme aims to encourage companies to advance in the development of its management system, in line with the principles of excellence. The programme holds every year the event “Rioja Recognition and Awards for Business excellence”.
ADER has internalized in its organization the approach to quality and excellence with a clear orientation to the citizen. It has certified the provision of services through a system of Quality Management and Environmental according to the UNE-EN-ISO 9001, UNE EN- ISO 14001, and the Accessibility Certification ICT AENOR according to the UNE 139803.
ADER operates by applying the EFQM model, and want to go a step further by contrasting it with other Innovation Agencies, with the aim to:
• improve their systems and advance the process of recognition for excellence.
• acquire new knowledge to facilitate the the promotion and dissemination of the EFQM model among enterprises

For the last 16 years, Romanian Development Regions are the framework for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the regional development policy and of the social and economic cohesion programmes. The main structures operating at the level of West Region are: the Regional Development Board (RDB) as the deliberating regional body, and the Regional Development Agency (RDA) acting as a non-governmental, non-profit public organisation, having legal powers in the field of regional development. West RDA operates in West Region, aiming to implement the regional development policy by means of: Management of Funds, Regional Planning, Attraction of investments, Innovation and International Relations

3 - NORDIC INNOVATION was founded in 1973 as a part of the official intergovernmental cooperation structure between the Nordic countries. It is a small organization (25 staff), but well networked with the national innovation authorities and agencies within the region. So far, Nordic Innovation has indirectly been implementing some of the principles of the EFQM Excellence Model (like Managing with Agility and Adding Value to Customers). Additional experience of a more holistic use of the whole Model gives us an excellent chance to prioritize the organisation’s development activities in the future.

"The schedules of activities following the approval of the proposal were as follows:

- 1 Sept 2015 Starting date.
- 26-28 Oct 2015 Training WorkShop for the Economic Development Agency of La Rioja (ADER)
- 27-29 Jan 2016 EFQM Assessor Training for Nordic Innovation
- 22-23 Feb 2016 EFQM Assessor Training for West RDA
- 8 de Mar 2016 Delivery of the Management Document and attachments (Strategic Plan & Process Map) to be distributed to the evaluation team.
- 18-21 April 2016 Recognised for Excellence Assessment
- 21 April 2016 Recognised for Excellence Closing Meeting
- 27 April 2016 Self-assessment report and recommendations from peer evaluation for “EFQM Framework for innovation agencies”.
- 29 April 2016 Final Report

Activity 1: Training for the Regional Economic Agency of La Rioja (ADER) aimed at strengthening their internal capacities to organize and develop the application of the EFQM Model.
A Workshop was held on ADER facilities in La Rioja the 26-28th October aimed at: Process Responsible and Excellence Council

- The workshop had a total duration of 14 hours and 17 people from the Organization attended.
- The WorkShop was delivered by the evaluator appointed by EFQM.

Activity 2: Training to the partner Innovation Agencies Personnel as EFQM Internal Assessor

'EFQM Assessor Training' was provided for the three advisers Agencies Innovation project partners. Training was dekivered on the in Brussels EFQM offices.
- Nordic Innovation ,27-28th and January 29th , 2016. (One person)
- West Regional Development Agency of Romania, 22th and 23th February 2016. (Two people)

Activity 3: Peer learning process to perform a “Recognised for Excellence Assessment” of the Regional Economic Agency of la Rioja (ADER)

ADER developed the Management Document according to the training received in the Workshop Activity 1. For developing this document according to the EFQM model.

The Assessment Team was formed by one or two members of Innovation agencies involved in the project under the leadership of a senior evaluator appointed by EFQM.
The 18-19-20th and 21th April in the facilities, ADER developed the 'Recognised for Excellence Assessment'
During this process, the following figures were achieved:
- No. of interviews: 21
- No. of mirror meetings: 3
- No. of Focus Group: 2
- No. of employees interviewed: 29
- No. of hours consensus meeting: 8

Once the Assessment was finished, a final meeting was held on the 21th of April in order to show the main results of the process and the main conclusions regarding Fundamental Concepts of Excellence, strengths and possible areas for improvement of the organization.

Finally, the process ended with the delivery on the 27th of April of the final report: “Self-assessment report and recommendations from peer evaluation for “EFQM Framework for innovation agencies”.

After the Assessment process, a workshop of good practices was held among the agencies participating in the project.

With the deep knowledge of the activities and services developed by ADER gained after the above process assessment, the partners Nordic Innovation and West Regional Development Agency Romania made two presentations of their organizations and they showed good practices which could be of interest to each agency. Their presentations are attached. (ADER, Nordic Innovation and West Regional Development Agency of Romania).

The workshop revealed different types of performances and competences of organizations and established ties that could allow further contacts and future collaborative developments between the partners:
After knowing the result of the Assessment, ADER will inform through the local media, Web and social networks the results and benefits obtained by the evaluation process.

Plan for disseminating and exploiting The project’s results and Communication activities

Over 8 months of the project, ADER has made internal communication at several levels: Management, Excellence Council, Assessment Committee, Project Developers, General (all staff). Different media were used.

Once the final results of 'Self-assessment Report and Recommendations from peer evaluation for EFQM Framework for innovation agencies"" is known, ADER will spread it by the communication channels usually used in ADER:
- Institutional Communication of the Regional Ministry through press conference where the final results of the project will presented.
- General Communication through the ADER Newsletter, Web & Social Networks.

The information is also available on the ADER website, inside the European projects section:
A custom account has also been created on Twitter @AderCooexcell with the aim of spreading the project results and promoting the model of excellence among partners and businesses in our region.

The project will contribute to the expected impacts set out in the work program as follows:

• To improve the quality of the innovation support services provided to the companies by the partners. The application of the EFQM Framework for Innovation Agencies will improve the management capacity of the partner Innovation Agencies and also will orientate the specific innovation services to the appropriate companies targets, by means of improving the level of quality of the innovation support services, the qualification of the Agencies human capital and the knowledge about the companies assessment of the quality of the innovation support services of the Agencies.
• The number of Innovation Agencies engaged in peer review activities will significantly increase. Three Innovation agencies will be involved in the peer learning activities during the realisation of this project.
• The results of the peer learning will be taken up by the “ADER La Rioja” with the aim to carry out a self-assessment oriented to progress to achieve the EFQM “Recognized for Excellence” certificate.
• The results of the peer learning also will include the learning about how to improve the quality and excellence of the innovation services provided to the companies and entrepreneurs, and how to support and promote the application of the EFQM approach by the regional companies.
• The project also will work on improving the partner services oriented to foster the application of the EFQM methodology by the companies and entrepreneurs.