EmpInno – Regional Innovation Strategies

The EmpInno project seeks to boost the potential for growth and innovation in medium-sized cities and regions. Its main aim is to improve the monitoring, adaptation and implementation of so-called RIS3 strategies.

The concept of RIS3 (regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation) has been introduced by the EU as a precondition for assigning ERDF budget to projects in the 2014-2020 funding period. By adopting an integrated and place-based prioritisation of activities, the strategies shall drive economic changes further forward in the direction of greater innovation.  However, in many regions the RIS3 are communicated insufficiently or are unknown to innovation actors. All over Europe authorities face common problems and obstacles in the process of managing, delivering and monitoring the strategy. Especially innovation intermediaries in medium-sized cities and regions often lack capacity (resources and experiences) to work with the strategies, which results in unused potential for innovation and growth.

EmpInno aims to enhance the organisational capacities of innovation intermediaries (“strategy implementers”) to utilize the strategies and to enhance the capacities of regional authorities (“strategy owners”) for upgrading and improving their RIS3 delivery and revision processes. The project exploits the experience and competences of the partnership, consisting of 16 partners and 29 associated organisations (e.g. regional authorities and business development agencies), to discuss and mutually learn from the RIS3 processes of each partner region. Partner organisations will install RIS3 specialists to upgrade their institutional capacities, mobilise important local stakeholders and give feedback to the strategy owners for RIS3 processes. A transnational network of RIS3 specialists is set up to exchange experiences and work on general questions regarding RIS3. Moreover, the project partners cooperate in six common RIS3 priorities (e.g. maritime industries and ICT) with local and transnational activities to realise synergy effects with R+D transfer elements as well as delegation trips.

EmpInno has been approved in the first call of the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014-2020 in November 2015.