Foto Edurne post

Transformative innovation policy for regions: regional responses to global challenges?

A growing concern about the “grand societal challenges” such as climate change and inclusion is appearing within the science, technology and innovation academic and practitioner community. The clearest expression of this shift is perhaps expressed by the emerging interest in the “transformative change” literature and in particular transformative innovation policy, which stresses the transformative role of policy in addressing socioeconomic challenges, such as the sustainable development goals compiled by the UN. This is not a minor issue as environment, ageing, migration, are global challenges or so-called wicked problems that require joint efforts but also regional responses.

In response to this, the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) based at the University of Sussex in the UK took the initiative in 2016 to launch the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) to provide a framework for these transformative innovation policies and is working in different contexts and countries in order to experiment with this concept. Colombia is one of the countries participating and I have been part of the team that was early this month in Bogota sharing ideas and participating in training with Colombian regional policy makers and academics. The transformative innovation approach is rooted in the idea of socio-technical transitions and strategic niche management literature. Nevertheless in Colombia regional innovation policy can play a key role in facilitating transitions and evolutionary economic geography and smart specialization strategies could contribute to this process as they share some commonalities.

(más…)

Leer Más

The concept of logical thinking. Geometric shapes on a wooden background.  Tetris toy wooden blocks.

Innovation policy-mixes for RIS3: new wine in old bottles?

In the last years there has been lots of debate in academic and policy-making arena about what innovation policy-mix means. This is particularly interesting in the framework of Smart Specialisation Strategies as a new generation of innovation policy. These strategies give directionality to previous approaches and therefore new (or adapted) mixes of instruments have to be implemented to respond to these new challenges. It is here where evaluation and policy-learning processes could really help to understand these new mixes and to improve them. This is at the core of the MANUMIX project, which led by Innobasque and with the participation of representatives of 4 European territories with and Advanced Manufacturing related strategy (Basque Country, Piadmont, Lithuania and Wales) and advised by Orkestra discussed in the first learning journey held in Bilbao.

The aim of this journey was twofold. First of all, it was important to share the different understandings of advanced manufacturing for each territory, and although it didn’t result in a common approach, it was important to reflect that different contexts lead to different understandings and therefore different challenges may flourish. Innovation instruments come into play in this nexus, between context and challenges. Secondly, a debate around whether these instruments are combined in an intentional or unintentional manner from the policy-making side captured the afternoon discussion. Although it was recognised that some of the interactions between the different instruments for advanced manufacturing where intentional, in many cases the effect of these interactions is known afterwards, in the implementation phase. And what is even more, sometimes it is the beneficiary the one that clearly identifies this interaction and not the policy-maker.

(más…)

Leer Más

The ghost of the past or how history matters for regional development

This week I have attended a very interesting conference about European Science in Manchester (ESOF2016), which has been very much conditioned by post-Brexit debates and its impact on science. The decision of leaving the European Union will have a direct impact on science, both in terms of reducing EU funding for European collaborative projects and in altering the flows of talent that can currently be found in British universities. Without any doubt, science is a global issue and therefore we are living quite challenging facts that will affect the future of European science.

(más…)

Leer Más

Evaluación de políticas: La asignatura pendiente del territorio

Evaluar es una palabra a la que popularmente se le ha otorgado connotaciones negativas y que sigue siendo entendida como un ejercicio de control por parte de los agentes evaluados, pero que en realidad debería ser entendida como sinónimo de aprender, tanto de lo que hacemos mal como, y sobre todo, de lo que hacemos bien. En los últimos años, los diferentes organismos públicos se han esforzado en promover los ejercicios de evaluación. Así nos encontramos con que, por ejemplo, la Comisión Europea condiciona la dotación de fondos FEDER a que las regiones tengan un sistema de monitorización, es decir de seguimiento, y de evaluación de sus estrategias RIS3, observamos que muchos gobiernos incorporan mecanismos de evaluación y de medición de desempeño en los programas de ayudas públicas a organizaciones de investigación (por ejemplo los llamados contratos programas de las universidades) y que en regiones como el País Vasco se realizan ya habitualmente evaluaciones del contexto regional y de su sistema de innovación. (más…)

Leer Más