Project summary

The transfer of innovation and knowledge produced by the RTOs (Research  and Technological Organisations) and higher education to the local & regional businesses remains one of the most important gaps and difficulties in terms of Innovation & Growth. It is key to generate economic exploitation of the R&D results and particularly important in local & regional areas of Smart Specialisation (RIS3) and innovation opportunity.


Also, there is a clear need to improve and connect regional Challenges and Opportunities of RIS3, to local innovation policies and stakeholders, highlighting the role of the “territory” as the place where interlinkages happen and knowledge flows. For such purpose, regional & local authorities should play a key role of intermediation and, in accordance to ecoRIS3 objectives, promote better policies and measures to generate solid interactions between key stakeholders, to orchestrate sustainable innovation ecosystems within RIS3 strategies responding to the existing challenges and gaps. 


Among the key activities and within a first phase of 3 years, further to a series of exchange of experience and learning though interregional events (4 thematic workshops, 3 horizontal Seminars and 9 Study Visits), the partners will produce: 1 Peer review document on "The role private and public stakeholders play in the local ecosystem in order to absorb innovation" ; 7 SWOT Analysis, 7 Action Plans and identify 64 Good Practices, that will benefit the key actors of the quadruple helix (Public sector, Civil Society, RTO & High Education, SMEs & Industry).




from 1 Jan 2017
to 31 Dec 2021

Research and innovation

What policy instruments does the project address?

The ERDF OP 2014-2020 of the Basque Country presents the strategy and thematic objectives of the intervention determined in the region for the operations financed by the ERDF. The interventions have been organised according to the 11 identified regional needs to achieve smart growth. N1 focuses on Strengthening and promoting the RDI system in line with the Basque RIS3. Axis1 addresses the need to strengthen and boost the RDI system in line with the RIS3, concentrating efforts in supporting investment by companies in R&I, thereby prioritising interventions for the productive system; and in a context in which these support encourages business collaboration with the actors of the Basque Science and Technology Network.


Therefore, the Axis will be developed according to the following investment priority and objective: IP1.2Promotion of investment by businesses in R&I; development of linkages and synergies between businesses, research centres and higher education.


Funding allocated: 65.613.186 euro (2014-2020)


Despite the efforts to increase the level of innovation within the SMEs and the Innovation ecosystem, further actions need to be taken to expand the collaboration with the relevant stakeholders strengthen the impact RIS3 at local level. The policy instrument does not address the local vision of the RIS3 and the policy could be improved by involving local authorities to implement the RIS3 at local level.   

Which partners are working on this?
  • Fomento de San Sebastián 

This area of the Policy Instrument (PI) focuses on regaining lost competitiveness, boosting productivity, increasing export intensity and diversity of markets, taking measures to improve Ireland’s attractiveness as a location for foreign investment and achieving an increase in start-ups and entrepreneurial activity.


The strategy recognises that creating a competitive business environment is essential to ensuring Irish regions achieve sustainable economic growth and higher levels of employment growth. It also recognises that regions that support strong and dynamic enterprises are crucial to Ireland’s return to overall economic growth. As to why it must be improved, our regional policy emphasizes accelerating the economic and societal return on STI investment, further strengthening enterprise engagement with public research and driving more commercialisation of publicly performed research as an essential component of supporting an innovative and enterprising economy.


The PI is at the moment very top down from the perspective of local actors. Traditionally the NUTS 3 Regional Authority for the South West would have had a strong role in inputting to the ongoing delivery of the PI. However with the recent abolition of all NUTS 3 Authorities in Ireland, this is an avenue of influence and discussion which is no longer open. ecoRIS3 is of very significant importance to provide, improve and strengthen the role of all key regional stakeholders in the ongoing shaping of the PI.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Munster Technological University (until 31/12/2020 [Cork Institute of Technology])

The SME competitiveness depends on innovation capacity, enabling them to add value to the product, make the difference from the competition and gain control over the value chain. The diagnostic highlights technology transfer difficulties to market and low investment by SMEs in R & D & i .


In this sense, the objective is to support the implementation within priority areas of smart specialization strategy the development of pilot projects, pre-commercial and commercial, to accelerate the introduction of new technologies and products on the market, increasing business investment in innovation.


Innovation is required to distinguish and to add value to the products and services in market. In a global economy where competition between countries and products in international markets is very unequal, and where Portugal can’t compete based on low prices, the public policies must help and give orientations to the enterprises in order to invest on innovation, to get more competitive. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • ADRAVE - Regional Development Agency of Vale do Ave
  • Ave Intermunicipal Community – CIM Ave

The Lithuanian Innovation Development Programme 2014–2020 (hereinafter – Programme) has been drafted with a view to mobilising the state resources for the improvement of Lithuania’s innovativeness and development of competitive economy based on high level knowledge, high technologies, qualified human resources and Smart specialization.


The strategic goal of the Programme is to enhance competitiveness of the Lithuanian economy through the development of the effective innovation system promoting economic innovation. The strategic goal of five quantitative targets established in the Strategy “Europe 2020” is the level of the EU – investment (public and private) in research and development – should account for 3% of gross domestic product.


The Science & technology parks (STPs) (‘innovation enables’) are facing viability challenges developing and promoting technologies and playing a role as intermediaries, not only due the lack of strategic involvement in the programme, but also due low integration of R&D activities and results from the research and science institutions. This ends that STPs in the regions cannot developed sustainable innovation support services, cannot exploit new technologies, and introduce scheme models to execute innovative products or services.


There is also a need of mechanism or practical scheme to promote closer and more effective cooperation between enterprises and research, in order to promote links between innovation delivery actors to SMEs. 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Sunrise Valley Science and Technology Park

Finland has one joint ERDF/ESF Sustainable growth and jobs 2014 ­ 2020 ­ Finland's structural funds programme' with a budget of 2,9 billion €. The aim of the structural fund pro-gramme is to create more than 12,000 new jobs and 1,200 new enterprises by the year 2023.

Finland ESIF OP has 2 regional plans, one for East and North Finland and one for South and West Finland.




ecoRIS3 project is aligned with Priority Axis 2, ERDF 434 369 000€, 33,5% of ERDF, Producing and using the latest information and knowledge; Thematic Objective 1 Re-search technology development, & effectiveness of innovation; Investment priority 4, specific objective 4.1 Research, knowledge and innovation focus on the development on the basis of regional strengths (this is how RIS3 in Finland is integrated into the structural funds) and Investment priority 5, specific objective 5.1 Strengthening enterprises’ innovativeness.






(1) To increase the functionality of innovation;

(2) To identify criteria for project generation effectively promoting open innovation through the structural funds;

(3) To strengthen cooperation and long term networking based on Open Innovation options;

(4) To enhance the development of appealing innovative milieu in Kainuu.


Which partners are working on this?
  • Kainuun Etu ltd
  • Regional Council of Kainuu

The policy instrument’s aim is to support the birth and the growth of spin-offs and innovative start-up with a special attention to the regional S3 sectors. The policy instrument consists in different measures to enhance start-ups investments, innovative financial instruments, mentoring activities. This policy instrument, for the first time foreseen in the ERDF ROP, is linked to a specific measure financed by the ESF and it is addressed mainly to the business incubators.


However, further actions need to be taken to increase the capacity of the policy instrument to create a dialogue and interlinkages among different stakeholders and administrative levels. Additionally, the programme should reinforce the capacity to generate a real value through the integration among two different ROPs (ERDF and ESF). The results could be considered during the mid-term review of the ERDF ROP.


Funding allocated on the Action 1.4.1: € 23.791.778 

Which partners are working on this?
  • Metropolitan City of Turin

Priority Axis 1. Development and innovation of research, technology : Thematic objective 1.2.:Promoting business investment in R&I, developing links and synergy between enterprises, research and development centres and the higher education sector. Specific Objective (SO). 1.2.1.: To promote investments of private sector in R&D.


Investments of private sector in R&D will be increased within the framework of Specific Objective, management of intellectual property in research institutions will also improved, commercialization of research results, as well as the transfer of creativity and development of non-technological innovation The productivity level of Latvian industries is considerably below the EU average level.


Conclusions of study within framework of RIS3 confirm, that there is insufficient cooperation and coordination between science, technology development and innovation institutions, higher education and industry. It’s fact that the education system does not ensure a match between supply and demand of labour, hence the need for linking research institutions to higher education institutions and the industry OP, has to be improved by increasing understanding and strategic vision of building support system for stronger collaboration between stakeholders and of encouraging private sector interest in investing in R&D and commercializing R&D results and improving productivity and competiveness of Latvian companies.  

Which partners are working on this?
  • Vidzeme Planning region