Through this action, it was implemented a pilot action to test the measurement of “Innovation Attitudes” of beneficiaries of the policy instrument addressed in MONITORIS3 - Hiring of Highly Qualified Human Resources (HHQHR). This pilot was implemented through surveys within the framework of Norte Smart Specialization Strategy (NORTE RIS3) monitoring, aiming to enrich the information regarding its implementation and provide a deeper analysis of the achievement of its objectives. This action was inspired in Nordland’s methodology of introducing innovation qualitative indicators into RIS3 monitoring systems in the following internal conditions of development of companies: (i) strategic entrepreneurial orientation - attitude towards entrepreneurship at the company level; (ii) dynamic capabilities - the capabilities for change.

The operationalization of this action implied the execution of tasks, like development of the Innovation Attitudes Survey adapted to the policy instrument addressed (under the advising of Nordland County Council), performance of a pre-test, submission to all beneficiaries of the policy instruments envisaged, preparation of reports of the responses and an analysis report, articulation meetings with partners and Regional Programme NORTE 2020 Management Authority (MA), organization of a meeting of the Regional Stakeholders Group (RSG), publication and dissemination of the reports in CCDR-N website and production of recommendations from the RSG. The analysis report was directed to NORTE 2020 MA, NORTE RIS3 platforms and the Regional Innovation Council. The regional stakeholders involved were representatives of public administration bodies responsible for R&D&I, higher education and polytechnic entities, NORTE RIS3 priority domains platforms, Interreg Europe projects in the area of monitoring and also NORTE 2020 MA.

Main conclusions that resulted from surveyed companies in its different dimensions: (i) the entrepreneurial orientation is positive, especially in relation to innovation, propensity for risk and proactivity; it is also noted that the hiring of HQHR is having a positive impact on the attitude towards innovation and R&D; (ii) the dynamic capabilities of companies surveyed are also positive – in the regenerative capabilities, learning is more important than restructuring and reconfiguration; in renewal capabilities, there is a more positive attitude in knowledge integration than in sensing and seizing; the hiring of HQHR is important in generating new ideas and for acquisition of new knowledge, being the lack of adequate human resources in companies for interaction with the R&D centres one of the factors that reveals a limitation in the transfer of knowledge from the scientific and technological system; companies value and allocate resources to increase the competence of employees, which is in line with the RIS diagnosis of the need to improve the qualifications of the active population; therefore, policies to promote the hiring of HQHR in companies and to increase the population's level of qualification are very pertinent; (iii) R&D activities - most companies invest considerably, but not necessarily in cooperation, and only half of the companies regularly hire HQHR to reinforce the R&D activity; the RIS diagnosis states that the expenditure on R&D by companies is indicated as a constraint to innovation; policies to encourage R&D, especially in cooperation, are very appropriate given the data analysed; (iv) innovation activities - the recruitment of HQHR to develop new or significantly improved products/services or processes or radical innovations stands out, as well as one of the greatest strengths of Norte regarding the “expenditure on non-R&D innovation activities” of SMEs, which concerns the acquisition of equipment and machines in a logic of technology transfer for reconversion and business modernization; regarding forms of industrial property, the results allow to conclude that it needs to be encouraged, meeting the regional diagnosis regarding the reduced patents registration in the European context; (v) innovation policy instruments - some changes in companies in knowledge-seeking, market or technology demand behaviours may be attributed to public intervention; the analysis highlights more importance to some NORTE 2020 policy instruments regarding innovation performance like incentives to invest in R&D and hiring HQHR, meeting the reinforcement of business R&D and the qualifications of the population identified as required in the RIS diagnosis.

The number of responses was significant showing good receptivity from companies, demonstrating that the survey can be replicated in the future with some adaptations, like the inclusion of RIS3 domains analysis, promoting some simplifications and extend the survey to other companies.