EARTO and CoR discuss role of RTOs in RIS3 and JRC Policy Brief
EARTO, the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) held a debate on the role of Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) in supporting regional Smart Specialisation Strategies. The discussion took place within the framework of the CoR Open Days on 15 October 2015.
EARTO and ERRIN (the European Regions Research and Innovation Network) had already started collaborating on this issue in 2014, with the publication of a joint paper on synergies of funds. At the CoR Open Days they discussed with some 100 regional key players "How can regional Smart Specialisation Strategies support innovation ecosystems & value–chains?"
Mr Markku Markkula, President of the CoR, emphasised how important research and innovation is for Europe, saying: "We all know that research and innovation are the drivers of growth in regions and cities. Now it is time to take this to new level. This means taking decisions that lead to concrete actions. Our CoR priorities stress the need for bottom-up approach, a new entrepreneurial spirit, a functioning Digital Single Market and effective Smart Specialization. We, the Committee of the Regions, welcome the contribution of RTOs to making Europe competitive".
Following the Memorandum of Understanding between European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and EARTO signed in June this year, the JRC launched its new Policy Brief on RTOs and Smart Specialisation on the occasion of the CoR Open Days. The Policy Brief explains that RTOs support regional innovation strategies by, among others:
- contributing to regions’ entrepreneurial discovery process, playing an important role in connecting the various innovation actors within and to innovation value-chains and ecosystems,
- building research and technology capacities at regional level, contributing to technology transfer within innovation value-chains,
- supporting regions in both policy-making and regional programmes implementation as well as industries within regional clusters and value-chains.
The key policy recommendations of the JRC read as follows:
- Public agencies should seek to better involve RTOs in the design and implementation of Research & Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3),
- RIS3 should support collaboration between RTOs and SMEs fostering innovation,
- Regions should explore RTOs' expertise in creating and supporting competitive clusters (also using inter-regional collaborations),
- Regions should consider how to best support RTO involvement through different funding models.
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