A validation workshop, as part of the European Service Innovation Centre (ESIC) initiative, was organised at Neth-ER (Netherlands house for Education and Research) in Brussels on 12th September 2013.
The workshop brought together invited experts specialised in indicators, representatives of the European Commission and the members of the consortium implementing the ESIC. The aim of the workshop was to elaborate the methodology of the European Service Innovation Scoreboard (ESIS) and to identify possible gaps in the regional policy mix with the help of structural indicators.
Ms Agnieszka Truszczynska from DG Enterprise and Industry reflected that the ESIC initiative is part of a long term objective of the European Commission to capture and measure the transformative power service of innovation, based on the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Service Innovation. The ESIC initiative is based upon the stylized fact that employment growth in the past decade has been most prevalent in service related jobs implying the need of the European economy to re-structure itself to face future challenges. The invited experts from various European universities, research institutes, consultancy firms and statistical offices were called upon to help the EC and ESIC to validate the proposed measurement framework of the forthcoming ESIS.
The workshop was structured in different sessions where the first three sessions focused on the ESIS conceptual model to measure the transformative power of service innovation, a myriad of statistical facts demonstrating the existence of such transformation, and the ESIS operational model including the indicators and two technical issues on estimating regional level data from national level innovation survey data and the identification of service innovation intensive industries. The last session focused on structural indicators and policy orientation.
The presentation of the ESIS conceptual model (as presented in the picture below) sparked an intense discussion by the experts. The questions arising from this session concerned the ESIS definition of servitization, the relationship between service innovation and structural change and the impact of local government in promoting and enhancing capabilities of service innovation and structural change. The expert discussion pointed that a new way of defining structural change is necessary and that causality is difficult to assess in relationship between service innovation and structural change. Case studies, however, could illuminate under what circumstances service innovation can be transformative.
In the session on the transformative power of service innovation the experts questioned if all service innovations are transformative and how a regional system should promote development and achieve transition and transformation towards addressing societal goals. In terms of the operational model (session 3), the two technical issues were received well but experts called for further fine-tuning.
The final session illustrated the use of ESIS supplemented with further analysis using the Self-Assessment Tool and benchmarking regions to stress-test service innovation policies in Northern Ireland, one of the demonstrator regions. The outcomes of the analysis suggested a potential growth area by increasing the synergies between food production and medicine, two large sectors in the region.
The indicator data collected feeds into the work conducted in the six model demonstrator regions (the Canary Islands, Emilia-Romagna, Limburg, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Upper Austria). Indicators are utilised to illustrate the socio-economic context of the respective region. They are also a tool in regional benchmarking against the other demonstrator regions, most similar regions in Europe and the EU27 average. Furthermore indicators have a role to play in the self-assessment tool (SAT) the regional stakeholders have been asked to take. The indicator data and other information collected so far in ESIC will be reflected in summary assessment reports compiled of each (of the six) region. The reports also include analysis of the regional policy mix illustrated in the final session of the workshop.
The ESIC team will use the comments received from the experts to improve the ESIS measurement framework. The first European Service Innovation Scoreboard is foreseen to be published in November on the ESIC webpages.