Launched in 2010, the Regional Innovation Monitor was one of the flagship initiatives of DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission. It aimed at supporting sharing of intelligence on innovation policies in some 200 regions across EU20 Member States. Overall, the RIM 2010-2012 project has made an important contribution to policy assessment by providing an easy access and comparative overview of regional innovation policies. With a total of 1080 policy support measures included and described in the repository, the project allows an online comparison of existing forms of support for innovation activities.
Following this 36-month project, the RIM activities will continue. Recently, DG Enterprise and Industry has commissioned the Regional Innovation Monitor 2013-2014 (RIM Plus) with a possibility to renew a period of execution of tasks for 24 months.
Similarly to the RIM 2010-2012 project, the RIM Plus aims to help regions to improve their innovation policies based on better and harmonised policy intelligence. The new contract aims to contribute to the development of more effective regional innovation policies and promote policy learning.
Building upon the experience gained and results obtained during the implementation of the RIM in the period 2010-2012, the RIM Plus service will also evolve towards providing practical guidance to regions on how to use the collected information, establishing a network of regional experts with thematic specialisation, and organising specialised workshops taking into account the relevance and potential interest among the regional innovation policy makers.
Information and analysis of policy documents, governance structures and existing innovation policy measures is gathered at the Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) 1 and 2 levels, ensuring an overview of the state of development of regional policies and strategies on innovation and on the difficulties and success of their implementation in close to 200 regions. Acknowledging the need for a more flexible and functional definition of regions, where relevant, information is provided on innovation policy initiatives at sub-regional level (e.g. city) and inter- and/or intra-regional cooperation is provided (e.g. in the Baltic sea area).
RIM Plus provides the following services:
- A 'knowledge base' on regional innovation policy measures, policy documents and organisations
The RIM Plus repository provides an easy access and comparative overview of relevant regional innovation support measures and strategies, policy documents and organisations. Each region covered by RIM Plus has a baseline profile, which gives the user a quick overview of the socio-economic situation, research and innovation performance, innovation governance and policy trends. Registered users can both 'feed-in' information and provide feed-back on the output produced by the RIM Plus network of experts.
- A single point of access for knowledge sharing and good practice dissemination on regional innovation policy in Europe
RIM Plus supports the exchange of intelligence on regional innovation policies by highlighting good practices. In addition to the repository covering almost 200 regions, 50 regional innovation reports were made available, from mid 2011, for selected regions. It is planned that additional 30 in-depth regional reports will be prepared during the 2013-2014 period.
The annual EU regional innovation report provides a unique analytical overview of current trends in regional innovation policy. It gives insight into how to design policy intervention in specific regional contexts as well as presenting tools and practical methods for comparing regional innovation policies.
- A network of regional experts with thematic specialisation and provision of Knowledge hub services
Thematic experts will be mobilised by our network of regional stakeholders who will be approached by the core team and requested to provide suggestions of experts in certain fields. The desired end-result will be sustainability of these networks beyond the RIM Plus 2013-2016 perspective.
RIM Plus will provide regions with guidance through promotional activities and raising awareness tailored presentations in order for the regions to learn how to use the available information or how to collect and interpret the data and information available. It will also follow-up and reply to specific requests sent by the regions to an email account specially established for this purpose [firstname.lastname@example.org].
- An organisation of a series of policy events
Each year, three specialised policy events of high relevance for the design, delivery and evaluation of regional innovation policies will be undertaken, bringing together communities of policymakers, Structural Fund managers, experts and academics with the thematic knowledge and experience in the selected areas of shared interest for EU regions. In addition to the above-mentioned RIM Plus policy events which will have a thematic focus, it is planned that innovative showcases will also take place with the objective to foster the transfer of knowledge and expertise especially from well-performing regions on a voluntary basis in a policy environment.
- A new platform of communication for innovation stakeholders
Another interactive feature offered by RIM Plus is that registered users can contact each other through an integrated messaging service. Users can also share via their RIM profiles blogs on regional innovation issues as well as their Linked-In or Twitter account details.