ONLINE S3 at the ICEIRD Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, 31st-1st September, 2017

iceird2017-onlines3Online S3 recently attended the ICEIRD Conference on University-Industry Links: Coproducing Knowledge, Innovation & Growth in Thessaloniki, Greece on 31st Aug – 1st Sept 2017. This Conference celebrated 10 years of ICEIRD on entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development.

As the Conference Proceedings state, over the past decade ICERID has become one of the leading entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development Conferences in Europe. Attracting academics and practitioners from around the world, it has served to focus attention on the importance of universities, industry and government in promoting the growth of innovation-led regional development.
This year the ICEIRD Conference has sought to advance research by way of university-industry links and connection this has to the governance of entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development.
After a double blind, peer-review process, the scientific panel for the Conference accepted 120 papers accepted from 30 countries. Online S3 contributed 6 papers to the Conference during a special session convened under the heading of Smart Specialisation Strategies: Collaborative Governance and Digital Environments.
The titles and abstracts for the papers presented at the Conference are listed below and full copies of the ICEIRD articles can be accessed via the Online S3 website. The hypertext link for the site is: https://www.onlines3.eu/publications/


1 E. Griniece, 2 C. Panori, 2 A. Kakderi, 2 Komninos, 1 A. Reid
1 EFIS Center, Avenue Maurice Maeterlinck 12, Brussels, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
2 Intelspace SA, Balkan Center Building, Thessaloniki-Thermi, Thessaloniki, Greece

Smart specialisation (S3) is a key idea, underpinning the EU Cohesion Policy framework in the field of innovation, constituting an ex-ante conditionality for EU Member States (MS) for receiving Structural Funds’ support. S3 requirement fosters an in-depth analysis of the EU regional characteristics, focusing on helping MS to promote a transformation of their economic structure, through an ‘entrepreneurial discovery process’ (EDP). The emerging S3 concept, appears to have remained largely ill-understood by regional policy-makers, whereas various contributions and RIS3 evaluation reports have highlighted the difficulties in designing and implementing this strategic framework [2]-[5]. We argue that these difficulties can largely be attributed to the lack of clear methodological guidance, as well as to the inefficiency of adopting place-sensitive policy-support methodologies, capable to define key aspects of the RIS3 process, such as related variety, priority setting, intervention logic etc. We do this first, by mapping the methods that have been used for the design of RIS3 policies, and second, by comparing these with suggested methodologies, identified in an extended literature review, covering key aspects of the RIS3 process. The analysis reveals a significant discrepancy between the theoretical description of RIS3 methodologies and their practical implementation during RIS3 strategic planning, due to high level of technical complexity. This paper elaborates on the results of the ONLINE S3 project, funded under Horizon 2020.


1 M. Roman, T. Nyberg
1 Aalto University, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Maarintie 8, Aalto University, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Maarintie 8, Espoo, Espoo, Finland.

The European Union (EU) has adopted smart specialisation as an innovation (industry) policy framework to boost innovation and economic growth in EU regions. The central element of smart specialisation is Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) that can be defined as a bottom-up process involving businesses, research sites, public organizations and civil society working together to identify region’s most promising specialisation areas and to overcome the potential weaknesses that hamper innovation. Despite the widely recognized status of EDP as a driver of regional innovation and economic transformation, its operationalisation has remained a challenge. We set out to investigate this with a research question: “What are the key factors underlying EDP and how to implement them for supporting entrepreneurial discovery in the region?” To answer this question we adopted a grounded theory approach and explored the dynamics of EDP through a case study in Finnish regions. Based on our interviews with 13 process facilitators of smart specialisation strategy development in 10 Finnish regions, we identified openness, engaging, networking and continuous interaction as the key factors underlying EDP. We further illustrate a process model of EDP. Our findings contribute to the theoretical debate on what constitutes EDP in the context of smart specialisation.


1 M. Roman, Jinqwei, Liu, T. Nyberg
1 Aalto University, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Maarintie 8, Aalto University, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Maarintie 8, Espoo, Espoo, Finland.

There exists today little motivation for researchers to share their research data, which is their source of scientific reputation. This paper addresses this major challenge for open science and identifies alternative business models for researchers to open their data repositories for external users. Our research question is “How to open big data in a way that it can be transferred to sustainable business cases that bring value to data owners as well as potential external users?” Our paper is based on a case study of a Finnish foundation and its currently closed database. As key findings, we identify opportunities, barriers and possible solutions for opening this database based on 11 interviews with key stakeholders. Our research contributes to open science literature through illustrating how to open big data in a way that brings value to both data owners and external users.


1 M. Deakin, 1L. Mora, 1A. Reid
1 School of Engineering and Built Environment, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

Smart specialisation is an entrepreneurial discovery process that makes it possible to identify where regions can benefit from specialising in specific areas of science and technology. The European Commission suggests the development of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) should concentrate resources on the most promising areas of constructive advantage, e.g. on clusters, existing sectors and cross-sectoral activities, eco-innovation, high value-added markets or specific research areas. This calls for regions to assess their assets, single out competitive advantages and highlight the cohesive qualities of territories. The RIS3 Key and Self- Assessment Guides both advise regions on how to prepare for smart specialisation, by identifying existing strengths and the potential for future development efforts, spotting remaining gaps and bottlenecks in the innovation system and mobilizing the relevant institutions involved in the entrepreneurial discovery process. This paper sets out the results of the Online S3 project’s open consultation on these guides and the 29 RIS3 methods developed for this process of entrepreneurial discovery under the post-linear era of research and innovation.


1 I.A. Passas, 2 M. Schoina, 2 M. Mantzari, 2 N. Pavlidou
1 INTELSPACE SA, Thessaloniki, Greece
2 URENIO Research, Department of Urban and Regional Planning & Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3 or S3) set priorities at national and regional level to build competitive advantage by developing and matching research and innovation own strengths with business needs. One of the steps in the RIS3 methodology relates to the governance scheme. This paper examines in parallel the challenges of collaborative governance schemes and online platforms as innovative ways for the successful RIS3 strategies. The collaborative governance schemes, besides a strong proposition for the RIS3, are considered a very interesting trend for modifying the perspective of citizens in politics. This tendency arises different theoretical questions about governance, democracy, inclusive society, democracy and the active participation of the citizens in any decision-making process. Additionally, online tools that support governance and policy makers are examined, aiming to identify characteristics and critical success factors that could be integrated in a new proposed governance supporting online tool. The relations of these two concepts are strongly interactive, the more we go digital the better collaboration we achieve, and the more we strengthen the co-governance schemes the better digital statistics are gathered for shaping the future trends.


1 M Angelidou, 2 N Komninos,1 I Passas, 2 A Psaltoglou
1 INTELSPACE SA, Thessaloniki, Greece
2 URENIO Research, Department of Urban and Regional Planning & Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

The European Union’s (EU) directions for Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3) development call for the design and integration of a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for allowing a better control and periodic refinement of the strategy. In line with this requirement, the purpose of this paper is to present a Monitoring platform that was created in the context of the project ‘Smart Specialization’, funded through the 2007 – 2013 INTERREG Greece-Bulgaria programme, with the purpose of monitoring the impact of RIS3 across EU regions. The platform, called ‘Μ3’ after the ‘Measure, Monitor, Mobilise’ approach, is a Strategic Decision Support platform, which includes (i) a measuring and monitoring module, (ii) an administration module, (iii) a data repository and (iv) a reporting module that integrates online comments by experts. M3 includes predefined templates for RIS3-specific text and monitoring indicators, whereby the policy maker is required to enter free text and numerical data. Afterwards, a monitoring report is generated automatically. This report can be stored and updated periodically. We also describe a use case of M3 in the Region of Kentriki-Makedonia, Greece.

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