Image of a roadmap

Phase 5 – Policy mix

Defining a coherent policy mix, roadmaps and an action plan.

Phase 5 is all about formulating the concrete action plan for implementing the RIS3. To evaluate the action plan ideas and measures, pilot projects can be used in this phase.

The aim of this phase is to form an action plan that describes clearly the strategy implementation process and goals.

Action plan

Action plan serves the purpose of describing the strategic objectives and how the region commits to reach those objectives. Thus, the plan should include at least:

  • The strategic objectives
  • Broad action lines and how they are connected with the region’s priorities and challenges in the priority areas
  • Timeframes for implementation (what, when?)
  • Delivery mechanisms and projects
  • Actors involved and what their responsibilities are (who owns which project and is responsible for what outcome)
  • Identification of funding resources, both EU (ERDF and ESF) and other kinds of funding possibilities
  • Tentative budget allocation
  • Measurable targets for analysing the results and impacts of actions

Both existing and emerging programmes and instruments can be incorporated into the action plan. Also, the relevance of each action should be assessed. There are a few frameworks to do this provided by the JRC platform for RIS3. See the JRC RIS3 Guide for more information.

Making a detailed action plan based on Smart Specialisation analyses includes uncertainties, which means that this phase has its own risks. This can be managed through experimentation and testing of different approaches and measurements. This can be done especially through pilot projects.

Pilot projects

Pilot projects are a way to justify the priority areas and strategic objectives of RIS3. The pilot projects should be medium or short term projects so that their results and impact can be analysed within the RIS3 process, or at least there should be adequate results from the project that can be used to assess them. The projects should also be relevant with respect to the region’s priorities set in Phase 4.

Pilot projects have 3 different purposes in the RIS3 process:

  • The pilot projects give new information on the region’s innovation potential.
  • The projects are a way to present stakeholders that the RIS3 process is not mere words but there are concretely implemented actions as well. In other words, the projects are also a way to communicate about the RIS3 process.
  • Test new policies in small scale and minimising the uncertainties related to new policies.

Due to the fact that pilot projects are supposed to give new information related to new policies and innovation potential of the region, the projects should be monitored and evaluated closely. Thus, the projects should be designed so that there are clear exit plans and milestones with clear go/no-go decision possibilities.

Tools for Policy mix

The Policy mix tools are related to creating the action plan and managing pilot projects. They also help regions to evaluate if the plans and actions are aligned with the region’s priorities.

5.1 Intervention logic

Intervention logic allows identifying if different policy measures are coherent with the vision and objectives of the region. It also suggests ways to group the selected policy measures, as well as possible pathways and roadmaps towards the achievement of the RIS3 objectives.

5.2 Action plan co-design

This method goes beyond consultation by building and deepening equal collaboration between citizens affected by, or attempting to, resolve a particular challenge.

5.3 Budgeting

The method will provide a framework for using different budgeting methods (incremental, zero budgeting) to capture the funding dimension of the RIS3 action plan and the needs for funding across the defined implementation period. The potential sources of funding and allocation of actions across the funding lines are provided.

5.4 State aid law compliance for RIS3 implementation

The method will define the mapping of framework conditions for funding and the implementation of the RIS3 action plan and the projects/actions included in this plan.

5.5 Calls consultation

The method will enable regions to assess calls for projects – proposing tailored selection criteria, a standard online tool for collecting and assessing RIS3 project proposals, etc.

5.6 Innovation maps

Online innovation maps is an online visualisation tool that teases out information about regional technological trends using grant data that is collected from S3 programmes and initiatives.

5.7 Open data tool

Open data tool is an online data application in the form of a data repository. It allows a finely grained tracking of projects and initiatives implemented in each region, with a link to their S3 priorities.