28 Nov 2018

Benchmarking guided Joint Action Plan development of RDI2CluB partner regions

During the first year of co-operation, RDI2CluB partnership has focused on capacity building for smart specialization in bioeconomy. Partner regions have learned about each other’s strengths and challenges as well as identified a roadmap for jointly developing bioeconomy in rural regions around the Baltic Sea.

In the second milestone from April to September 2018, partners of RDI2CluB started the development of Joint Action Plans as regional and transnational roadmaps for strengthening the bioeconomy innovation ecosystems. The Joint Action Plan development involves continuous stakeholder dialogue and transnational learning to identify short, medium and long-term development action for enhancing the triple helix co-operation on regional and interregional levels. The planning has been supported with the benchmarking actions to assess the regional bioeconomy readiness as well as to gain feedback and ideas for strengthening the regional innovation systems.

The benchmarking visit to Biobased Delta in Netherlands was an inspiring learning opportunity on the triple helix approach of one of the best practice bioeconomy clusters in Europe. Regional Bioeconomy Profiles offered a tool for benchmarking regional bioeconomy readiness in national and European context. The screening of the networks and platforms provided ideas for the development of the BSR network of bioeconomy innovation hubs and the related Open Virtual Biobusiness Hub as a web-platform for the network operations.

Regional Bioeconomy Profiles for Central Finland, Hedmark (Norway), Vidzeme (Latvia), Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (Poland) and all five Estonian regions (NUTS 3) were produced using the Bioeconomy Regional Strategy Toolkit (BERST) databank, Metabase. The profiles offer a bioeconomy readiness analysis with information on the region’s potential in smart specialization. The profile shows the relative strengths and weaknesses of the region compared to the national averages. All partner regions organised a validation process to finalize the profiles together with their stakeholders. Validation involved interpretation of the results and identification of the needed steps for strengthening the regional bioeconomy performance and innovation ecosystem.

Transnational learning on the Regional Bioeconomy Profiles was enabled with the joint workshop in Estonia, June 6-7, 2018 where the partners explored each other’s profiles and gave feedback and development ideas for Joint Action Plans. Furthermore, the update of the BERST web-toolkit allowed the regions to benchmark their regional performance against other regions in Finland, Estonia, Norway, Poland and Latvia based on the data collection of the partners.

The design of the Open Virtual Biobusiness Hub for the network of rural RDI milieus was started with screening of 26 networks and platforms focusing on bioeconomy, smart specialization and the co-operation of regions, clusters or RDI institutes. Furthermore, mapping of the bioeconomy innovation ecosystems connected to the rural RDI milieus enabled transnational learning on the regional innovation systems as well as helped to identify needed actions to strengthen the regional co-operation.

More information: Anna Aalto, +358 40 640 2346, anna.aalto(at)jamk.fi, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Bioeconomy, www.rdi2club.eu