Impacts and Indicators of Regional Innovation Ecosystems Supporting Sustainable Development

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Minna TakalaTaina TukiainenVesa SalminenJyri Sarkkinen

Abstract: Ecosystems are recognized to play an increasingly important role in the implementation of EU innovation policies. Assessing and measuring the impacts of regional innovation ecosystems is elementary for development. A framework for analysis requires versatile data and ecosystem specific reviews. Since 2014, European Union has recommended European regions to enhance their innovation development activities based on Smart Specialisation. Smart Specialisation is a place-based approach characterised by the identification of strategic areas based both on regional strengths and potential of the economy. It aims to enhance prosperity of European regions by accelerating research, development and innovation activities as well as supporting Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) with wide stakeholder involvement.EU’s Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2021 assesses the innovation performance of European regions on a limited number of indicators. The last edition of the scoreboard shows that innovation performance has increased for 225 regions out of the total of 240 regions over the period since 2014. The most innovative regions are typically in the most innovative countries. However, in Finland the indicators and level analysis are conducted at large area level, and it does not extend to regions. This creates challenges for both development and monitoring practices for regional innovation strategies. The challenge remains on how to enhance, measure, and assess innovation ecosystem development practices at regional level especially in the institutionally thin regions with relatively low RDI and EDP performance with moderate innovation capabilities. ESPON has studied Entrepreneurial Governance practices to support RDI activities especially related to societal innovation themes - climate, energy, food, health, security, and transportation. In these development themes also lagging regions can create enabling conditions for testing new innovative products and services. The paper shares early results of on-going Häme Goes into Ecosystems HGiE –project which aims to enhance sustainable innovation ecosystem development. The paper introduces a framework for measurement and assessment, with selected indicators, and desired impacts of a regional innovation ecosystem. Häme Portfolio management tool is used to support open innovation practices providing an opportunity to measure and evaluate on-going activities

Keywords: innovation ecosystem, regional development, impact, indicators, portfolio management

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003881

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