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Measuring INnovation among EURopean Subregions (IN-EUR)
Start date: Dec 31, 2011, End date: Dec 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

IN-EUR addresses the need for local level strategies to ensure innovation and knowledge growth all over the EU. Based on analysis of innovation, research and technology initiatives, IN-EUR supports public actors at sub-regional level to define and orientate local policies and investments on innovation.The overall project objective is to use interregional cooperation to improve quality of innovation policy at local level through sharing, integrating and transferring methodologies for measuring innovation. Through improved innovation policy, based on information gained from tested methodologies and following a result oriented approach, local authorities can avoid duplication, gaps and subsequent waste of public resources.IN-EUR is based on analysis of existing methodologies for measuring innovation at NUTS III level. Through in depth, interregional exchange, methodologies are updated and adapted in order to produce a shared tool, the Advanced Local Balance of Innovation (ALBI) model,which can be applied to partner regions and on a wide scale outside the consortium.IN-EUR groups 9 partners, representing 8 EU regions, all committed to this important objective. Each has the ability to involve key stakeholders, provide expert input and experience to thematic actions and directly or indirectly influence public policy on innovation. Partners with existing methodologies make these available for adaptation and transfer. Partners with other experiences in innovation policy or informal monitoring systems contribute to adapting methodologies into one integrated, flexible solution.The project is articulated into 4 components. Component 1 ensures efficient and correct administrative and financial management of the project. Component 2 guarantees dissemination and capitalisation of project outputs and results at local and EU level. Component 3 foresees intense exchange on indicators and methodologies to enrich existing methodologies and define their means of implementation.A sequence of activities involving local stakeholders will lead to a new set of indicators and overall improvements to the methodologies, thus defining the Advanced Local Balance of Innovation. Component 4 will complete and integrate Component 3, by verifying the ALBIs effectiveness through light pilot actions in 3 selected territories. All results will be used to define the Implementation Plan for each local territory, defining how the ALBI will be mainstreamed and extended.Through this project, staff members in partner organisations and regional stakeholders will increase their capacity in terms of innovation policy monitoring and design, 8 innovation oriented processes will be stimulated by exchange and testing activities and 8 local policies will be improved, thanks to the integrated methodology for measuring local innovation(ALBI), tested in partner regions and widely disseminated in partner regions and outside. Achievements: The overall objective of IN-EUR is to improve the quality of local level innovation policy through sharing, integrating and applying methodologies for the measurement of innovation in European sub-regions by means of interregional cooperation. Born from the INNODEC project, where a methodology called the Local Balance of Innovation (LBI) was conceived, developed, and tested on a limited scale. IN-EUR addresses the necessity to take the project further through exchange with other existing models, eventual integration or compatibility measures with these models and application of the methodology on a wider scale. Indeed, INEUR is based on analysis of this and other existing methodologies for measuring innovation at NUTS3 level. Through in depth, interregional exchange, methodologies are updated and adapted in order to produce a shared tool, the Advanced Local Balance of Innovation (ALBI) model. Since the project began in January 2012, IN-EUR partners have worked together to enlarge local and interregional cooperation on the overall theme of measuring Innovation. IN-EUR offers a chance to ensure that innovation policy is aligned with local needs, building on local strengths and being mainstreamed to reach regional and national level. An intensive and stimulating debate has been initiated on the meanings of the word Innovation and the specific needs highlighted by regional stakeholders. A first project meeting was held in Braila (Romania) in March, together with a Launch Conference. This was a unique opportunity to present the project and its objectives and have representatives from local innovation system, including universities, business associations, chambers of commerce and local councils, regional development agencies gathered together to discuss the project theme and its application at local level. In particular, participants addressed the question of what innovation is and what are the main factors on which innovation depends in a given territory. A 2nd project meeting was held in Malta in September, together with the first Workshop on Exchange of experiences. Partners started an analysis at local level of the two models proposed for territorial reports (1 on innovation governance and 1 on indicators). These reports represent the starting point for partners to collect the data on measuring innovation at local level. They contain the potential areas of investigations together with quantitative and qualitative indicators for data to be collected. Partners addressed the question of data sources to be used, not only in terms of national or regional/local level, but also in terms of content. They agreed on the necessity of determining whether data being presented can feasibly be collected. Once agreed on data, they can define the indicators and collect the information. Another issue raised was the lack of data at NUT3 level, and the way of overcoming such difficulty during data collection. The model is not an academic tool, but rather a policy support tool; the methodology should support local authorities in building up a concrete agenda for innovation. This explains why IN-EUR is not just looking for statistical data, but also works with local actors to collect quantitative and qualitative indicators. For this reason, work is based on creating discussion tables with local actors, including universities, economic and social associations, enterprises of different levels and also schools. The first year of activities has also seen the creation of Regional Discussion Tables involving key stakeholders at partners local level. They are expected to provide input on local innovation policy and the instruments for measuring local innovation. By the beginning of 3rd semester reports will be finalised and filled in with stakeholders inputs. Partners have also undertaken a wide press campaign to disseminate the project and its objectives through brochures, newsletters, press articles.

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