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European Parliament Preparatory Action: "Actual and desired state of the economic potential in regions outside the Greek capital Athens" Final Report

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Abstract

This is the final report of the European Parliament Preparatory Action: "Actual and desired state of the economic potential in regions outside the Greek capital Athens" (hereafter Preparatory Action or PA). It reviews the key activities of this preparatory action, its impacts, the remaining barriers to RIS3 implementation and presents a perspective on the way forward. Providing hands-on support to the refinement and implementation of the RIS3 strategy in the Greek Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (REMTh) has entailed the following activities: • Mutual learning: this has at core element of the preparatory action, and has offered a unique opportunity to all the stakeholders involved to share experiences and build a common understanding of RIS3, its potential and the real challenges to its implementation. • Optimisation of the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) – the design, implementation and adaptation of a systematic participatory methodology for the EDP, centred on thematic focus groups. These events enabled the generation and articulation of innovation ideas and initiated the first necessary steps towards concrete projects. • Capacity building - two dedicated working groups were organised: one centred on issues of human resources mobility and one on RIS3 governance. Relevant stakeholders, under the guidance of an expert, discussed and formulated plans on how to tackle the different challenges at stake. • Identification of bottlenecks and systemic failures in RIS3 implementation - the region has good potential for diversification, but faces a wide set of legal and administrative barriers, which need to be addressed to enable the allocation of structural funds and other resources to support RIS3 implementation in an optimal way. • Communication and codification of activities - with the aim of replicating or adapting the activities of the preparatory action and the emerging learning opportunities for other regions, outcomes of all the events have been published on-line, as have methodological guidelines for the EDP process. Furthermore, further publications from these activities are foreseen in the near future. • Supporting tools for internationalisation and collaboration. The preparatory action has developed a set of online resources that aim at guiding the region in increasing its international outlook to RIS3 and its collaboration between research and industry. The Preparatory Action generated some very concrete impacts on the regions, among which the main ones are: • The mobilisation of a critical mass of researchers and business people (600+ people), which actively participated to the EDP focus groups and PDL events. This bottom-up process has increased mutual trust, created a 'momentum' in initiating change and increased the understanding of what RIS3 can contribute to this change. • The appreciation of networking and research-business collaboration across stakeholders and especially between research and business. Indeed, some informal networks have been organised, for instance in the wine and marble sector. • The creation of an action plan for both RIS3 governance and mobility of human resources. • Both the Managing Authority and regional stakeholders have better access to international counterparts, both in governance of RIS3 and in performing research and innovation. • The project has also determined a shift in perception as far as the European Commission is concerned, which is now perceived more as a collaborator. • The PA has stimulated and accelerated a discussion between the EC, regional and national authorities which has help to clarify – for the whole country – several aspects of RIS3 and Structural Funds. • The preparatory action has significantly influenced the way to design and implement the development strategy for the Region by engaging all relevant stakeholders from the outset.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Boden & Patrice dos Santos & Karel Haegeman & Elisabetta Marinelli & Susana Valero, 2015. "European Parliament Preparatory Action: "Actual and desired state of the economic potential in regions outside the Greek capital Athens" Final Report," JRC Working Papers JRC98359, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
  • Handle: RePEc:ipt:iptwpa:jrc98359
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    File URL: https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC98359
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    Cited by:

    1. Charis Vlados & Dimos Chatzinikolaou, 2020. "Stra.Tech.Man innovation, HRM and Perception of Educational Needs in Underdeveloped Business Ecosystems: The Case of Retail Sector Firms in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace," International Journal of Human Resource Studies, Macrothink Institute, vol. 10(2), pages 330354-3303, December.
    2. Charis Vlados & Dimos Chatzinikolaou & Fotios Katimertzopoulos & Theodore Koutroukis, 2019. "Regional underdevelopment and less developed business ecosystems: The case of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 31-44.

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    Keywords

    REMTh; RIS3; Smart specialisation; Greece; EDP;
    All these keywords.

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