Proposal of Western Greece Region
Innovativeness in terms of concepts processes and tools. The key elements (concepts processes and tools) for the regional innovation plan implementation include:
Reinforcement of existing Regional Technology and innovation centers
Physical centers of excellence have a powerful role to play in helping business to develop and commercialize good ideas. Basic target of the regional strategy is to establish and oversee a network of world-leading technology and innovation centers in specific fields and look at how clusters of expertise can create momentum for innovation.
New support for high potential SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises will be a major source of region’s future economic growth. We will create a co-ordinated package of support and investment for SMEs, helping early stage businesses to accelerate their ideas more rapidly to market and, for more mature businesses with potential, to deliver strong growth. We want to make region of West Greece one of the most preferred regions to start and grow innovative businesses in Greece.
Public procurement, offers great opportunities for government to act as a key player, encouraging and purchasing innovative products and services which can then go on to further commercial success. Region of Western Greece will develop this potential over the next seven years to make public sector procurement a force for innovation.
Large-scale demonstrators help to overcome barriers, bringing partners together to test and validate what can be done, and so move new products closer to wider application. We have enabled highly effective demonstrators in several sectors, and will invest in projects where there is a need and benefit.
New forms of knowledge exchange
Online social networks are a powerful and efficient enabler of connections, bringing people with ideas and resources together. Region of Western Greece intends to develop online platform to maximize its impact as a place where individuals and businesses can find partners, build collaborations and work on challenges on the road to commercialization.
Attracting talented people, direct investments, society engagement to regional strategy.
Our Regional Innovation Strategy focuses on supporting and development of our talent, and ensures that regional organizations provide a positive and stimulating environment, where talented people can thrive and work effectively together. Our target is to develop business processes to be fast, flexible and focused on the needs of the businesses that we support, and our benchmarks and impact measures to ensure that regional strategy remains highly effective. Attracting talented people, direct foreign investments and society engagement will be realized through:
- The development of innovation platforms and programmes across areas where regional authorities actions and/or societal challenges will create business opportunities for regional companies
- Ensure that the roles of policy, standards, regulation and financial incentives are considered in the design of our thematic programmes and strategies
- Help unlock the innovation potential of regional stakeholders by developing other support structures and programmes
Interactions between regional actors and stakeholders.
Region of Western Greece is the first region that established a governance body dedicated for the regional innovation policy. The body is consisted of members from elected regional council, the academia and research sector, the industry and business sector and regional technical education. Basic roles of the governance body is to:
- Perform the strategy specialization with the collaborative working and partnership of all regional stakeholders (research and academia, business and industry sector, regional government and society partners)
- Monitor the strategy implementation through a system of indicators
- Results evaluation and benchmarking analysis in relation with other regions
- Make corrective actions to adjust its strategy and avoid "locking" on inefficient specialization options
Integration with Europe 2020.
The pressing societal challenges are a major theme of the Horizon2020 programme. HORIZON 2020 will be used for the development of excellent research programmes focused on themes relevant to the key priorities of Western Greece Innovation Strategy. Emphasis will be made on research and innovation projects on NMP (Nanotechnology – Manufacturing – Production) area, in Energy efficiency and renewable energies, Cutting edge research, etc. Western Greece Region will take advantage of the experience gained from the successful participation on European ERANET programs (MANUNET I & II, LEADERA and INCOMERA) in order to further exploit and benefit from programmes under HORIZON 2020 agenda. Academia, research institutions and innovation bodies (Patras Science Park, CORALIA Cluster of Microelectronics) have an important role to play in this process. In addition, stakeholders from business sector and Regional authority of West Greece will strongly cooperate and work on the innovation agenda for the forthcoming seven years period.
The strategy will be implemented with the regional political authority:
- Obtaining input from (i) stakeholders who form think tanks to deliberate issues, and (ii) academic and other experts invited to study, review and present their findings: all about the best implementation of SBA principles and priorities of related policy initiatives (namely, the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan and the Green Action Plan), so that they may act upon them.
- Trusting stakeholders and experts to help with the implementation of the aforesaid principles and priorities. Consulting with local business representatives and other stakeholders and experts for its own policy-making. Engaging in actions intended to help SMEs advance. Building a culture that relies on cooperation, sharing ideas and experiences, learning-mentoring. Creating a mechanism through which the territorial EER objectives are embedded in the regional development strategy and contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 goals.
- Improving the services the regional administration provides to citizens and organizations. Utilizing the financial tools set up by the EU to affect economic growth and the generation of jobs. Promoting the regional Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization (RIS3) in agro-food, tourism-culture, advanced materials, microelectronics. Encouraging the central government on the relevant pecuniary and non-pecuniary steps that need to be taken.
- Engaging in complementary activities, namely: Ameliorating intraregional accessibility and social exclusion, facilitating the mobility of residents. Maintaining social cohesion. Protecting the natural and cultural environment. Promoting energy from resources which are naturally replenished, increasing energy efficiency.
- Proposing projects selected in a consistent decision-making manner via multi-criteria analysis.
It is a future-oriented vision in which:
- Entrepreneurship (i.e., the ability of combining inputs in ways that increase the quality and value of output) is regarded as a road to economic recovery and growth.
- The overall environment will become more conducive to the starting and operation of local firms.
Innovation, creating and commercializing new knowledge, fostering enterprise and improving infrastructure and skills base are key to the competitiveness of Region of Western Greece. The challenge we are faced with today is to develop such policies and a regional strategy that support and encourage business competitiveness in a more effective way than other regions.
The Regional Innovation Strategy identifies Three Key Priorities for action related with two Horizontal Synergy Action areas which we have chosen to focus on as shown in the following diagram.
Western Greece Regional Innovation Strategy: focus areas and topics
1st Area: Agriculture, Aqua farming, Food
Focus on: Hydroponic, Aeroponic greenhouses etc, super foods production, New species for sea & aqua farming, new cultivation techniques, etc.
2nd Area: Tourism & Culture
Focus on: Cruise, yachting, Restaurants / Local cousin, Fresh Foods, Archeological sites, etc.
3rd Area: Advance Materials, Nano -Technology, Microelectronics, Bio-products
Focus on: Design / Modeling Simulation, Software, Integrated circuits, etc.
Horizontal Synergy with:
Digital Sciences – CTI: Mobile apps for touristic and cultural projects, virtual museums, virtual tours, Applications to aquaculture, sea farming, agriculture.
Energy: Energy production from wastes, fuel cells and hydrogen, Energy saving applications on high energy spots of tourist value chain, low CO2 emission.
SMEs in Region of Western Greece are the backbone of production with specific weight in preserving social cohesion. The region exhibits high per capita business activity with the vast majority of businesses being SMEs while the basics (quality raw materials, natural resources, human capital) are already present in the region. The rapid shrinking of the SMEs economic activity – till now the spine of local economy- is a fundamental shift in the productive regional base which results to the increasing unemployment and threatens the social cohesion. In order to revert this threaten and correspond to new emerging trends for entrepreneurship Region has previously adopted a new strategy for SMEs based in the implementation of Small Business Act (SBA) principles - a European initiative for supporting the SMEs - as well as priorities of related policy initiatives that fall within the territory’s competences.
Region of Western Greece logo is "full of contrast" as a result of its remarkable multidimensional variety in terms of natural and cultural resources and productive activities (indicative, birthplace of Olympic Games, holds app. 48% of Greece's lagoon and lake areas, produces app. 12.5% of EU's total production in bream and sea bass, holds the 9th place among 272 European regions regarding the primary sector and the 26th place regarding Services, extensive coastal line with 2 cruise ports Katakolo and Patras, 11 Ramsar areas and protected areas etc.). Region of Western Greece has a population of 680 thousands (6,3% of national), decreased by 61 thousands since year 2001. Primary sector of economy contributes with almost 7,5 % on the regional GDP, secondary sector contributes with 17% and tertiary sector is the dominant one with more than 75% on the regional GDP.The overall regional development strategy expressed by the political vision 2011-2019 is to achieve a self-powered, extrovert, sustainable reconstruction of the region that is centered on the region’s global identity, humanistic values and the environment. The RWG hosts 3 university campuses as well as 4 hospitals, 1 regional and 3 local.