Upgrading the innovation capacity of existing firms
ERIK ACTION is a Capitalisation Project born from 4 years of networking experience within the ERIK network. ERIK ACTION builds on a consolidated experience of exchange by moving towards concrete transfer of identified good practices (already available in the ERIK database) into mainstream Structural Funds programmes in regions wishing to improve policies. ERIK ACTION’s overall objective is to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies in the field of innovation and the knowledge economy and, specifically, in upgrading the innovation capacity of existing enterprises. This project aims to create additional value for firms by improving regional innovation support services and infrastructure. The good practices transferred, in the form of regional action plans, should have a quantifiable and measurable impact on the statistics of the participating regions. The project consortium is composed of 11 regions from 10 European countries, all involving (through direct participation or guaranteed support) ROP Managing Authorities. All partners have identified innovation as a key priority in regional development and have confirmed the importance of the project theme in their current environment. Partners differ in development levels in this field. In some policies on innovation are not yet at an advanced stage. Others have established a comprehensive innovation support system but still look to improve services. ERIK ACTION will go some way to bridging these gaps through intensive cooperation with a view to mutual learning and benefits. ERIK ACTION is divided into 3 Components: Management and Coordination, Dissemination and Communication and Exchange of experiences for good practice transfer into EU Structural Funds mainstream programmes. Regional action plans for the transfer of already identified good practices will be developed and approved by every region accompanied by training sessions on key themes, transfer workshops on specific good practices, study visits to see practical good practice implementation and staff exchange in which a good practice expert will visit the region to which the good practice is being transferred. Activities will be supported by transfer help desks for each good practice. Through dedicated communication and dissemination, partners will ensure the participation of regional delegations including all those actors with a role to play in related activities and transfer of experiences to other EU regions. A reliable and skilled management team will guarantee the achievements of objectives with the aid of innovative tools. The project will produce 11 regional action plans for transfer. It will also produce a mainstreaming guide which will be widely distributed, above all during the final conference. 11 European regions will see their regional policies, instruments and staff capacities being improved as a result of intensive cooperation and concrete transfer actions.