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Policy learning in program management, and program management in policy learning – THE CASE OF THE VINNVÄXT-PROGRAM Per Eriksson Director General VINNOVA.

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Presentation on theme: "Policy learning in program management, and program management in policy learning – THE CASE OF THE VINNVÄXT-PROGRAM Per Eriksson Director General VINNOVA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Policy learning in program management, and program management in policy learning – THE CASE OF THE VINNVÄXT-PROGRAM Per Eriksson Director General VINNOVA – Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems

2 VINNOVAs Mission VINNOVA´s mission is to promote sustainable growth by financing needs-driven R&D and development of effective innovation systems. VINNOVA integrates R&D in Biotech, ICT, Services, Manufacturing, Materials, Transport, Automotive and Working life. The VINNVÄXT-program (Win Growth) is one important instrument for supporting growth in functional regions by competition of R&D financing and innovation system development.

3 Aim of the presentation An outline of the VINNVÄXT-program – Designing the program – Implementing the program Policy learning and potential for policy transfer – some reflections

4 Government Public sector Business University Depending Actor Groups Learning by fighting Knowledge based economy From PPP, Public Private Partnership, To Public Private Univ. Partnership, i.e. Triple Helix Triple Helix

5 What is VINNVÄXT? A competition (3 calls, 3+5+? winners) The winners receive up to 1 MEUR per year for 10 years Regional co-funding of at least as much A Triple Helix-based approach – Cooperative Triple Helix based R&D – Three evaluating panels, Triple Helix

6 PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT International knowledge transfer International benchmark 5 Pilots Process-support Triple Helix management training CALL 1 Competition, 30 million 159 initial proposals 25 development initiatives 3 winners/7 runner-ups The Dahmén Institute - A process-support organisation -The national facilitators Network -Triple Helix management training CALL 2 Competition, 30 million 23 proposals 5 winners 8 WINNERS On-going process support: networking, knowledge transfer, coaching, evaluation, etc CALL 3 Innovation systems in early stages Competition, 5 million Process support for formation 86 initial proposals 10 development initiatives, 3 mo preparation Triple Helix management training 26 Final proposals 5 potential winners full-scale winners The VINNVÄXT timeline

7 8 winners, so far… ROBOTICS VALLEY

8 Most important activities today (for winners/non-winners) Creating a structural platform in the region (changing R&D strategies, restructuring incubators, facilitating for commercialisation etc.) Organisational development (new organisation, leadership, change management, strategy etc.) Trying to mobilise actors internally (in the region) and externally (in the functional innovation system) to strengthen the initiative Facilitating for new projects (demo- and commercialisation)

9 VINNOVA IS PICKING THE WINNERS What are we looking for? Existence of a regional partnership and strong Triple Helix leadership with a shared vision and with an ability to prioritise resources/activities/efforts. Universities, which profile their education and research, and cooperate with business and society An industry with an ability to cluster and identify future growth areas and markets A regional government support Academia Politicians Industry Academia Politicians Industry

10 Why is VINNVÄXT a good example? VINNVÄXT is a strong brand (useful for the initiatives for co- branding) VINNVÄXT has attracted new types of applicants/competencies outside the traditional network of applicants VINNVÄXT demonstrates that relatively low funding can generate high return Many of the initiatives that didnt win still exists. Some of them are very well off when it comes to financing from other sources – still with an high development potential. Many of the initiatives are evolving as important hubs in their region/area of competence/innovation system VINNVÄXT demonstrates the need for creating policy initiatives that are long term

11 General driving forces on a national level - my perspective Failure of Regional Policy TelecomCity, Soft Center and Ideon experience Competition with other agencies Bold and long time commitment possible in VINNOVA

12 General driving forces on a national level A growing interest in new theories explaining growth, competitiveness and innovation (e.g. Nelson & Winter, Rosenberg, Lundvall, Porter) Long-term economic growth in Sweden continued to be weak despite large investments in R&D (i.e. an increasing awareness that returns from Swedish R&D investments must be higher) A growing awareness on the need for policy coherence and co-ordination (a systems perspective)

13 General driving forces on a public authority level VINNOVA was a new public authority with a freedom for testing new programs etc. A Director-General with experience from different Triple Helix spheres as well as from a successful regional change process (Blekinge/Karlskrona and Telecom City). A number of competent, embedded individuals (staff) interested in developing new methods for supporting regional innovation systems for growth.

14 Policy learning – designing VINNVÄXT (1) The importance of: having a strategy for communication (i.e. the importance of branding); using a unifying concept and a common value-system (Triple Helix); long term activities (10 years) for attracting new types of applicants (actor constellations) and new types of competences (e.g. experts and middle management from industry); the partnership approach – VINNOVA not only act as a program evaluator, also as a supportive partner; internal workshops (and an initial open climate for discussion); international benchlearning rather than mechanical benchmarking; pilots (i.e. testing a model by interactive learning between the public authority and the initiatives).

15 Policy learning from international benchlearning and the pilots: – The importance of using calls (If regions are to be competitive, why not let them compete?); – The importance of promoting regional leadership; – The importance of using panels (consisting of actors from all parts of Triple Helix ) when selecting prospects and winners; – The importance of providing extensive support to potential applicants and the winners. Policy learning – designing VINNVÄXT (2)

16 The importance of creating a structural platform for learning (e.g. by initiating interactive research, workshops); continuous process support (e.g. courses in Triple Helix management, coaching and tools for self-evaluation); follow-ups and assessment in dialogue; using independent international evaluators not embedded in the regional or national milieu; having the ability to re-engineer the program (i.e. to learn and un-learn). Policy learning – implementing VINNVÄXT

17 Learning by writing – The ability to use different types of analyses, forecasts, indicators etc. as strategic tools and means for communication internally, within the initiative, and externally (i.e. learning by writing) Learning by fighting – The ability to define roles, areas of activity and special interests and in that process not shy away from conflicts but rather trying to solve them by creating new solutions etc. (i.e. learning by fighting) Policy learning – on the RIS-initiative level

18 The most important lessons to learn from the VINNVÄXT-experience The existence of a strong regional leadership promoting renewal A shared vision within a specific area of growth A functional definition of the region The development of robust research and innovation The development of strategies and resources for learning Knowledge and insight into business and development logic within the specific area of growth

19 The most important lessons to learn from the VINNVÄXT-experience Strong commitment on the part of the companies The importance of a long term approach Almost killed the agency – solved by learning by fighting and supporting friends Supported strategy for regional funds from the universities, scientific academies and national R&D funding agencies

20 Changing mindset takes time Personal mobility within Triple Helix must increase since VINNVÄXT indicates that it facilitates double-loop policy learning and the use of policy learning as an integrating mechanism? Policy learning by fighting (the existing resistance) must be facilitated. A prerequisite for renewal. Methods for finding and measures for supporting embryonic innovation systems must be developed Successful policy learning is lesson-drawing across (1) time (i.e. own experience) (2) space (other regions) and (3) system (i.e. policy transfer to other sectors). (1) seems by far the easiest and the most common Policy learning – challenges

21 Policy learning – Conclusions Government Regional Government Public Authority Regional innovation systems Ministry of Industry Low level of policy transfer to other ministries Anecdotal and fragmentated policy learning, good examples No visible effects Positive image of VINNOVA Distorted view of VINNOVAs core business No vertical policy learning No horisontal policy learning VINNOVA and other growth or innovation orientated authorities (e.g ISA, NUTEK) Distinct policylearning within certain departments No or fragmented learning in the entire authority Focus on growth, in- novation and compe- titveness. A systemic perspective Long-term perspective – from project to process No vertical policy learning (up) Strong vertical policy learning (down) Some horisontal policy learning New Triple helix formations for collective action Collective action for innovation and economic growth The formation of strategic and systemic Regional Innovation Systems Initiatives. Strong vertical policy learning (up and down) Strong horisontal policy learning County Council Municipalities Policy networks Systemic policy learning See above Strong vertical policy learning (up and down) Strong horisontal policy learning WHOWHATEFFECTSPOLICY LEARNING

22 8 winners, so far… ROBOTICS VALLEY

23 Government Public sector Business University Depending Actor Groups Learning by fighting Knowledge based economy From PPP, Public Private Partnership, To Public Private Univ. Partnership, i.e. Triple Helix Triple Helix

24 Policy learning in program management, and program management in policy learning – THE CASE OF THE VINNVÄXT-PROGRAM Per Eriksson Director General VINNOVA – Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems


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