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SPIDER. Increasing regional competitiveness through futures research methods Millennium Project 2005 Planning Committee Meeting July Chicago, USA Juha Kaskinen. Organization. Coordinator

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SPIDER

Increasing regional competitiveness through futures research methods

Millennium Project

2005 Planning Committee Meeting

July

Chicago, USA

Juha Kaskinen


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Organization

  • Coordinator

    • Finland Futures Academy (Finland Futures Research Centre, Turku School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Partners

    • 1) Germany , Duesseldorf Region

      • Z_ punkt GmbH Büro für Zukunftsgestaltung

  • 2) Belgium, Wallonia

    • The Destree Institute

      Website http://www.spider-project.net


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Goals

  • The aim of the SPIDER project is to create connections between regional actors and reinforce their role as actors and creators of regional knowledge-based innovation systems.

  • Development of foresight methodologies on the basis of good practices coming from the national foresight exercises and e.g. the methodological proceedings of the Millennium Project.

  • Implement futures studies methods as a central part of regional innovation systems

  • Create regional vision for innovation system


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Actions

  • The main phases of the project are:

  • 1) Designing the detailed networking strategy and the inter-regional/ regional work plans

  • 2) Carrying out the regional analyses and applying the regional competitiveness model in the selected regions (regional analyses & comparison)

  • 3) Composing local actor groups with recommendations given by the SG and in accordance with the local work plans

  • 4) Designing regional visions by using Delphi method (with the internet based questionnaire and interviews)

  • 5) Modifying region- and European –based policy implications

  • 6) Reinforcing connections / cohesions between European regions and actors


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SPIDER timetable and actions

Actions

SG BS 16-17.2 Turku

SG BS (12.7. Essen)

SG BS (virtual)

More detailed action plan

Detailed action plan, next steps

Regional analyses

Virtual environment

Networking

3

6

9

12

2004

Time


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SPIDER timetable and actions

Actions

SG BS (virtual)

SG BS

SG BS

Extended workshop

Delphi-method and tool

Expert workshop Brussels

Delphi analyses

Preparing reports

Regional visions

3

6

9

12

2005

Time


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EVALUATION OF A REGION’S COMPETITIVENESS

1. Human capital

2. Innovativeness

3. Focus

4. Infrastructure

10.

I

M

A

G

E

competitive-

ness

Region’sstate

Competitive

factors

Challenges

Goals

5. Enterprises

6. Institutions

7. Quality of residential environment

Region’sstate

Competitivefactors

Challenges

attraction

Goals

8. Development networks

9. Creative tension

Goals

Development network’sstate

Competitive

factors

Challenges

ability to renew

Identity & specific quality

Mutual benefit and dependence relations

Information flows & open dialogue

Exploitation of possibilities

Evaluation model (Ståhle & Sotarauta 2003)


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Components of regional analyses

  • Human capital

  • Innovativeness

  • Concentration

  • Infrastructure

  • Firms and companies

  • Institutions

  • The quality of environment (nature, social and cultural env.)

  • Networks of developers

  • Creative tension

  • Image


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Local Action Groups

  • Idea: to be a regional network of networks

  • Cover regional actors from various public and private organizations

  • Approximately 30 participants in each region

  • Line of action: Future workshops, e-communication, core experts of the delphi-questionnaire rounds

  • Combinations differ from region to region due to regional special features


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Elements of the vision of the regional innovation system

Entrepreneurship

Culture / attitudes / customs (Regional characteristics)

Nature and build environment

Infrastructure

Growth sectors (Cultural products; BIO-sector, ICT-sector)

Centralization/ Specialization

Globalization

Institutions (education, R&D)

Human and social capital Learning environments

Regional structures and organizations

Networking

Creative tension

Management

Growth platforms


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Mapping the possible actions

Action

Obstacles

Actors

Resources


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Expert seminar discussion

  • “We want to improve the quality of life of people.”

  • What became obvious in the course of the day is that many of the issues tackled so far in the project, coming from the work in the three regions, are of central importance to other regions in Europe as well. The question of how to support or even generate a successful regional development into the direction of the so-called knowledge society can be seen as the core question here. This question and the possible strategies connected to it are of key importance to all the regions which were present in the seminar.


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Expert seminar discussion

  • Problem of measuring

  • “We need to think about indicators that ‘measure’ also social and cultural aspects of regions.”

  • The social and cultural aspects of regional development were emphasized by all participants.

  • The problem of indicators in measuring and foresight regional development is apparent. New indicators are needed and perhaps especially qualitative indicators. This question is linked with the problem of the undervaluation of intangible assets in the regional economics: lack of serious tools to valorize knowledge, measurement of a qualitative driven knowledge society, level of trust of the companies and innovative products (“innovation climate towards confidence climate”), pertinence of GDP indicator (“micro-changes of today can not be observed but will become macro trends of tomorrow”), etc.


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Expert seminar discussion

  • Participation

  • “A region of knowledge has to be an open region.”

  • A knowledge region is a region where regional decision-makers and citizens – especially workers and students – have a good understanding and ownership (these are closely linked) of what a knowledge society is. They try to build long-term views to define what the final aims of their own territory are in the global evolution and in the hypothesis of the building of a global knowledge society. They should also share a real confidence in the regional development plan, even if investments in knowledge are long-term investments for long term re-conversion. We also insisted upon three points: the territorial ability to give an access to knowledge to all the inhabitants of the region; the need for foresight as a common learning process; the importance of empowering the citizens to use foresight tools (understanding of the concepts and of the building of intangible assets, creativity, from benchmarking to learn-marking, etc.).


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Expert seminar discussion

  • Role of will and emotions

  • “We need new champions in our regions.”

  • A knowledge region is a passionate region, a region of passion, with a real willingness to activate projects (“Knowledge is following passions: How to attract/provoke passions?”). A knowledge region deals with risks such as

  • – Strong entrepreneurship with open-minded and curious CEOs; a need for new mental schemes towards risk and security

  • – Political risk, where political representatives are ready to oppose movement to security. When the difficulty to manage with harmony was discussed, the two trends and important choices of life were stressed: developing performing sectors beside stagnating old industry while avoiding social exclusion.


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Expert seminar discussion

  • High tech – low tech connection

  • “The three T’s are central: Technology, talent and tolerance.”

  • A knowledge region is a region that develops science and technology through innovation. It means that intellectual as well as manual work is needed. Talent is not only addressed to science but is also needed to develop craft industry, which is also in the heart of knowledge. In that field, it is important to erase the cognitive barrier. One must also remember that universities are one source of innovations, but just one.


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Expert seminar discussion

  • Image of regions

  • “We can affect the regional image through media and actions.”

  • A knowledge region is an attractive region, with a clear image and with an improving quality of life (infrastructure, environment, culture etc.). A dynamic social climate oriented towards innovation could keep the brains in the region and attract the knowledge society's nomads from outside (“economy becomes local while creativity is global”). The role of the media in supporting regional innovation systems is a great but still underdeveloped opportunity to improve regional image.

  • In conclusion, the question of what is excellence in a knowledge-based society suggests new doors to open and in-depth work to undertake within these frameworks of Knowledge programs and initiatives.


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Expert seminar discussion

  • Methodological suggestions

  • “Use methods with imagination.”

  • ‘Not doing anything’- and ‘nightmare’-scenarios can be used in regional development projects in order to show the need of active future oriented action. Strategic conversation could also be an applicable method in this respect. A new way of doing cluster analysis over sectors offers possibilities to tackle regional strengths and weaknesses. In order to engage, motivate and empower the citizens to regional development, participatory methods are needed.


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Expert seminar discussion

  • Learning, learning regions and lifelong learning

  • “Learning should not only refer to learning in the traditional sense, but also to social and cultural learning”

  • A knowledge region is a region where all the citizens have the possibility to receive an education and to go on with life-long learning. Indeed, the concept of learning region would be more adapted because it would be more oriented towards the learning mobilization of all the stakeholders and the citizens of the region (“knowledge creation must be linked to temporality”). A knowledge region is a region promoting excellence in education and in research that overcome the hesitations of universities to deal with companies and regional authorities for a common development effort.


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Next steps of SPIDER

  • Delphi-questionnaires and interviews

  • A publication in English based on the regional reports

  • Analysis of Delphi-questionnaires

  • Final report (March 2006)


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Contact information

  • Dr. (Soc. Sc.), Coordinator (International Affairs) Juha Kaskinen

  • Finland Futures Research Centre / Finland Futures Academy

  • Turku School of Economics and Business Administration

  • Rehtorinpellonkatu 3 20500 Turku, Finland

  • Tel. +358 2 4814 528; Mob. +358 40 5439 645; Fax +358 4814 630

  • [email protected]

  • http://www.tukkk.fi/tutu

  • http://www.spider-project.net


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