Tartu Science Park » Projects » Implemented projects » RAPIDE


Regional Action Plans for Innovation Development and Enterprise

RAPIDE was a network involving 13 partners from 11 Member States. Its aim was to implement good practice relating to the role of the public sector in stimulating innovation in partner regions, in particular helping businesses (primarily SMEs) to bring innovative products and services to market more quickly. The long term objective of the project was to stimulate innovation in partner regions, increase economic growth and therefore to contribute directly to the Lisbon agenda. The partnership arose from a 'Beyond Best Practice' summit that was held in Cornwall, UK in 2007. This event focused on good practice in relation to innovation and identified three critical factors when it comes to successfully stimulating innovation. These factors - managing risk, financing innovation and effective partnerships - were the three themes that formed the primary emphasis of the RAPIDE network.

The project worked through 2 main phases:

  • Phase 1 involved three 'Beyond Best Practice' working summits at which host regions shared experiences in relation to best practice initiatives/projects that have succesfully addressed one or more of the key themes (risk, finance, partnership), overcoming these barriers to bringing innovation to market. Through peer review and discussion, a range of key principles that are important for stimulating innovation were identified, as well as a range of 'tools' or 'methods.'
  • The second phase of the project involved regions (working through a range of interactive methods including exchanges and small working forums) to develop action plans for innovation based on evidence from phase 1. These were applied and implemented through mainstream Competitiveness and Convergence Programmes. The project ensured a wider audience for the mainstreaming of good practice.

Through this two phase process, the partnership aimed to develop robust, evidence based and workable Action Plans that will be effective in steering mainstream Programme investment towards appropriate activities that will help bring innovation to market more quickly, particularly through assistance to SMEs.

The project's key outputs were 11 interregional events held with 360 participants, 13 examples of best practice were made available to regional and local actors, 4 brochures and 9 newsletters produced. The project's results included the development of 12 action plans, 12 regional/local policies and instruments improved in the field of innovation/regional economic development and 7 action plans that have been developed in Convergence regions further to the lessons learnt from Competitiveness and Employment regions.

Project partners were: South West of England Regional Development Agency and Welsh Assembly Government from Great Britain, Galician Ministry of Innovaton and Industry from Spain, Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship from Poland, Örebro Regional Development Council from Sweden, Region Western Greece from Creece, Ministry of Economy and Labour Saxony-Anhalt from Germany, Presov Self-Governing Region from Slovenia, South Bohemian Agency for Support to Innovative Enterprising fro Czech Republic, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences and Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences from Finland, Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency from Hungary and Tartu Science Park.

Project was carried out: 01.09.2008-31.08.2010

RAPIDE newsletters:

  • No 1
  • No 2 
  • No 3 
  • No 4

For additional information contact:
Henri Hanson, tel:+372 7381 027, e-mail: henri@sciencepark.ee