East Sweden Region – the county of Östergötland’s adaptation of RIS3

Yesterday I published a brief article about what we mean with RIS3. Today I will tell you a bit about the implementation of RIS3 in the East Sweden Region, where we are working on developing and now implementing smart specialisation since more than one year.

Strategic governance and operationalisation

There is currently extensive work within the Östergötland county to establish a common platform for economic and regional growth – East Sweden Business Region (ESBR). This is a common trademark, based on a concrete and market-oriented working model. ESBR has an organisation which clarifies roles, responsibilities and cross-functional collaboration.


In order to adhere to the EU Horison 2020 strategy,  East Sweden Business Region (ESBR) – in Östergötland, has developed a regional innovation strategy (RIS) and as one of the first measures for its implementation a process for identifying of the Smart specialisation areas has been carried out, under the project management from Bearing.

The Regional Innovation Strategy (RIS), is the result of collaboration and agreement between the county’s publicly funded growth engines: Östergötland County Administrative Board, East Sweden Regional Council, Linköping University, Östergötland County Council, ALMI Business Partner, and the 13 municipalities.

A strategy is needed in order to prioritise and allocate the right resources

Depending on who you talk with, you may get slightly different answers as to what is the most important in a strategy for innovation and growth. The strategy shall provide a basis for constructive talks between players who in different ways contribute to the development of the county; businesses, authorities, academia and individual citizens. Innovation, is by definition by the OECD: ”… the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (goods or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.”

It could also be a new combination of existing solutions. The key feature of an innovation is that it is new and that it is implemented in an operation or on the market. Implementation and market acceptance is what differentiates an innovation from an idea.

Quad helixSmart specialisation – effective support measures

In East Sweden Business Region more powerful and effective resources to stimulate and aid successful innovation work are created. This will strengthen the Region’s competitiveness. To maximize the effects the resources are combined from a Quad Helix perspective, that is; Public sector, Business, Academia and the Civil society.

In order to make a difference for the participating organisations, and thereby for economic development in the region, solid investment is required within a few specific areas. This strategy is called ”smart specialisation”.

Smart specialisation areas identified as regional strengths are:

  1. Services and product flows
    Includes both cargo, passenger and material handling, as well as processes for delivery of services, which means that logistics competency becomes important also for areas such as health care, the green sector, city logistics etc.
  2.  Carbon dioxide neutral energy
    Fuels from renewable raw materials; in particular, the ability to create effective infrastructures and systems for producing, processing, value adding and distribution of such fuels as well as to integrate them into existing energy systems.
  3. Simulation & Visualization
    Visualization of complex data and interaction with virtual models, simulation, visual interactive media and games development.
  4. New industrial materials
    Nanotechnology-based coatings useful for, inter alia, utility production companies; nanostructured materials such as graphene.
  5. Smart and secure online devices and integrated systems
    System of secure, Internet-enabled, communication electronics, sensors and innovative methods to produce and distribute this, e.g.; by printed electronics.

The implementation phase has now commenced using a clear strategy and methodology for deep and inclusive anchoring throughout the whole regional Innovation System. We will keep you updated with articles on this blog as we proceed with the implementation.

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