Developing regional planning skills and regional innovation capacity
In the framework of the EUKI project, a representative of Focus Eco Center participated in Alba Iulia, where the first workshop was held in the Central Region for the development of regional competences regarding the planning process, in order to increase the regional innovation capacity within the project “Support for the establishment of a National Network of Regional Competence Centers for Strategic Planning and Support Services for Innovation”. At the event organized on September 22, 2022 by ADR Centru, the 50 regional actors had the opportunity to discuss with OECD representatives, within the project coordinated by the ROREG Association.
Discussions focused on identifying strengths and opportunities for strategic planning. Subsequently, solutions were proposed to overcome the challenges of this sector. The aim is to provide through intelligent specialization and planning real support for innovation in all areas of socio-economic life. The project aims to increase the capacity of Regional Development Agencies in two ways, by strengthening them to develop, implement and monitor regional development plans, respectively helping regions to develop their capacity to develop and implement regional innovation policies and providing support services.
An interesting and true point among the topics discussed was about “copy-paste” companies. Companies from the Central Region and from the whole of Romania face a problem in terms of innovation. Many companies started based on the good practices observed in other companies with similar activity. This statement should be seen through the lens of small and medium-sized businesses, the administrator of which once saw a profitable activity and immediately entered the same market segment with similar services.
Many companies, while offering similar services in the same segment, but without a vision of growth in the market, do not have the opportunity to innovate without a growth plan when establishing the business. Moreover, without consulting the demand and supply in the market, the company does not have the possibility to innovate. If the firm is driven by the experience of other firms in the same market segment with similar activity, again the innovation will be a copy of the current movement of other firms. In my opinion, these are just a few important elements that must be taken into account in order to overcome this impasse, over the “copy-paste” effect.
Innovation can consist of simply rethinking the activity, or research, there are several other possibilities, but it is important, because innovation is one of the main factors of effective regional development. Policies for regional innovation require a precise understanding of the needs, the market, local, regional and global challenges.