EmpInno Monitor S3 –testing in Xamk
In the EmpInno Monitor S3 –project two different cost-efficient methods of monitoring of smart specialization strategy (S3) were tested by Xamk Small Business Center in cooperation with the Regional Council of South Savo:
- a webropol-survey to the companies of top areas of regional S3 – forest, food, water and digitalization
- two Smart Company 2030 -virtual workshops
Given the inadequacy of the quantitative information to pinpoint the impact of the smart specialisation strategy, more extensive, qualitative information is needed concerning, especially, the businesses of the region in order to provide improved data-based input for decision making of RIS3 related grant schemes and support instruments. Moreover, there is a need for better central coordination of indicators and different sources of monitoring.
The aim of both methods was to provide more detailed information of the needs, points of interest and future visions of the businesses than is currently available. The webropol-survey for 1 415 companies in the top areas or smart specialisation strategy was conducted in the late summer 2020. The workshop for companies was organized virtually twice during the global entrepreneurial week (GEW) in November 2020 as a part of a regional working life event. In spite of the carefully defined target group of the survey/the workshops and attention paid to make the questions easy to answer, there were only a small number of respondents (37) and participants (6) in both testing activities.
The results of the survey showed only low level of cooperation and minor needs for research services among the companies. Instead, the need for development services was recognized. Moreover, almost half of the companies did not have investment needs. Both the survey and the workshops revealed some points advancing entrepreneurship and activities of a company in the South Savo region. Those were good regional support, networking and cooperation with other companies and the development organizations. Improvement was required in enhancement of internationalization and supply of education, availability of skillful employees and functioning of ecosystems. Declining and aging of population, the increasing of public tariffs and poor entrepreneurial and operational culture were perceived as the drawbacks in South Savo. Interestingly, most companies in the workshops were keen in growing their business, even internationally. It also came clear that the companies were not aware of the smart specialization strategy of South Savo region.
As a desired result, a better understanding of the applicability and efficiency of the tested monitoring methods in chosen fields of business was achieved. However, due to the low response rate of both methods, also other monitoring methods and tools need to be considered for the future use to be able to set up systematic qualitative monitoring related to RIS3 in the South Savo region.