The SmartSpec Project. The objective of the workshop. The contents of the workshop

Download (0)

Full text


SmartSpec Project - Smart Specialisation for Regional Innovation


Big Data Mining for Economic Development

25 February 2016 from 9:30 to 16:30 Emilia Romagna Regional EU Office

Rue Montoyer 21, 1000 Bruxelles

The SmartSpec Project

SmartSpec is a unique research project because it provides substance, guidance and practical support to the theory of smart specialisation. It is based on the combination of leading academic and practical expertise present in the consortium. It has achieved operationalising the concept of smart specialisation in a manner which is useful to actors in different regional contexts. With a strong emphasis on knowledge exchange and facilitated learning, SmartSpec is delivering useful results to inform practitioners and policy makers in the development and assessment of smart specialisation strategies, whilst extending the state of the art of the theory.

The objective of the workshop

Regional practitioners of smart specialisation need to use regionalised economic data for their strategies. The data will be used to identify and prioritise relevant economic activities, to monitor the implementation of the strategies and to evaluate the impact. There are information resources that could be used by regional authorities to support their entrepreneurial discovery process, to monitor and evaluate. These data will help them to implement place-based strategies avoiding pre-conceived ideas.

The contents of the workshop

The workshop will provide information to regional stakeholders about EU data policies and initiatives. The main part of the workshop will be carried out by companies and organisations specialised in information provision. Each of them has a particular field of expertise: international trade, innovation, foreign direct investments, etc. that complement the others.

They have been challenged to provide regional information about 11 regions, in a general view and also in a specific field (biotechnology). The purpose of the challenge is to show to participants the type of information they will be able to receive from a single entity and compare to others, establishing a complete data information framework.

Their presentations of these information providers will be finally assessed with a panel of regional practitioners who are experts on regional economic development in the implementation of smart specialisation strategies These regional practitioners, together with the public, will identify what are the tools and information sources that could be used for better implementation, monitoring or evaluations of regional research innovation strategies.



9h30 – 10h00

Registration and welcome coffee

10h00 – 10h45


General Introduction

Learning journey of the SmartSpec Project

EU data policies and initiatives

Lorenza Badiello Head of Emilia-Romagna Region – EU Office Richard Tuffs Director of ERRIN Stefano BERTOLO European Commission 10h45 – 11h15

Coffee break

11h15 – 13h00

Big Data Mining Resources (I)

Scope of the day: use of big data mining for regional planning

Equity finance

Foreign Direct Investments

Christian Saublens Former director of Eurada Mason Maini


Reet Gill & Judith Walker OCO Consulting

13h00 – 14h00

Lunch break

14h00 – 15h45

Big Data Mining Resources (II)

Innovation capacity management

Export trends

Eva Diedrichs IMP3rove Academy

Mark Thissen

PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency

15h45 – 16h30

Conclusions and lessons learnt

Panel of 4 practitioners of regional economic planning and smart specialisation

Andrea Di Anselmo – MetaGroup

Marcin Podgórski - Regional Office of Lodzkie in Brussels Tamás Giulai - Tehimpuls Carmen Sillero - Agencia IDEA


The speakers


Lorenza Badiello is the Director of the EU Office of Emilia- Romagna Region. She was previously Head of the Brussels office of ASTER (Emilia Romagna Technological Development Agency) and prior to that she held a post as a researcher for NOMISMA in Bologna. With over 20 years’ experience in European affairs, Lorenza has been lecturing EU integration at a number of European Universities, has published articles on EU affairs and has served OSCE as election observer. She is fellow of international networks and active member of European regional associations like ERRIN.

Richard TUFFS

Richard Tuffs has been director of the ERRIN network since October 2010. Following a university career, Richard has been working in the regional dimension of European policy in territorial cohesion and research for many years and worked for the Kent and the West Midlands offices in Brussels before joining ERRIN. Richard has been in involved in numerous EU projects on topics such as science cities and communication, Future Internet, smart specialisation, knowledge economy, smart cities and eco-innovation. He is the Chairman of the Smart Specialisation Mirror Group established by the European Commission and was the rapporteur for the European Commission Expert Group on the Capital of Innovation Prize launched in 2013. Richard is also on the European Commission’s External Advisory Group for Science With and For Society and has experience as an evaluator of Horizon 2020 projects.

Dr.Stefano BERTOLO

Stefano Bertolo is scientific project officer of the European Commission (DG CONNECT) in charge of data management, analytics and knowledge representation. He has a strong scientific research background with a joint Philosophy Ph.D. and Cognitive Science diploma from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey with a dissertation on formal learning theory and human language acquisition. During three years as post-doctoral associate at the Brain and Cognitive Science department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he published a book and several papers on language acquisition. Later he worked at the American company Cycorp, Inc. in Austin (Texas), where he developed various components of the Cyc system and managed several research and development projects at the intersection between formal knowledge representation, natural language processing and information retrieval and extraction.


Christian SAUBLENS

Christian Saublens has been the Executive Director of the European Association of Development Agencies (Eurada) since its creation 1992 to his retirement in 2015. He has contributed to several initiatives for regional development such us the European network of Business Angels (EBAN), the Innovating Regions in Europe network (IRE), crowdfunding, smart specialisation, etc. Christian has intellectually contributed with several papers regarding the role of development agencies in Europe, the importance of SMEs in economic development, entrepreneurship, access to finance by SMEs, territorial intelligence, public support services in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation, eco-innovation,etc.


Mason Maini is Senior Business Development Manager at PitchBook in its European Headquarters in London. PitchBook Data Inc is an global research firm dedicated to provide premium data, news and analysis to the venture capital and private equity industries so their clients can make better data-informed decisions.. Mason Maini has over 5 years venture capital and private equity data experience dealing with a multitude of different business sectors.


Reet Gill is the Account Manager of Velociti, the online business intelligence platform of OCO Global. Using predictive analysis, Velociti identifies the most dynamic and expanding companies for export and foreign investment across key markets and sectors.

Headquartered in Belfast with offices in London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Frankfurt, OCO Global is a specialist investment and trade consulting firm whose services have helped economic development agencies define their economic policy, strategy and business attraction propositions. They are a recognized partner of WAIPA, UNCTAD, the World Bank and other international organizations.

Reet Gill has strong academic background in research, having an M.Sc. in Food Science with a concentration in Analytical Chemistry from McGill University in Montreal, in addition to experience with the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) software and SAS Factory Miner.



Judith Walker has extensive public and private sector experience gained over the last 20 years with leading companies as well as in the economic development arena. Her key skills include market and sector analysis, marketing strategy and promotion, product development, proposition development and training.

Judith joined OCO from Invest Northern Ireland. At Invest NI, she was responsible for the International Marketing efforts of the agency and understands the challenges that economic development agencies face in a competitive and crowded market. Judith also worked in a variety of marketing roles in a number of leading blue chip ICT companies over a period of 10 years including Nortel, Orbitel (Vodafone-Ericsson JV) and Fujitsu.

Judith holds a degree in Business Studies and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.


Eva Diedrichs is the founding managing director of IMP³rove – European Innovation Management Academy. The company based in Germany has established a benchmarking database of over 5.000 companies to make comparisons about innovation management. IMP³rove was initiated through several EU projects and it is currently a joint venture of A.T. Kearney and APRE. Previously, Eva Diedrichs served as senior consultant at A.T. Kearney GmbH helping international clients in developing and implementing their growth strategies and transformation projects. She has worked in Europe as well as in North-Africa, Asia-Pacific and the USA. Eva Diedrichs is member of the standardization committees on ISO and on CEN level focusing on innovation management. She serves as convenor of the CEN TC 389 working group on innovation management assessment.


Mark Thissen is senior researcher on economics and coordinator of the research program on the importance of clusters and networks for the competitive position of Dutch regions in PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. He has been working on the economic effects of infrastructure investment, interregional trade between European Nuts2 regions, and topics related to regional economic competitiveness and smart specialisation. He is specialised in the analysis of wider economic benefits of infrastructure investment in the context of agglomeration economies, the estimation of regional trade in a system of national accounts, competitiveness analysis and CGE modelling.



Andrea Di Anselmo is co-founder and vice-president of MetaGroup, an international company based in Italy, active in the field of start-ups and knowledge valorisation. He has 20 years work experience in innovation, company creation and early stage investing, gained by the participation in international assignments as senior advisor and project director, and by influencing strategic addresses as member of BoD of several organizations, including TII (European Association for Innovation and Technology Transfer. He sits in the Board of Directors of Zernike META Ventures (the fund management company operating Ingenium seed funds in Italy and Slovenia), Sviluppumbria (the RDA of Umbria), IBAN (Italian Business Angels Network) and of several knowledge intensive start-ups. He is the President of INSME and vice-president of Eurada.


Marcin Podgórski is Director of the EU office of the Lodzkie Region in Brussels. He has participated in the learning journey of the SmartSpec project, and is active partner of several EU projects, among them EURIS in Open Innovation (Interreg IVC) and Lodzkie Speeds Up (ERDF). Marcin Podgórski is a recognised specialist on strategy development and project cycle management.He is member of the Management Board of ERRIN and the advisory board of EPA.


Tamas Gyulai is expert of the Entreprise Europe Network at Tehimpuls Association. He is a recognized specialist on international technology transfer with a wide experience in projects for economic growth and territorial cooperation. He has been the General Director of a Regional Development Agency in Hungary and has worked extensively in international projects with many different countries as Romania, Serbia, Armenia, etc. He has participated in renewable energy projects and in projects related to the production of biogas out of waste. He is an electrical engineer and is currently finishing his PhD on economic development. He is member of the Eminence Grise Club of Eurada.



Carmen Sillero is the Head of the Division for Strategy and Programmes at the Agency of Innovation and Development of Andalusia (IDEA). Among her many responsibilities, she has coordinated the task force which designed the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of Andalusia, RIS3ANDALUCIA and the Regional industrial Strategy 2014-2020. Nowadays she is involved in the implementation, particularly within the framework of the business support policy for innovation and competitiveness, an area of competence of the Agency of Innovation and Development of Andalusia. Carmen Sillero has a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering and she is preparing her PhD thesis about the application and interpretation of the Smart Specialisation concept to peripheral regions. Carmen Sillero is a member of the Board of Directors of Eurada.