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   WP6  –  Pilot action 1 1.   Category of Activity a.   Elaboration of personalized studies, b.   Preparation of handbook(s), c.   Workshops, d.   Training(s), e.   Study tour/field visit(s) for a group of SMEs and PROs   f.   other: networking of innovation experts  2.   General Objectives of the Pilot The innovation environment in the Slovak Republic may be characterised by fragmentation of innovation activities, lack of financial support for innovation, non-conceptual approach to innovation policy, ineffective management of innovation at national and regional level, low awareness of and involvement of Slovakia in the Community research, development and innovative programmes and initiatives, low innovation capacity of companies and limited cooperation between industry and R&D base. Main objective of the Innovation Forum Slovakia (IFS) is to bring together the innovation experts working in different areas of the innovation ecosystem in Slovakia in order to: create an effective platform (expert pool) for innovation and research, propose competent suggestions and recommendations for policy makers, support the development and implementation of innovation strategies at regional and national level,   Innovation Forum Slovakia Partner: Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information   WP6  –  Pilot action 2 design the innovative tools and/or presentation and transfer of good practices in innovation support at the local, regional or national level, stimulate the innovation cooperation between public and private organisations, increase the participation in national and European programmes aimed at innovation, research and development of innovative technologies, support networking, interconnection and cooperation of key players and innovation mediators, stimulate the policy makers and implementers to incorporate the innovation at the centre of the economic development at the local, regional, national and European level, create the network of innovation experts and support links to European and global networks in this area, encourage more effective cooperation between research and industry, improve the position of Slovakia in the innovation performance characterised by the Innovation Scoreboard Index. 3.   Target Group of the Pilot The Innovation Forum Slovakia is an open platform targeted to four main areas of the innovation eco-system: public sector, research and development base, industry and mediators. In particular the IFS platform will join the experts from public sector (ministries and public agencies), local and regional government, universities, research organisations, innovation centres, technology transfer centres, associations and unions, clusters, technology parks, incubators, innovative experts and financial institutions. a)   How do you attract, involve them? The candidates for members of the IFS platform will be selected from the top representatives of the above mentioned areas and attracted by offered possibility of cross-sector networking, creating new partnerships, affecting creation and implementation of innovation policy, and exchange of know-how and experiences in the field of innovation.   WP6  –  Pilot action 3 4.   Description of Activity a)   Concrete steps of the implementation: The IFS platform is implemented through the series of the six steps described below:    Organisation of the first informal meeting within the FORT action plan where the innovation experts will be invited for an introductory workshop dealing with financing the research and innovation and support of technology transfer in Slovakia.    Setting the management structure. Based on the agreement, two central state bodies governing the innovation process in the Slovak Republic (the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport and the Ministry of Economy) with two important stakeholders in the field of innovation (the Centre of Scientific and Technical Information of the Slovak republic as a regional partner of the FORT project and BIC Bratislava as a Business and Innovation Centre and coordinator of Enterprise Europe Network in Slovakia) will jointly create the coordination council with participation of four representatives.    Common agreement on organisation and implementation incl. operational rules, invitation and participation of experts and content of IFS assemblies will concluded by the members of the IFS coordination council.    Selection and invitation of the experts will be realised at the top management level of four main areas of the innovation eco-system (rectors, directors, presidents, etc.).    Collection of Expressions of Interest. Interested innovation experts (invited in the previous step or their nominees) will submit the signed commitment to the contact person of the IFS coordination council expressing their interest in participation in meetings of the platform and discussion of the relevant issues set in the IFS programme.    Organisation of the first official assembly of the IFS. According to the actual situation in the region, the coordination council will select the strategic theme, choose the relevant speakers and invite the experts for the first official assembly.   WP6  –  Pilot action 4 b)   Realization of knowledge and know-how exchange: The Innovation Forum Slovakia will hold regular meetings (twice a year) to discuss current issues in research and development, support and management of innovation, technology transfer and its application in innovation business, and response to relevant legislative changes.   If necessary, an ad hoc meeting will be organised in order to discuss current issues and expressing opinions on important issues of development and implementation of innovative policies and measures.   c)   Please define your internal deadlines for the different steps: The IFS platform will be implemented in following deadlines, where M0 is the starting point of introductory workshop planned for May 2012:    Organisation of the first informal meeting (M0)    Setting the management structure (M3)    Common agreement on organisation and implementation (M5)    Invitation of the experts (M6)    Collection of Expression of Interests (M8)    Organisation of the first official assembly of the IFS (M10) d)   How do you plan to disseminate your pilot action? Information on the IFS activities will be disseminated through targeted mailings (both e-mails and official letters) to potential and subscribed innovation experts. Before the first IFS assembly the official website will be launched (the domain www.inovacneforum.sk has been registered). The website will contain public information about the IFS platform, objectives members, and procedures. The IFS assemblies will be organised in form of the workshops and will opened to the public as well.   WP6  –  Pilot action 5 5.   Expected key factors for success and key difficulties in practice Key success factors:    involvement of all relevant parties of the innovation process: from policy makers, through RTD organisation to companies, with participation of mediators and facilitators,    possibility to present opinions and influence strategic issues of the innovation policies, tools, instruments on local, national and EU level,    openness of the platform in form of invitation of additional organisation and nomination of the experts,    combination of the private and public sector in the IFS coordination council,    flexibility of management without strict formal procedures,    easy participation of the experts based on the expression of interest,    strong involvement of the main policy makers in the IFS coordination council,    attractiveness of the IFS assemblies due to strategic selection of relevant IFS topics and invitation of respective speakers, Potential risks and difficulties:    loss of interest from the innovation experts,    innovation experts will not be able to influence the policy makers,    internal communication problems within the IFS coordination council and management problems. 6.   Why and how will be your pilot and/or its results, outcomes sustainable? Strong commitment of the IFS coordination council members and preliminary interest from the innovation experts shows that the concept of the platform is answering the need for networking and creation of the expert pool in the field of innovation. All parties involved in the IFS coordination council (policy makers and coordinators of the important national and EU initiatives) will benefit from discussions, exchange of experience and networking. Low organisational costs connected with the management of the IFS represent another advantage leading to overall sustainability of the platform as an important tool in the regional and national innovation system.
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