European Service Innovation Centre starts its work

20 NOVEMBER 2012

The European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General has just established a European Service Innovation Centre (ESIC) to support regions in the design of better policies to transform existing, and boost emerging industries by unlocking the transformative power of service innovation. Rambøll Management Consulting has been commissioned by the Commission to set up ESIC. It has brought on board the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT), Strasbourg Conseil, Technopolis Group Belgium and Valdari Vicari Associati (VVA) as its well experienced consortium partners in the field of service innovation.

Helping regions to harness service innovation for structural change

Innovation by Seth1492, Found on Flickr, CC BY 2.0In a first phase, the Centre will provide concrete customised support service to six model demonstrator regions that were selected by DG Enterprise and Industry through an informal call for the expression of interest. These pilot regions are the Basque Country, the Canary Islands, Emilia-Romagna, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Upper Austria. ESIC will undertake an analysis of service innovation policies in these regions through a peer-review “stress test” that should identify not only the strengths and weaknesses of the innovation support system but also potential barriers and scope for enhanced policy action to achieve the highest impact. These stress-tests will be followed up through structured policy dialogues resulting in a policy briefing for each region with recommendations on how to improve the policy framework to better capitalise on service innovation.

In addition, ESIC will systematically collect experience and evidence from the implementation of service innovation policies across Europe and also publish a European Service Innovation Scoreboard to indicate the latest trends in, and progress made by, regions. ESIC thus aims to raise general awareness amongst policy-makers about the role of service innovation in boosting economic development and industrial transformation. Service innovation plays an instrumental role in the transformation and upgrading of traditional economic sectors and industries into more productive, competitive and high value-added business ecosystems. The task of ESIC is to capture and analyse these developments, and to systematically promote the uptake of better service innovation policies and practices in Europe.

The advisory services and analytical work of ESIC should help regions to choose the most effective means of supporting service innovation in a systemic way. ESIC will identify and propose appropriate policy options, strategies and interventions. These insights, as well as other accumulated knowledge, will be used to support mutual policy learning and to raise awareness of the role and impact of service innovation. At a workshop on “How to capitalise on the transformative power of service innovation for structural change?” to take place in Belfast on 5 – 6 February 2013, representatives of the European Service Innovation Centre, the model demonstrator regions and other relevant stakeholders will, for the first time, discuss how to better implement a systemic approach that can harness the full potential of service innovation leading to tangible and measurable impact.

For more information on ESIC, please contact:
Carsten Schierenbeck
Policy Officer
European Commission
Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General
+32 2 29 60767