10 - Regional frameworks

10.2 - Encouraging coordination between the various agents who support University-Business collaboration


The development of a regional system for the promotion of Innovation requires, above all, the creation of agents who are specialists in the various R&D&i processes. Equally important is the establishing of organisations which can act as intermediaries between the key players in the process so as to enable the system to reach the required level of maturity. However, one of the most important problems identified in this area is the excessive proliferation of liaison bodies which often leads to duplication of functions and confusion about who the end users of these instruments really are. To solve this problem, it is necessary to simplify and clarify support processes by coordinating all the existing agencies under a single umbrella institution and allocating each individual body a specific function.


NFID (Nord-Pas de Calais, France)

This region of France has responded to the problem outlined above by creating a regional innovation agency, the Nord France Innovation Developpement (NFID), which coordinates all innovative business initiatives originating in the region so as to ensure greater balance and efficiency. As a result, in Nord-Pas de Calais there are now a significant number of innovation support agents whose efforts are focused on strengthening the bonds between companies and Universities. However, each of the individual agents has their own distinctive characteristics and efforts are being made to highlight their complementary nature. The ultimate aim of the initiative is to simplify support processes to the maximum in order to benefit end users. The NFID is perfectly aware of who is who in the region’s Innovation System and this permits them to refer each user to the individuals or institutions who are best placed to cater for their specific requirements. To achieve this goal, they have created a common brand, J'innove, which represents all the agents and coordinates efforts to enable public and private bodies associated with teaching or research, competitive clusters, and Innovation support agencies to share a common strategy. The three essential aims of NFID are:

  1. Overseeing the implementation of the regional Innovation plan and coordinating the role of all the agents involved.
  2. Monitoring specific programmes to support the region’s SMEs in their efforts to increase competitiveness.
  3. Acting as the back-office for all the support agencies via training programmes, communication campaigns, etc.

Business Simplification Agenda (Oxfordshire, United Kingdom)

The region of Oxfordshire has also prioritised the simplification of public services which promote business Innovation by creating a Business Simplification Agenda which focuses on simplifying existing support processes which are sometimes poorly defined.

As a result of the simplification process a total of just 13 services were created which were distributed between the various public agencies which support Innovation in the region. Amongst others they include: innovation assistance; business planning; access to finance; coaching to generate greater growth; etc.

Implementation process

Agents required for implementation

This recommendation would be implemented at a high level and should involve Public Administrations and Universities. In this way the initiative could be of use to companies by highlighting the benefits which could be gained in Andalusia. In general, a process of assessment should be initiated to clearly define the role of all the agents which have been created, emphasising their synergies and complementary qualities, so as to develop an Andalusian Innovation System which is more competitive and better oriented towards companies’ needs.

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  1. Interview with Mr. Pruvot, Director NFID, Nord-Pas de Calais.
  2. Interview with Mr. Pereira, Relations Européenes NFID, Nord-Pas de Calais.
  3. http://www.jinnove.com/ - Innovation en Nord-Pas de Calais.
  4. http://www.innovationgrowth.co.uk/ - Innovation Growth - Reino Unido.
  5. http://www.bis.gov.uk/ - UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.