The core issue of P-IRIS is the rural innovation networks. The perspective and limitation of the mapping that follows, is the needs of rural innovation networks. A summary of best practices and bottlenecks identified by the partners from 18 cases is shown below. See each case for details. Tools that we view as good practice interesting for the P-IRIS partners. Shortcomings (tools that either are missing or insufficient provided for the innovation process). The template used in this mapping was built on the toolbox version 1 (Nesse et al., 2017).

We choose to highlight three of the cases. The other evaluated cases can be found on the P-IRIS web site.

Figure 16: Summary of strategic and functional conditions and tools from the project evaluation, with number of identified best practices and bottlenecks.

Case: Croatia «LRA Pins d.o.o»

Local development agency PINS is established in mountain and rural area of Gorski kotar in western Croatia. Agency mission is to develop rural mountain area by supporting entrepreneurship and education of local stakeholders. Gorski kotar mountain area face depopulation. This mountain area has only 23000 inhabitants. Population density is 18 inhabitants per km2. For this reason, it’s hard to develop entrepreneurship and services with high added value for SME’s which could later contribute to agency sustainability. Problem occurred with sustainability of agency because of lack of funds from services and lack of public funds, especially during economic crises. On the other hand, small entrepreneurs are not interested – or don’t have capacity – to run public nature sites when concession is demanded or at risk. Main reason is need for bigger investment in infrastructure and short period of concession agreement.

New approach through new partnerships has been developed. Since 2014 Local development agency Pins start cooperation with public institution which is responsible for protection of natural site called “Zeleni Vir”. Local development agency Pins applied and received concession for five years to run and invest in natural protected area. After first income Local development agency Pins develop new infrastructure in nature protected area and add new services for tourist during their visits to protected area, such as e-bikes.

Starting in June 2016, Local development agency Pins start to promote and develop network for SME’s. This new created network is receiving funds from members fee and from income which Local development agency Pins receive from selling entrance tickets for natural site. This money is used for preparation of new EU funded projects. Nowadays 4 different EU funded project are implemented in the Gorski kotar area which effect SME’s development. Entrepreneurs nowadays thanks to development of informal network receive free business support services. Also, new services like e-bike rent is added value to SME’s in tourism sector in the area.

This network is just 10% funded by local public funds. All network activities are funded through membership, projects and income from managing public natural site. Education for local coordinator and new contacts is prerequisite for the success.

Case: Finland «Biolaakso»: Biovalley

The Central Ostrobothnia region around Kokkola known as Biovalley is the heartland of business and expertise in the natural resources sector. It includes the valleys of Kalajoki, Lestijoki and Perhonjoki rivers, as well as the Kokkola and Pietarsaari regions. What makes the area important both nationally and internationally is its strong industrial profile combined with vital primary production in agriculture and forestry. There are also well-functioning logistics, a high-quality research community and an emerging mining industry. The lithium cluster that has grown in Central Ostrobothnia aims to specialize in the production of battery chemicals, and its operations rely on a chain of value from raw material to chemical processing, product applications and recycling. The battery laboratory at Kokkola Campus is unique in Europe.

Kokkola is home to the largest cluster of inorganic chemistry companies in the Nordic countries. The interface of the inorganic and the bio-economy will bring added value to the competitiveness and regeneration of the export industry. The research team at the Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius works in close cooperation with the chemical industry businesses in the Kokkola Industrial Park. The research aims not only to increase the competence of the participating universities and the international networking, but may also enhance the business opportunities of the participating industrial companies. Furthermore, the research will strengthen the intelligent specialization of the area since there are no corresponding research and learning infrastructures in any other university in Finland.

Biovalley started as a project in 2013, aiming to develop a network for the natural resource sector operators. Even though the main focus of the network is not in business but in education and research, Biovalley works directly for the local and national companies and start-ups. The network is a good example of public and non- public actors working to develop an area by assisting businesses and business development. This is extremely important in an area, where distances between actors can be long and collaboration is essential for the actors to survive and flourish. The network works actively to boost innovation in its area, providing people with possibilities in education, research and support for businesses in the field of natural resources.

Case: Italy «Consorzio dei due parchi»

Consorzio dei due Parchi network was formally constituted, with the aim to manage the public forest heritage of the north side of Valle Camonica

In this context, in 2002 the Consorzio dei due Parchi network was formally constituted, with the aim to manage the public forest heritage of the north side of Valle Camonica, and in particular in an area covering two di erent natural parks: Parco Adamello and Parco Stelvio. Woods managed by the consortium are mainly public; sometimes, private bodies ask the consortium for the cut of private woods, but these activities happen rarely and
their weight in the consortium business is very limited.

This consortium is the main actor operating in the local wood supply-chain; a supply-chain aimed at protecting local woods, valorising the local woodland heritage by activities of carpentries and plants for energy production and heating. The business model derived by this network congures as a private business owned by public organizations (local municipalities), aimed at synthetizing the attention to public interest with goals of effiency. The Consortium is one of the 25 forest consortia in Lombardy region and it is the second in terms of hectares managed (i.e. 15.558 ha). The centrality of the Consortium is based on the high presence of woods and forests in upland areas. The 79% of forests in Lombardy region is located in mountains, and Valle Camonica is the area with highest amount of wood resources.

Case: Italy: “Segno Artigiano”

Segno Artigiano network has built as tool to promote local craft. The network has been selected for its strategic role in Valle Camonica region. It has been, formally constituted in 2012 thanks to the cooperation of di erent local authorities and artisans. During the 2012 the Cultural District of Valle Camonica gave the birth to the network publishing a tender notice about the possibility to build an innovation path for the promotion of local craft.

Central issues of this network are: promotion of traditions and the defence of local ethnographic identity, development and implementation of traditional productions, exploitation of local raw materials, sale of manufactures. In the last year the network’s objectives expanded from the initial purpose of promoting local design by a dedicated logo, i.e. the “Segno Artigiano” logo, to the broadening of the network itself via the inclusion of new members.

Case: Spain “Burgos Alimenta”

Burgos Alimenta is the agro-food brand of Provincial Government of Burgos, in 2017 it celebrates 10 years of existence. This network has become a point of reference for producers in the province of Burgos. It allows them to value the products of the land and open a gap in the market.

At present there are 244 companies hosted in Burgos Alimenta distributed in different subsectors.

Burgos Alimenta has been one of the most successful brands in this decade, which has grown steadily. In the worst years of the crisis has represented a transformation and an evolution that has allowed the gastronomic sector of this province of Burgos show its value and promote, above the rest, the products of Burgos. During these 10 years, the network has undergone an important conceptual change to accommodate not only agri-food producers but also chefs, restaurants and shops, among others.

Burgos Alimenta is a platform that the Provincial Government of Burgos puts at the service of the producers to foment the gastronomy of Burgos. This project began 10 years ago with the presence of the agro-food companies of the province of Burgos in 3 trade fairs and / or gastronomic events (Madrid Fusion, Gourmet Hall and the Agro-food and Industrial Fair of Las Merindades) and this year has participated in 44 appointments, not only in the province of Burgos, but throughout the national territory, having also initiated a presence abroad.

The companies of Burgos Alimenta demand more and more its internationalization, for that reason it is working in the foreign markets, organizing the attendance to international fairs and commercial missions. By the end of the year, this network will have been present in Oslo (Norway), Newcastle (England), London (England), New York (USA), Lyon (France) and Lisbon (Portugal).

Short and medium term objectives of the network are, on the one hand, to start working more on organic gastronomy, and on the other hand to make Burgos Alimenta a European collective mark that guarantees quality standards and that it can be used and Legally recognized in the sector. For this, the network intends to develop over the next few months a regulation with the aim that the image of Burgos Alimenta can be legally recognized in Europe as an official label. A label that also includes not only producers, but also cooks, sommeliers and shops that have gradually created the network of Burgos Alimenta.

Case: Norway: Stryn Business Garden

The network has emerged based upon a national scheme, the business garden program providing advice and co-location to development-oriented companies that are members. It provides access to expertise, networks and an academic and social community. Some member companies may be located outside the main common premises.

The limited company Business Garden Ltd may take on responsibility for other tasks than operating the Business Garden Program. Stryn BG e.g. is operating the municipality’s services towards local entrepreneurs. Different Business Gardens are now (2017) developing a tighter co-operation. This will not be elaborated further in this presentation.

The program is partly owned by the Norwegian ministry responsible for regional development and the County Municipalities.Siva (a public enterprise owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Fisheries) provides basic funding for business gardens participating in the program. Read more about Siva and the business garden program at:

The common interests of the businesses taking part, is growth ambitions. During 2016 this Business Garden realised that many businesses had grown out of “the garden” and left the cooperation. Such development is considered being a natural part of the life of a BG. In our case, the consequence was that the remaining members more and more became a grouping with a few common ambitions. Stryn BG had to recruit new members and reorient their strategy. They saw that a group of knowledgebased industries could add new vitality to the mall. This restructuring process is the main reason for presenting Stryn BG as one of our cases. To understand the case: The TechHub, a new group of knowledgebased industries, became a new motor of the BG-network.

Case: Norway: Lærdal Green

The NW has succeeded with cooperative innovation in accordance with triple helix framework over a period of time (private and public and R&D).

Case: The network Lærdal Grønt

In 1999, Lærdal Grønt SA was established. Operations today sell potatoes, vegetables and berries on behalf of more than 40 different producers in Lærdal. In 1997, Lærdal Grønt started a large sweet cherry project, where Lærdal’s high-quality sweet cherrys were exported to several countries in Europe. In 2003 investments added a new sorting plant for the sweet cherries. Today, operations sell more than 200 tons of sweet cherries in a normal year. The regional development projects were a deliberate effort to increase value creation from Sogn og Fjordane county. The first project aimed to increase value creation from 20 to 40 million NOK within a time period of 10 years, up to 2010. The target was reached already in 2006 and five times by 2018. Today, Lærdal is the largest cultivation area for morels and parishes and on raspberries in Norway, and the goods are in demand throughout the country.

The network is developing new products, and currently has development projects on the cultivation of apricot and pine wood, as well as testing of various varieties of currants, black currants and gooseberries. They work closely with academic and public partners and organize study trips internationally to gather knowledge on products and production.

You can find more of the P-IRIS cases on the project web-site:

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