In this evaluation report Vinnova presents the first evaluation of the initiatives in the fourth announcement of the Vinnväxt-programme. The initiatives were selected through a call in two steps; first a planning phase where eleven applications were approved and a second phase where the winners were announced. In May 2013 the programme council and the assessment panel (10 experts), plus officials and experts from Vinnova, selected the three Vinnväxt winners; Geo Life Region, Smart Housing Småland and The Paper Province 2.0.
The objective of the Vinnväxt-programme is to promote sustainable growth based on international competitiveness in regions. This is done by developing regional innovation system´s functionality, dynamics and efficiency to an international level. According to the evaluation strategy the initiatives are evaluated every third year. This midterm evaluation had both a summative and a formative/learning approach focusing on achieved results and strategic issues related to developing the initiatives further. The focus for the evaluation was the quality of implemented research and innovation/commercialisation strategies and results from an international comparison perspective. Other evaluation aspects was organisational and leadership issues as well as outcome and impact of the initiatives in terms of mobilising key actors and influence on the regional (and national) innovation systems. The evaluation panel also looked at the conditions established for the sustainability of the initiative after the financing through the Vinnväxt-programme.
The three Initiatives have all shown that they have been able to mobilise the key stakeholders to activate a regionally based triple helix and thereby initiated the regional innovation system. The local and regional agencies have in all three cases shown strong engagement and commitment to their Initiative and this has already triggered a multiplier effect in the region.