The European Union has 22 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) as members of its Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA). One aim of OCTA is to contribute to the sustainable development of all of the EU’s OCTs, with priority given to innovation, competitiveness and green growth. Based on this aim, OCTA has developed a dedicated project to spur innovation in OCTs, called ‘Territorial Strategies for Innovation’, which was officially launched on the 6th June 2014 in Brussels. This project provides technical and demand-driven services to OCT governments.
The European Commission (EC) has allocated a budget of €5m for the ‘Territorial Strategies for Innovation’ project, specifically for technical assistance and the implementation of pilot projects in OCTs. The technical assistance contract was awarded to Eurecna (Italy) and Egis (France) for a four-year period (April 2014-March 2018) and a core team of experts will be based in Brussels. The experts will help OCTs to;
- Establish an innovation strategy;
- Establish actions plans for implementing the innovation strategy;
- Create training tools to raise awareness of innovation;
- Facilitate an innovation network through digital platform and training sessions;
- Develop regional cooperation.
Accordng to OCTA, the definition for innovation is as follows;
“Innovation is really about responding to change in a creative way; it’s about generating new ideas, conducting R&D, improving processes or revamping products and services. At another level, it’s also a mindset in your business; your employees are always focused on continuous improvement and constantly thinking outside of the box.
In the context of TSI this means changing or creating more effective processes, products and ideas that will increase the likelihood in the OCTs of increasing in competitiveness and achieving sustainable economic growth.”
Territorial Strategies for Innovation in the Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands Development Board approved the establishment of the 'Innovation Strategy for the Falklands Islands' in April 2014. Subsequently, Michael Betts, FIDC Business Relations Manager, was appointed as the Innovation Manager for the Falkland Islands.
The first task for the Innovation Manager was to set up an Advisory Board, which was completed in June 2015. The overall purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide advice, experience and knowledge to the Innovation Manager and facilitate the formulation and implementation of an Innovation Strategy for the Falkland Islands.
The Advisory Board is Chaired by the Innovation Manager, and is comprised of the following individuals;
- Michael Betts – Innovation Manager/Advisory Board Chair;
- MLA M Poole – Advisory Board Vice-Chair;
- Anne Wagner-Gras;
- Vicki Jackson;
- Tom Hill;
- Paul Brickle;
- Neil Judd;
- Andy Pollard;
- Andrea Clausen.
The Advisory Board agreed a phase of stakeholder consultation to take place in October 2015. The consultation centred around an Innovation Workshop, which was held on the 16th October 2015 at the FIDF Club. An Innovation Questionnaire was also produced to capture the views of those who were unable to attend the workshop. The workshop was structured in a way to gather information regarding the current environment for innovation in the Falklands, barriers that prevent innovation, how innovation can be encouraged, identifying innovation opportunities and the key factors needed to deliver a national innovation strategy. A total of 31 individuals, from both the public and private sectors, attended the workshop. The workshop was led by the Innovation Manager, assisted by six facilitators.
The draft Innovation Strategy has been broken down into three parts. Part A details the stakeholder consultation structure and results, providing the context and outlining the process that has been followed. Part B is the strategy itself and Part C is the strategy’s Action Plan. Part C provides the detail of how and when the recommendations, expressed in Part B, will be delivered. Parts B and C can be found in Appendix A.
Part B is influenced by three elements; (1) the Advisory Board agreed vision for innovation in the Falkland Islands, (2) the results of the Stakeholder Consultation and (3) the OCTA definition for innovation. Using these three elements as a guide, as well as research regarding innovation strategies adopted by other countries, the Innovation Strategy for the Falklands was drafted.
The Innovation Strategy aims to instil a mentality of innovation throughout the Falkland Islands’ public and private sectors. This is to be achieved by making innovation a national priority, by specifically encouraging more local and overseas collaboration between the public sector, the private sector and institutions, increased investment in research and development, long-term planning in the development of people, encouraging innovation through the sharing of risk, and the continuous review and improvements to the Innovation Strategy itself.
You can download the Falkland Islands Innovation Strategy by clicking the link below.