framework programme with a view to placing creativity and innovation at the heart of the economy and society of wallonia
I.1 E futur ncoura e ec ge th onom e ed ic st ucatio a I.2 Favo creakeholdenal offer u r through the stim tivity rs ce ing f out the or u n and entire clation of crea innotred on tivity fro ompuls vatio ory and m a very training n con yo process /in teactinuing educaung age/ her train ti ing praocn and tices I.3 Complementary measures designed to favour the emergence and development of a creative society in Wallonia
02 / mechanism 37
AXE III : Support innovative production 66
Co m pl e m me ea nt su ar re y s
w of ne etingocesses k r a m pr r the ices/ ve avou /serv ati III.1 Fproducts ov ction n n u rt i od po pr up s y iall nc a n i 2F III.
AXE I : Promote a society of creativity 38
r tre fo a Cennalysis e t a re rend A II.1 C T ive orat llab orking n o c i e etw urag d n on es ncotion an ati ani E v 2 . a o p II nov in inn com lop e v De II.3
AXE II : Nurture innovative practices 52
I for I.4 Re inte info rna rce bastional the p ed coo ote on pe ntia inn rati l II.5 Dis ova on tinguis tion h inno vative b e practi st ces
01 / rationale
preface summary 01 / rationale
7 10 17
1 Positioning Wallonia within a global, open and malleable economy 2 Innovation is the driving force for the new economy 3 Creativity is the driving force for ongoing innovation 4 Wallonia, an innovative region 5 Integrated mechanism, lever effect
18 22 24 26 30
02 / mechanism
AXE I : Promote a society of creativity AXE II : Nurture innovative practices AXE III Â : Support innovative production
38 52 66
framework programme Creative Wallonia
Two years ago, I asked about thirty leading experts from a variety of backgrounds – economic, social, cultural, associative, and academic – to study the sustainable revitalisation of Wallonia. The Zénobe Commission was given free rein to explore new paths and make concrete proposals. It identified three cross-cutting priorities: 1. the adaptation of teaching and cultural policies, content and tools to meet the realities of the Walloon situation;
2. the facilitation of young people’s appropriation of their Walloon identity; 3. greater internationalisation of educational practices as well as the more dynamic promotion of the culture of innovation. It was in this spirit, and following on from the Marshall Plan and its Green version 2.Vert, that I wanted to build the CREATIVE WALLONIA programme, which aims to encourage the greatest number of our citizens to become involved in an innovative dynamic based on the observation of trends, access by SMEs to the ideas mar-
ket, and the mobilisation of new financial resources.
nature because it is nothing less than instant access.
The CREATIVE WALLONIA programme is essential for everything involving the economic success of Wallonia which, unfailingly, involves creativity and innovation.
The second is that we now know that innovation is not so much invention or discovery, as the transformation of opportunities into new ideas and the exploitation of the opportunities offered by change.
It is the most appropriate response in the context of an open and constantly changing global economy. We must now realise two things. The first is that, today, globalisation should no longer be seen solely in its geographic dimension,but through its truly temporal
In a context where markets are constantly being renewed, where new players are appearing all the time, and where companies are now required to regenerate themselves continually, the region appears to be the ideal territorial unit for meeting the challenge of innovation.
Jean-Claude Marcourt Vice-président des Gouvernements de la Wallonie et de la Communauté WallonieBruxelles, Ministre de l’économie, de l’Enseignement supérieur, du Commerce extérieur, des PME et des Technologies nouvelles.
The CREATIVE WALLONIA programme is essential for everything involving the economic success of Wallonia which, unfailingly, involves creativity and innovation.
c omi con e e ur r fut on g fonnovati n i r e ut i nd ugho l off /thro ess/in ona tivity a i e t g a a uc crea oung ing proc n e ed ery y in e th ntred o m a v n and tra g o r a f r e y u rs c io it t o iv a t c c a n e re edu I.1 Ekehold n of c uing ulationd contin sta im t s a the ulsory s vour p I.2 Fantire com g practice e the er trainin AXE I : Promote a teach society of creativity our the asures designed to fav I.3 Complementary mepment of a creative society in Wallonia elo dev and e emergenc AXE II : Nurture Analysis innovative e for Trend tr en g C in a rk e II.1 Creat practices d netwo n a n o ti s a ompanie ve innov c ti ra in o n b o a ti ll a ation urage co lop innov on innov II.2 Enco II.3 Deve n based o ctices ti ra ra e p p t ve bes onal coo ti ti a a v o rn n te h in tial for in tinguis e poten II.5 Dis force th
AXE III : Support innovative production
vour th III.1 Fa ses s proce
prod of new
III.3 Complementary measures
lly su III.2 Financia
framework programme Creative Wallonia
With the Contrats dâ€™Avenir (Future Contracts) and the Marshall Plans, Wallonia has embarked on an offensive strategy designed to restructure, strengthen and modernise its economic fabric. The objective over the past ten years has mainly been to encourage networking in order to consolidate the most promising sectors. This approach appears to have paid off: several studies and independent indicators show Walloniaâ€™s excellent results, especially in the field of foreign investment and export. Therefore, the aim is to go even further in the same direction and overcome an
additional step in the transformation of Walloonâ€™s industry in order to continue to face the challenges of a global and digital economy whose only constant is ongoing change. That is the ambition of CREATIVE WALLONIA: a Framework programme which places creativity and innovation at the heart of the Walloon project, even going so far as to make it its trademark. Today, the European Commission places Wallonia in 69th position among the most innovative Regions in Europe (out of 204) and, according to the same criteria,
in second position among the European Regions with an industrial tradition. These respectable results are a sign of the dynamism of our companies, the quality of our academic and scientific resources, the know-how of our workers and the various initiatives adopted in recent years. Nevertheless, it is fair to assume that proactive and systematic action in this field could help maintain and increase this favourable trend.
• A vision of innovation which is not limited only to discovery or invention: innovating means modifying several elements of an existing reference, as much in terms of the product or the service itself as in terms of its production, design and marketing, etc. We can no longer consider a simple increase in R&D investment to be enough to make us innovative. Without an attitude focused on systemic change, all traditional efforts will be in vain.
That is why CREATIVE WALLONIA will implement a coherent set of measures based on a common philosophy:
• A policy of innovation based on all of society – on a creative society. If innovation is the ability to transform what is real, creativity is the ability to transform one’s
perception of what is real. In the modern world, it is not possible to dissociate companies from their regulatory, social and cultural context. That is why we must all progress together. Wallonia has many assets in this respect: it is a relatively compact region, it has operational institutions, real cultural diversity and many industrial spearheads in several cutting-edge fields. • A wish to proceed by leverage effect in order to convince rather than impose.
The mechanism implemented through CREATIVE WALLONIA is based on three areas: 1. The promotion of the society of creativity The development of a creative society is not possible without strong action in the field of education. Therefore, the first measure involves training for future managers, aiming to make it less compartmentalised and more multidisciplinary, international and practical. More widely, openness to creativity should be implemented from the very start of compulsory
education; which leads to the second measure in this chapter, which targets teacher training in particular and the knock-on effect that it is likely to generate. Beyond the formal education system, citizens have not been forgotten: creativity week designed to promote and stimulate the offering in this field; participative mechanisms, support for innovative projects, etc. Public services will also be encouraged to take this dimension on board; as will social partners. ICT, todayâ€™s main vector for the innovative economy, will soon be provided with its own specific global and comprehensive policy.
2. Developing innovative practices A certain number of existing practices deserve to be supported and developed. Others need to be initiated. Therefore, the first measure in this section involves adopting a general tool for capturing trends on a global level, with the help, in particular, of the AWEX and WBI networks. Observations collected will be processed randomly before being reintegrated into the economic fabric. Furthermore, the second package of measures, networking â€“ already strongly encouraged through centres and clusters â€“ will be intensified through the development of new practices
(including coworking and support for innovatorsâ€™ clubs). The aim here is to create conditions which favour the emergence of genuine innovative ecosystems. The internationalisation of our stakeholders and our exchanges represent an additional method for achieving this, in the hope that, in the long-term, creativity and innovation become the two key terms of the Walloon identity (third measure). Fourth measure: Walloon SME will have the opportunity to carry out an audit of their innovation potential thanks to substantial public intervention. Finally, the culture of innovation will only spread if it is seen that important stakeholders are making their mark in the
field. Demonstrating this will be the job of ZĂŠnobes, the prize for innovation in Wallonia and the fifth measure in this area. 3. Support for innovative production Efforts should not be limited simply to encouraging practices: these need to be extended to include marketing. That is the reason for an action designed to support the transition from the innovative prototype stage to the marketed product or service; as much in the technological sector and the design sector as in the image sector â€“ with the creation of Wallimage CrossMedia. Measures will also be taken on a
financial level to optimise existing tools, guarantee risk-taking by innovative companies as much as possible, and support them in their development. The financial dynamic will also consist of encouraging the development of new means through the creation of public private partnerships between Wallonia (via the SRIW) and major companies.
Framework programme which places creativity and innovation at the heart of the Walloon project
01 / rationale
1 Positioning Wallonia within a global, open and malleable economy 2 Innovation is the driving force for the new economy 3 Creativity is the driving force for ongoing innovation 4 Wallonia, an innovative region 5 Integrated mechanism, lever effect
18 22 24 26 30
1 Positioning Wallonia within a global, open and malleable economy 18
First part rationale
No economic plan can ignore the deep changes which have shaped recent decades. The growth of globalisation, the boom in computing and the Internet revolution, the reorganisation of geostrategic players, the constant rise in the market share of services and the accompanying decline in industry, and the financialisation of the economy are all phenomena which are highlighted, dissected and commented on in the majority of analyses and proposals. Yet, these oratorical precautions are not always enough to understand the changes at work.
It is the very foundations of the market economy, as defined at the start of last century, which are being brought into question, and this through a systemic shift working around several simultaneous movements: â€˘ Globalisation â€“ Although the term has become part of everyday language, its use, or our understanding of it, is often fragmented. Often, it only refers to the geographic aspect, its less recent and least original manifestation. It has been several centuries since trade became internationalised on a global scale. Modern methods of communication â€“ transport techniques first of all, followed by information and commu-
nication techniques – have certainly accelerated this dynamic; but the true nature of spatial change over the past three decades lies more in the abolition of the guidelines which govern exchanges. The dominant north-south flow is diminishing; as is the distinction between centre and periphery. Relationships are now being created in all directions. The world is flat says a popular expression . And, if that is the case, it is because the dynamics of globalisation are temporal. The spread of ICTs, led by the Internet, has reduced the time needed for exchanges to the speed of light. The temporal unity of the global economy is now instant access. It is no longer origin or prerequisi-
tes that count, only speed. This change in model has led to a radical and exponential increase in the volume of exchanges and stakeholders . • Openness – In such a context, hierarchies have been upset. Opportunities are no longer systematically or commonly given to the best located organisations. On the contrary, large companies may at any time be challenged by newcomers capable of showing themselves to be more innovative . With the economic landscape increasingly resembling a sort of volcano ready to erupt at any moment, large groups are finding themselves forced to review
their fundamental thinking in order to last the distance. In today’s world, markets are being renewed constantly and this Brownian motion is continually opening the game up to new players. • Malleability – With continuous change having become the main principle of the world in which economic players move, it is important that it also lies at the heart of their organisational framework. The most effective companies are those which adapt best and most quickly to changes in a market. In order to continue to be competent, they must continually reinvent themselves, and sometimes join forces – temporarily
the main raw material likely to obtain a competitive advantage is knowledge and human capital
(via partnership) or in the long-term (via mergers) – with other entrepreneurial structures. The flexibility needed for this ongoing regeneration lies at the opposite end of the spectrum from the organisational model based on Fordism and the heyday of the manufacturing industry. And, although the reality on the ground is often more subtle and sometimes requires the coexistence of two bosses, the aptitude for constant change has become an essential survival condition for economic development. • Acceleration – Change is not only permanent; it is also increasingly fast. As a result, it no longer is seen as being an exceptio-
nal event in the landscape and actually becomes the landscape itself. What used to be rare and took time to be perceived has become a constant which needs to be controlled, which should be seen as ‘business as usual’!
Seen from Wallonia, this observation begs three questions:
The new invariables are all powerful trends which are unlikely to become less important in the short or medium-term. On the contrary, most specialists believe that these new principles, which upset previous rules so much that there is a feeling that they don’t exist at all, are going to gain ground over the coming decades.
2. In the global society, no economic player is isolated. Some of our companies (especially SMEs) are still not sufficiently aware of this fact. How to help them to open up to the outside world?
1. The disruptive logic which governs this new economic model is constantly offering new opportunities. How to seize them?
3. In this new model, the main raw material likely to obtain a competitive advantage is knowledge and human capital. Our stock
is sizeable, but needs to be stimulated and sometimes given guidance. Which structural policy will help to encourage the opening up of disciplines and creativity and encourage an entrepreneurial spirit?
2 Innovation is the driving force for the new economy 22
First part rationale
In this constantly changing landscape, the key to success lies in the ability to innovate, meaning to renew (oneself) in order to stand out from the competition. Contrary to common thinking, innovation is not synonymous with invention, discovery or ‘new ideas’. Edison said that “innovation does not only consist of formulating good ideas: above all, it is a process which helps to develop them in order to put them into practice”. We will retain two symmetrical definitions which are recognised as references on the subject:
• Innovation is the process which helps to turn an opportunity into new ideas and put them into practice (Joe TIDD – John BESSANT). In other words: innovation is the successful exploitation of new opportunities (George COX). • Innovation is the means through which ‘entrepreneurs’ use change as an opportunity to create different activities and services (Peter DRUCKER). These formulations break with an approach which confines innovative potential to R&D. Without doubting the need to maintain the effort to promote R&D, no automatic link
may be made between its being strengthened and the competitive profile of our companies . What is more important is the way in which human and intellectual resources are effectively mobilised, developed and deployed. In this sense, innovation is not a momentum, or the result of research, but the product of an operational strategy which involves several sequences and many aspects (technology, design, production methods, marketing, distribution system, etc.). In concrete terms, and although there is not â€œa best way to coordinate innovationâ€?
(Tidd & al.), experts believe that innovative processes comprise four main phases: 1.Detecting opportunities (capturing trends) 2. Identifying the most promising openings (matching resources to opportunities) 3. Acquiring new resources and skills (innovative environment, partnerships, R&D, technology transfers, etc.) 4. Developing creative combinations for the implementation of resources (product/ service, production/organisation, promotion/marketing procedures).
3 Creativity is the driving force for ongoing innovation 24
First part rationale
The surest way to develop a sustainable economic logic in accordance with the demand for ongoing innovation involves including it within a creative model, in other terms, encouraging the development of a creative society. For Luc De BrabandĂ¨re, the relationship between innovation and creativity is as follows: whereas innovation is the capacity to change things, to make things progress and, therefore, to transform what is real, creativity is the capacity to transform oneâ€™s perception of what is real . Therefore, this is what needs to lie at the heart of an approach which aims to tackle systemic
change head on. According to him, on the scale of a company or a region, it will help to build a new perception rather than having it imposed, to initiate change rather than being subjected to it . Therefore, a creative context is a condition which favours the emergence and deployment of an ongoing innovation strategy. This is an observation which also highlights the work of Richard Florida on the creative class . This work emphasises the importance of bringing together, within given territorial units (for example a city), a regulatory homogeneity, an effective technological facility and a diversity of talent â€“ which
it is necessary to have the ambition to encourage creativity within the entire city implies strong social and cultural heterogeneity and a high level of tolerance. Therefore, it is not enough to support research or finance innovative companies, it is necessary to have the ambition to encourage creativity within the entire city. Such a policy to promote the creative society involves, in particular: • the systematic encouragement of the spread of knowledge, including ways of doing and ways of acting; and this on a formal and informal level;
• the opening up of traditional disciplinary schools; • the promotion of collaborative and collective intelligence approaches in order to encourage the emergence of innovative ecosystems; • the development of a suitable system for capturing trends.
4 Wallonia, an innovative region
First part rationale
The critical size needed to accept the challenge of innovation lies in the ability to develop a coherent creative and entrepreneurial platform. Consequently, relatively limited units - such as regions or towns – often prevail over large state bodies which used to dominate the industrial economy. Therefore, in principle, Wallonia is a territorial unit suited to meeting the challenge of innovation. It is a hypothesis which is supported by facts: although it does not yet have a proper global and comprehensive policy based on innovation, Wallonia does occupy an enviable position in Europe in the field:
• It occupies a position between the first and second thirds of the most effective regions in the field of innovation, in the widest sense of the term, lying in 69th position (out of 201) in the official scoreboard drawn up by the European Commission; which places it in the “Medium-High Innovators” group . The same study puts Wallonia in second place among the most innovative traditional industrial regions (RETI) behind the Basque Country, but ahead of Yorkshire, Catalonia, Scotland, Saarland, Lorraine, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and the Asturias .
These performances are not a question of chance. If, in the collective memory, the image remains of a Wallonia damaged by the major industrial changes of the second half of the 20th century, this dimension is gradually being replaced by the more distant past and the present. The innovative tradition of Wallonia is not a recent event: it culminated at the turn of the 19th and 20th century thanks to technological production considered to be among the most effective in the world. In terms of the present, each day it demonstrates even more the resilience shown by the region following the economic crises of the 1960s and 1970s. The most recent independent quantified
indicators highlight the reversal in the declining trend and confirm a new phase of development characterised by a steady increase in exports and the high-level of interest shown by foreign investment . This recovery dynamic really got under way at the end of the 1990s. In terms of innovation, the first significant initiative aiming to reposition the regional economy in view of the ever new realities of a changing world concerned the implementation in 1997-98 of the Prométhée programme coordinated in cooperation with the European Commission . At the same time, Wallonia adopted a strategic vision on a regional level with
the Contrat d’Avenir pour la Wallonie . After 2005, it implemented an ambitious economic development plan – the Plan Marshall – designed to encourage the creation of activities and jobs by means of seven powerful levers: the creation of competitiveness clusters, the stimulation of business creation, the taxation system, research and development, good governance and sustainable development. Continuing on from these initiatives, the Regional Policy Declaration (DPR) of 16 July 2009 aimed to reinforce this dynamic with the Plan Marshall 2.Vert (Green Marshall Plan 2). This insists on the importance
of placing innovation and new technologies at the heart of the project designed to develop the Walloon economy. In this perspective, the Community Policy Declaration expresses the intention to multiply convergences between Wallonia and the Wallonia Brussels Community in terms of the deployment of a proactive economic strategy designed to provide updated responses to the structural challenges encountered by the two entities. Thus, certain problems shared by the Region and the Wallonia Brussels Community will be subject to greater coordination between the respective governments. Among these fields of convergence are mobility, training and tea-
ching and the opening up of competitiveness cluster projects to stakeholders from the Brussels Region.
• the adaptation of teaching and cultural policies, content and tools to meet the realities of the Walloon situation;
Furthermore, in terms of previous legislation, the Minister for the Economy founded a working group known as the Commission Zénobe , in order to draw up a long-term analysis of the situation in Wallonia. Bringing together more than thirty leading figures from the economic, academic, cultural and media worlds, this pluralist and independent think tank identified three crosscutting priorities:
• the facilitation of young people’s appropriation of their Walloon identity; • greater internationalisation of educational practices as well as the more dynamic promotion of the culture of innovation.
young peopleâ€™s appropriation of their Walloon identity
Finally, among the work and benchmark stances behind Creative Wallonia, it is also necessary to highlight the major contributions made by the international institutional framework, and mainly that of the European Union and the OECD .
5 Integrated mechanism, lever effect
First part rationale
The ambition is huge: it aims to create conditions which enable the emergence of a generalised culture of innovation. Therefore, it is the entire ecosystem which needs to be changed by encouraging Wallonia to become a true society based on knowledge and creativity. This is only conceivable through an approach which privileges two main methods of intervention: 1. The design and implementation of a cross-cutting and integrated dynamic which includes students, teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, developers, political leaders, etc.
2. The identification of specific measures likely, in the long-term, to lead to structural change through a lever effect. When forming the governments of the Walloon Region and the French Community, it was decided to bring together around the economy portfolio, competences related to SMEs, foreign trade, new technologies and telecommunications, associated with Higher Education. This range of competences enables a comprehensive and coherent approach to be envisaged for the Regionâ€™s and the Communityâ€™s innovation policy.
• Higher Education – The fuel for an economy based on creativity and innovation resides in knowledge and skills, including know-how. Fundamental in the innovation chain, these elements are, for historical and institutional reasons, only vaguely associated with a global long-term approach which integrates the economic and social prosperity of our Regions. New educational and training approaches and practices exist which should not be ignored when adopting an ambitious programming approach on creativity and innovation.
action in the context of a vision adapted to the challenges of a global, open and integrated economy.
• Economy – Central competence with a view to the coordination of multidisciplinary
• Foreign trade – In a globalised world, the opening up of the local ecosystem to other
• SMEs – As the DPR emphasises, small and medium-sized economic entities must, now more than ever, benefit from specific attention. They are a potential spawning ground for innovation but, to date, are not exploited to their full extent. The present programme aims to favour the natural emergence and fulfilment of this creativity which is still underexploited.
regions of the world is essential. The success of technological transfers is one of the keys to the success of high-level business in Wallonia. The contribution made by foreign investment, goods and services to the local economy also helps the region to bring itself up to a critical level which justifies its existence on the worldwide market. These exchanges should be increased in the framework of an “Open Innovation” policy supported by the present programme. • New technologies and telecommunications – The economy is constantly being renewed and strengthened through the contribution made to the market by new
technologies: new products, new procedures, new services form a virtuous circle of growth. Innovation in processes and new technologies are closely linked. Support for Walloon new technologies will help the economy to commit sustainably to a competitive and high level worldwide future. ICTs, unique for the speed of their development and their social influence, will be considered by the programme as an economic and educational opportunity. They appear to be the essential tool for disseminating the knowledge-based society, the foundation of a society built on creativity and innovation.
In complement to the PM2.vert (Green Marshall Plan), the purpose of the present Framework Programme is to provide support for innovation in the Walloon economy by using tools which are new in this field, which are different, and which have been behind the success of other economic models. But, the challenge is also to structure a certain number of existing actions and policies, such as meeting shortcomings in mechanisms in order to provide a coherent, pragmatic response based on our economy’s needs for creativity and competitiveness. To achieve this, it is based, in particular, on an identification of existing mechanisms.
The Framework Programme focuses on three areas: • Promoting the society of creativity • Nurturing innovative practices • Supporting innovative production Therefore, the aim is to develop a pyramidal approach, whose basis aims to involve the greatest number of players possible downstream from the economic fibre, with the summit focused on economic production, and the middle levels being devoted to entrepreneurial innovation tools. This
a bottom up type of approach
construction reflects the desire for a bottom up type of approach which aims to make the whole of Wallonia a creative and innovative society.
Notes & références
1 From the book by Thomas FRIEDMAN, The world is flat: a brief history of the Twenty first Century, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2005. 2 It has been established that the total of worldwide economic exchanges in 1950 was equivalent to an average of one day of exchanges at the start of the 2000s (Joe TIDD, John BESSANT and Keith PAVITT, Management de l’innovation. Intégration du changement technologique, commercial et organisationnel, De Boeck, 2006, p. 48). 3 Which does not mean that large groups are losing all their competitive advantages. Some global companies have been able to take advantage of their size to adapt to this new situation. Therefore, IBM, which works 24/24, successively mobilises its teams based in different continents, with “each team transferring its tasks once its ‘turn’ has been completed to the next time zone where the work may be
continued» (Joe TIDD et al, Op. cit., p. 47). 4 A study by the Federal Planning Bureau in 2010 on the innovative potential of Wallonia showed that the continued increase in investment in R&D over the last decade - although insufficient - did not generate any added value in terms of innovation. The authors concluded that the fundamental challenge lies in «the ability to transform research and innovation efforts into sufficient economic results for Wallonia” (Bernadette BIATOUR, Christel CHATELAIN and Chantal KEGELS, Le système d’innovation en Wallonie, Working Paper 1-10, Federal Planning Bureau, February 2010). 5 The Journal du Net, interview from 16/10/2007. By the same author, consult Le Management des Idées. De la créativité à l’innovation, Dunod, 2002. 6 Ibid. See also the definition of creativity by the
Cox Review: creativity is the generation of new ideas – either new ways of looking at existing problems, or of seeing new opportunities, perhaps by exploiting emerging technologies or changes in markets (Sir George COX (s. dir.) The Cox Review: enhancing the role of creativity in driving the productivity performance of SMEs in the UK, Design Council, September 2005). In this context, the notion of design needs to be extended and understood as the link between creativity and innovation (George COX). The idea is to give shape to ideas in order to make them as practical and attractive as possible for their future users or consumers. In this sense, design may be defined as creativity deployed for a specific purpose. . 7 Richard FLORIDA, The rise of the creative class. And how it’s transforming work, leisure and everyday life, Basic books, 2002. 8 European Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS).
2009 Report, Pro Inno Europe Paper n°14. Produced by the European Commission’s DG Enterprise. The 2009 report is based on data from 2006. For methodological aspects, see Hugo HOLANDERS, Stefano TARANTOLA, Alexander LOSCHKY, Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2009. Methodology report. 9 On an intra-Belgian level, for comparative purposes, it is interesting to note European observations that investment in R&D and the potential of human resources in Wallonia are globally on the same level as Flanders (Michel QUEVIT, Flandre - Wallonie Quelle solidarité ?: De la création de l’Etat belge à l’Europe des Régions, Éditions Couleur livres, 2010).. 10 See in particular the IBM-PLI annual report 2009 (Global Investment Locations Trends): http://www.ibm.com/bcs/pli; and the Baromètre 2010 de l’Attractivité en Belgique published by Ernst & Young (http://www.ey.com/
Publication/vwLUAssets/Les_investisseurs_ souhaitent_un_climat_dinvestissement_fiscalement_(plus)_favorable_et_politiquement_ stable/$FILE/attractiveness2010_FR.pdf ). Foreign Direct Investment, a subsidiary of the Financial Times, classified Wallonia in fifth position out of 140 of the most attractive regions in Europe, whereas the research firm CushmanWakefield, places it at the top of the regions in Europe in terms of logistics potential.
Namur, March 2009. This commission was created in 2008 by the Walloon Government Minister for the Economy and comprises thirty independent figures from different economic, cultural and political backgrounds.
11 See the Prométhée final report: Une politique d’innovation à la hauteur des ambitions régionales. Les lignes de force de la démarche Prométhée, December 2000.
15 Innovation to strengthen growth and address global and social challenges. Ministerial Report on the OECD Innovation Strategy. May 2010.
12 Initially covering the 1999-2001 period, the Contrat d’avenir was updated for the 20022004 period. 13 Pour une dynamisation durable de la Wallonie. Report of the Commission Zénobe,
14 In particular, the recent Communication from the Commission: Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative – Innovation Union. Transforming Europe for a post-crisis world. October 2010.
02 / mechanism
AXE I : Promote a society of creativity
Action I.1 : Encourage the educational offering Action I.2 : Favour the stimulation of creativity Action I.3 : Complementary measures
38 41 44
AXE II : Nurture innovative practices
Action II.1: Create a Centre for Trend Analysis Action II.2 : Encourage collaborative innovation and networking Action II.3Â : Develop innovation in companies Action II.4 : Reinforce the potential for international cooperation Action II.5 : Distinguish innovative best practices
52 54 59 61 64
AXE III Â : Support innovative production
Action III.1 : Favour the marketing of new products/services/processes Action III.2 : Financially support innovative production Action III.4 : Complementary measures
66 67 68
axe1/ Promote a society of creativity 38
second part dispositif
Action I.1 : Encourage the educational offering for future economic stakeholders centred on creativity and innovation It is essential to support the emergence and development of creative teaching programmes which integrate a. a multidisciplinary approach; b. an international dimension; c. an educational results-oriented demand which aspires to the very highest international standards;
d. the recognition and validation of life and work experience. The idea here is to support the appearance of new advanced educational or teaching experiences for people in initial, specialist and executive training, so as to provide them with heuristic and cognitive skills and tools adapted to the challenge of continuing innovation. This measure concerns existing Higher Education institutions (universities; higher education institutions, especially those devoted to management and to art and design, etc.), as well as informal structu-
res focused on creativity and its teaching, such as theatres, design workshops, certain non-governmental organisations, skills centres, or corporate training, etc. Initiatives involving several establishments or groups of establishments will be given preference in order to bring together (inter) disciplinary visions. Also, preference will be given to projects based on partnerships between structures devoted to teaching and education, culture and/or design, and companies which are active on the market. The challenge is to turn our backs on mono-disciplinary approaches (skills centres often excluding global objectives) as well as overly unilaterally theoretical training
models. In this sense, the inclusion of such programmes in one or more innovative ecosystems (see Action II.2) in a collaborative and interactive perspective will be seen as a clear asset. The inclusion of one or more international creative networks (or their creation), including at least some partners from other continents, is an essential condition of public intervention. These partners will participate in the same multidisciplinary and collaborative philosophy as the one described above. Among some interesting initiatives, note, for example, the Design Factory, Media Factory and Service Factory project by
the University of Aalto in Helsinki, the MosaiC project by the Universities of Montreal and Barcelona, and the work by the Design Council (London). The call for international skills with experience in creativity, design and innovation will also be encouraged, as will recourse to a large number of teachers and trainers with international skills and/or business experience. The educational project will aim to free itself of certain methodological red tape unique to classifying and self-legitimising teaching. It will focus on the acquisition of formal and informal skills favourable to stimulating and developing a creative ap-
proach applicable to the entire development, production, launch and sales chain for new products, new services or new industrial or commercial processes, without forgetting non-technological, cultural and social (without a commercial goal) innovation. It will take account of advances made in educational sciences, especially in terms of motivation, collaboration, as well as formative and cumulative assessments. Access to these education and training programmes will not be subject to holding one or more diplomas, but will be based on the appreciation of a portfolio of skills, including work and life experience. Further-
more, at least 20% of the places available within each programme will benefit from a reduction in entry fees on the basis of criteria designed to favour access to individuals less favoured on a socio-economic level. Public support will take the form of the partial or complete payment of initial costs related to the setting up of the programme, as well as a contribution to its development for a maximum duration of three to five years (duration which will depend on the programmeâ€™s ambition and the identification of alternative funding sources).
creativity is not possible without space and the opportunity to express oneself Action I.2Â : Favour the stimulation of creativity from a very young age/throughout the entire compulsory and continuing education and training process/in teacher training practices In the world of education and teaching, it is almost natural to associate the notion of creativity with artistic type disciplines. Yet, although it is true that this field directly concerns the senses, it is often forgotten that the most creative minds are often scientific, although not exclusively.
Thus, no discipline should be ignored in this stimulation process. It has been shown that training programmes which encourage the stimulation of creativity among young children with a view to being opened up to all of civil society help to develop specific skills combining creativity with a critical spirit, perseverance, introspection, imagination, inventiveness, etc. Therefore, the foundations laid in this manner are likely to trigger a true change in the attitude of future generations by providing them with the tools needed to explore their own development and that of their environment.
Also, creativity is not possible without space and the opportunity to express oneself. Therefore, it is necessary to offer teachers/ educators and future teachers/educators activities which help them to develop this creative spirit and these time opportunities in order to become the talent coaches for young people. Therefore, it is necessary to detect, promote and develop existing practices, and to encourage the emergence of other approaches. This implies drawing up a plan in cooperation, in priority, with different training stakeholders, as well as with stakeholders from civil society.
Favour the emergence of practices which stimulate and train people in creativity 42
In this context, a few major strategic objectives may be defined: •Assess and develop existing material in teaching institutions and organisations which aim to raise awareness about innovation and creativity. • Favour the emergence of practices which stimulate and train people in creativity at all stages of the educational track and initial and continuing training, by using tools and methods which help to structure and increase the creative approach when faced with apparently insoluble problems.
• Encourage a large number of teaching and youth professionals to use these tools. • Provide project leaders with support in developing modules, projects or project leading activities. • Encourage a large number of teachers, future teachers and educators, in the widest sense of the term, to place as many young people as possible within a creative and stimulating approach. In order to meet these goals, three concrete actions are proposed:
a. the setting up of a steering group comprising teaching specialists and creativity and innovation experts. This limited group will be in charge of • drawing up the inventory of methods and tools likely to meet the objectives laid out above (such as tools built following the TRIZ theory , open-concept education, circus pedagogy, etc);drawing up, if necessary, observation and analysis protocols for the afore-mentioned tools; • formulating didactic and methodological recommendations on the use of the methods and tools in question (including
in terms of their formative and cumulative evaluation);
and implemented at two Teacher Training Schools.
â€˘ drawing up recommendations for training teachers and educators;
c. Defining a framework favourable to the generalisation of creative approaches in compulsory education and non-formal education and activity structures.
â€˘ developing strategies for disseminating good practices. b. Encouraging the setting up of pilot projects by Teacher Training schools. Counting on the knock-on effect of a teacher training intervention, the aim is to test two training modules based on creativity
This approach naturally requires the extension of the work of the experts as described in point (a). It will be based on the best examples of good practices identified during the heuristic phase. It will ensure that it is deployed intelligently and in consultation with all the interested parties (organisers,
managers and stakeholders in the world of education, and in the field of youth, etc.).
Action I.3Â : Complementary measures designed to favour the emergence and development of a creative society in Wallonia I.3.a Measures concerning the promotion of information and communication technologies in Wallonia ICTs form the substrate which is essential to Walloon societyâ€™s networking and to its inclusion in the global network, a necessary condition for the development of creativity and innovation.
Wallonia has many assets to offer in this field. It has a particularly well-developed optical fibre and cable backbone and also is in a favourable position for developing connections from the bandwidth to the user (Fiber to the Home or two-way cable throughout the territory). Regular measurements by the AWT (Walloon Telecommunications Agency) show that Internet use is becoming increasingly generalised with a growing penetration of ICTs, especially among SMEs and local authorities. An increasingly significant number of practitioners benefit from quality training every year. Nevertheless, there is still room for progress, especially in academic and educational fields.
This is a decisive challenge: the competition will be tough over the coming years in order to adapt to continuing technological change. That is why the Minister has undertaken to draw up a Framework Programme designed to favour the deployment of ICTs in Wallonia with a view to meeting the challenges of 2020. This Master Plan uses a global and comprehensive approach, ranging from infrastructure to the promotion of ICTs uses, as much among citizens as schools, universities, research and training centres, SMEs, major companies, local authorities, etc. It has been prepared with
the support of the AWT and will be the subject of a consultation with all the sectors and stakeholders concerned.
I.3.b Measure concerning the promotion of creativity among the inhabitants of Walloni
the more a given society develops its creativity, in theory, the greater its performance in the field of innovation.
Strengthening Walloniaâ€™s position among the most innovative European regions is not possible only through actions which target the industrial or entrepreneurial sector. As many specialists have shown, the global environment in which the economic sphere is developing plays a decisive role. Thus, for example, the work by Richard Florida on the Creative Class highlights the key role played by the cultural and regulatory context in the emergence and affirmation of innovative ecosystems. In other terms,
Therefore, it is essential to nurture creativity throughout society, even beyond interventions focused on the world of business and education. In this perspective, several specific actions should be undertaken in view of the knockon effect they are likely to generate: â€˘ Annual organisation of a Creativity Week
the more a given society develops its creativity, in theory, the greater its performance in the field of innovation 46
Based on the model of â€˜Learning weekâ€™ organised every year in the United Kingdom to promote the formal and informal adult education offering, it is suggested that a Creativity Week be introduced as of 2011. In the same way as the Heritage Days or the Festival of Music, this event will aim to involve the largest possible number of stakeholders likely to open up training or creative activity opportunities to the general public. These creative opportunities may be identified as much within the formal and informal initial or continuing education sectors as in the world of work or leisure. These potentially concern all fields of application.
The activities or events highlighted will be identified by means of a widely publicised call for events. The events will be selected in such a way as to present a wide range of varied projects and highlight particularly attractive and stimulating practices or experiences. This offering will be the subject of systematic publicity, thanks, in particular, to an ambitious Communication strategy which will include the participation of the main media. â€˘ Implementation of a participative mechanism
For the first Creativity Week, a pilot experience will be conducted through the design and deployment of a participative mechanism which will aim to include citizens in a collaborative approach. The objective will be (a) to evaluate as precisely as possible the attitude of Walloon residents to change and the conditions required to disseminate the culture of creativity; (b) to demonstrate through experience (learning by doing) the advantages of collective intelligence procedures when applied to innovation.
Different solutions may be envisaged (Town meetings, meetings of minds, deliberative surveys, etc.) provided that they meet the following criteria: • Use of a random recruitment method • Compliance with a methodology which is able to prove that it reduces or removes the usual biases (group effect, majority effect, etc.) • Prior identification of relevant output about the continued development of the Walloon innovation policy
• Guarantee of a major impact on the population of Wallonia (either directly as a result of the scale of the sample concerned, or indirectly through a strategy to disseminate the results - or even a combination of both approaches) • Guarantee of a knock-on effect The specifications for the organisation of this mechanism will be drawn up in cooperation with Walloon and international scientific experts. It will take account of any similar or comparable experiences which are of interest to the approach presented here.
• Definition of a framework for the promotion of projects designed to raise awareness about creativity A call for projects will be organised on a regular basis (at least once a year) in order to support the implementation of projects designed to raise awareness or train the general public on creativity and innovation. These projects should be based on methodologies, practices or experiences which have been tried and tested on a small scale or on the scale of a region comparable to Wallonia in terms of the needs to be provided. These will not repeat initiatives eligi-
to raise awareness or train the general public on creativity and innovation
ble under other mechanisms (such as, for example, the l’Odyssée de l’Objet). The projects will be selected by a jury made up of representatives of social partners, social science specialists (education specialists, psychologists, sociologists, etc.) and experts on creativity and innovation. However, 2011 will be a transitional phase during which a limited number of projects will be identified by the afore-mentioned jury in order to observe and draw up recommendations with a view to developing the methodological framework and legal basis for future calls for projects.
I.3.c Measures concerning the internationalisation and experimentation of Higher Education In view of the fact that it is recognised that international experience and networking both constitute major assets for the intelligence of society overall, a mechanism will be drawn up following consultation with academic authorities in order to privilege access to teaching at the Universities of Wallonia to candidates who are able to justify significant international experience, a large part of which has involved the use of a foreign language. Attendance at, or collaboration with, research and teaching
institutions with high creative added-value will be favoured. Furthermore, a consultation will be set up as soon as possible with the academic authorities and organisations representing Higher Education students in order to create conditions – especially in financial and social terms – which enable the introduction of a training period overseas which requires the use of a foreign language as one of the conditions for students’ academic certification (Masters level). This measure should become general practice as of the 2014-2015 academic year.
A consultation will also be established with academic authorities in order to draw up a list of requirements which teaching staff should have at their disposal, in addition to their titles and awards, namely extra-academic professional or social experience, in order to place their contribution in line with the needs of the society of creativity and innovation.
I.3.d Measures concerning the internationalisation of the civil service In the same way as the measures laid on in point 1.3.c, the Minister for the Economy and the Minister for the Civil Service will propose measures designed to stimulate international experience and experience of innovative procedures among civil servants in Wallonia and the Wallonia Brussels Community. These, in addition to participation in one or more global networks, could be favourable criteria â€“ even, for certain positions, compulsory criteria â€“ for accessing top management positions within
certain administrations and public sector organisations. Also, it will be recommended that civil servant training courses include international exchange programmes within administrations or organisations of specific interest in terms of innovation and creativity.
I.3.e Measures concerning the encouragement of training in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills among companies The Minister will initiate discussions with social partners in order to identify the best way to place the challenges of creativity and innovation at the heart of a companyâ€™s training policy.
axe2/ Nurture innovative practices 52
second part dispositif
Action II.1 : Create a Centre for Trend Analysis
indicators and work conducted by similar or comparable organisations;
Thanks to Walloniaâ€™s networks around the world, as well as the public and private fabric of contacts developed over the years, a structure for capturing trends, needs and opportunities will be set up in association with existing structures and competences (academic and operational).
This protocol will be designed to enable the identification and long-term assessment of worldwide trends in terms of new technologies, products, services, design, procedures, promotion and sales methods, as well as the capture of any information likely to contribute to forecasting economic, technological, cultural or cognitive changes which may be useful for improving the competitiveness of our companies and education and training circuits.
The Centre will be responsible for: a. drawing up and implementing a trend monitoring protocol in relation to existing
b. setting up and maintaining a large network for capturing trends; This will be based, in particular, on the network of sales attachĂŠs set up by AWEx, which will benefit from proper training, as well as the protocol defined above, and an intervention methodology enabling them to provide regular feedback on the information required to map changes in trends on a global scale in relation to different existing and potential competitiveness clusters in Wallonia. This approach will be included in a proactive monitoring system in order to favour the intelligent analysis of the overall information.
c. processing of data and its inclusion in the Walloon economic, scientific and academic fibre d. development of interactive information supports for operators, which are both general and specific to the different sectors and innovative ecosystems concerned. The idea is to supply a continuous flow of information for business clusters, and especially SMEs, using ad hoc tools such as websites, debriefing days (during which Walloon sales attachĂŠs, entrepreneurs, or specialists based overseas will be asked
Action II.2 Â : Encourage collaborative innovation and networking Among the fundamentals of innovation, the ability to create relationships of trust and cooperation are key aspects. Innovation often results from combining knowledge, practices, sectors, styles, generations, know-how and life skills. Favouring these combinations, means giving rise to a new society, new ideas and differentiating opportunities in an increasingly globalised world. In this spirit, it is necessary to develop existing networks, including clusters and
competitiveness clusters, as well as to encourage the creation of new networks (if necessary designed in an ad hoc manner) in order to stimulate interaction between companies, research and training centres and, more generally, between all new or experienced stakeholders in the field of innovation. The policy of competitiveness clusters launched in 2005 by the Walloon government has helped to bring together companies, universities and research and training centres through numerous projects conducted through partnerships. Also, the Flemish Parliament Act on Research
voted in 2008 plans for â€œTechnological Innovation Partnershipsâ€? (PIT) with a view to encouraging partnerships and cooperation between companies, universities, higher education institutions and research centres, in the frame of projects not covered by competitiveness clusters. These initiatives have been successful and have committed many stakeholders to opting for partnerships and open innovation. These notions must become a genuine business culture. In some regions, there are very effective informal networks, especially in the ICT sector. These discuss future trends, the
orientations of major groups, news from the sector. This type of exchange provides an important information vector for companies. In Wallonia, we have seen that many companies do not have access to this information because of a lack of means, time, or simply because of the absence of an exchange culture. SMEs in particular are often isolated from long-term discussions which are reserved for the major names in the sector. It will take time to change habits, progress beyond inherent fears about information sharing, help thinking to progress, and reach the majority of players which make
information sharing, help thinking to progress, and reach the majority of players
up the Walloon economic fibre. In order to contribute to efforts already made to support and accelerate the advent of this collaborative culture, it is essential to create platforms and set aside time for discussions between economic and technological stakeholders. In this context, three types of intervention will be given priority: a. the development of innovative ecosystems b. the promotion of coworking
c. the promotion of innovators’ clubs d. he development of a network of networks
II.2.a The development of innovative ecosystems It has been shown that the concentration in a given region of companies – small, medium and large – devoted to innovation and working in interaction with research, design, education and training centres, is favourable to the emergence of effective processes for sustainable innovation. Interesting examples of this are Silicon Valley, or closer to home, Biocity (Nottingham, UK) and Eurasanté (Nord Pas de Calais, FR). Today, Wallonia is home to such embryonic ecosystems, particularly in the fields of biotechnology, electromechanical engineering, the aerospace
the combination of experience generally favours the emergence and development of innovative approaches 56
industry and new information and communication technologies. It is necessary to promote and develop existing basins and favour the appearance of new centres. This implies the drawing up of a plan in cooperation with the centres and competitiveness clusters and the identification of measures for facilitating the emergence of these types of ecosystems, such as access to very high-speed bandwidth, the provision of land and infrastructures, the extension of the missions of clusters, etc. These measures will be subject to an inventory drawn up in cooperation with all the interested parties
II.2.b The creation of structures favourable to coworking The aim is to offer project leaders an infrastructure for working, exchanging and meeting which brings together, temporarily and voluntarily, a series of innovators all working on the development of a new activity. Coworking, a concept, similar to that of business incubators, distinguishes itself by the fact that it does not house business offices, that it does not have a common theme, and that it works as part of a network on a worldwide scale with other hubs. Although these companies do not necessarily share common features,
the combination of experience generally favours the emergence and development of innovative approaches. The only experience of this type identified in Belgium is the Hub in Brussels. The present measure aims to set up coworking centres in all interested towns in Wallonia in cooperation with the communal authorities. The idea is to provide interested entrepreneurs with suitable premises and the necessary equipment, and to offer specific advice and support to facilitate the coordination of the coworking structure.
II.2.c Support clubs
The aim is to encourage the spontaneous generation and development of innovators’ groups on a voluntary basis. Many informal initiatives of this type already exist. Often, such clubs bring together professionals or ‘enthusiasts’ (students, pensioners, etc.) – PROAM approach – who choose to combine their talents or skills in order to generate new ideas which may be used in the framework of industrial or commercial development. This type of entity generally includes a “chairman” and a relatively limited number of members who meet regularly and/or stay
in frequent contact via the Internet. Members are encouraged to present innovative project ideas to the group which are debated, modified, improved, and sometimes developed and even implemented. Therefore, it is possible to help projects to progress with the group’s advice and support. Without it necessarily being required, clubs usually find their coherence either in their members’ backgrounds (although a certain diversity of profiles is recommended), or in the fields of application chosen.
The action consists of: a. promoting the proliferation of networks through specific operations such as, for example, information campaigns, or the organisation of contests designed to reward the best ideas developed as part of a network; b. setting up an interface which ensures group networking – this interface, based on an electronic platform, will aim to stimulate the activity of groups, offer them contact and networking opportunities, feed into the debate on methods and techniques which
favour innovation, identify coaching solutions, etc.
II.2.d Setting up a network of networks
c. favour relationships between clubs and companies working in the sector of application concerned.
In order to coordinate networking in the Walloon innovative economic landscape and maximise the development potential of each of the networks (clusters, centres, ecosystems, coworking hubs, innovatorsâ€™ clubs, etc.), an electronic platform defined as a â€œnetwork of networksâ€? will be developed. It will guarantee all the functions needed to optimise the objectives of this programme.
In this manner, the idea is to defend a bottom-up approach to innovation: a group of citizens, after debate and internal improvements, propose innovations to the economic world via a public support interface. Ultimately, this dynamic results in the creation of added-value, as well as a return for the local authority and the citizens which have been involved.
Furthermore, specific attention will be given to defining operational protocols for
managing intellectual property and to developing participative supports for the very latest information and communication technologies.
The approach will be as concrete and practical as possible in order to meet the true needs of companies Action II.3Â : Develop innovation in companies
II.3.a Draw up reference guidelines in the field of industrial ecology in order to favour the transition of Walloon companies to sustainable development In line with action III.4.e of the Plan Marshall 2.Vert (Green Marshall Plan) which plans for the development of a strategic innovation plan for Walloon companies with a special focus on eco-innovation, a specific initiative will be adopted to build a reference tool which helps to guide Wal-
loon industrial policy towards an innovative sustainable economy. Designed for companies, and based on an analysis of European and international best practices, this tool will focus on the structuring and coherence of different methods and approaches in the most promising economic sectors. In particular, it will help to bring into operation concrete measures concerning innovative young companies and non-technological innovation. The approach will be as concrete and practical as possible in order to meet the true needs of companies
II.3.b Enable SMEs to proceed with the audit of their innovative potential Several tools have been developed by research and training centres, and/or consultancies which help small and medium-sized companies to assess in detail the margins for progress in terms of creativity and innovation. An intervention system will be developed in order to help the largest possible number of Walloon SMEs to carry out such an audit. This system will include the accreditation of the methods proposed through the certification of service providers and fi-
nancial support (maybe combining existing European funding in the field).
Action II.4 : Reinforce the potential for international cooperation based on innovation Creative Wallonia intends to define a convergence framework designed to include innovation among the leading priorities of the Region’s international economic action, and, in this manner, to stimulate the inclusion of Walloon companies in an international long-term future. To achieve this objective, the Region will reinforce the orientation of AWEX’s dynamic action towards the construction of a relational framework enabling Walloon companies or innovators to develop cooperation with
international stakeholders, and, at the same time, enabling companies or innovators from other regions of the world to plan common developments with Walloon stakeholders. This action aims to reinforce the different existing measures which aim, as much in terms of exporting Walloon innovation as importing foreign innovation and technologies, as to identify future actions likely to compete for the same objective. All of these will be brought together under the same “Creative Wallonia” certification. At present, this involves the following provisions:
• international partnerships in the field of innovation In order to build a global innovation network for Wallonia, the programme will provide an impetus for concluding new agreements with economic stakeholders working in priority markets, in the same way as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between AWEx and Texas A&M University System. Such an agreement, unique in Europe, provides an opening for Walloon operators to major international public projects and, in the long-term, to employment creation and the input of new knowledge and technologies in the Region.
help for Walloon start-ups and technology companies in order to penetrate the target market 62
This international technological cooperation should adopt several objectives: • the creation of global companies for the simultaneous commercialisation of new technologies developed by our partner and all our French-speaking universities and Walloon companies working in the European market and the target market; • help for Walloon start-ups and technology companies in order to penetrate the target market through the realisation of market studies and business plans;
• the provision of elements needed for the development and commercialisation of the products and companies of our partners in Wallonia; • the improvement of the products of Walloon companies through technological and commercial partnerships with partners in the target market. Furthermore, the Framework Programme will also help Walloon SMEs to be a part of innovative initiatives for the creation of technological partnerships and the transfer of techniques and know-how in regions of
the world close to major emerging countries. Finally, AWEx’s foreign investment branch, including experts from each competitiveness cluster, will also pay special attention to the promotion of measures enabling Wallonia to be seen as attractive for creative and innovative activities from overseas. • Support for the internationalisation of promotion and creativity structures Creative Wallonia intends to strengthen international visibility actions for structures which promote creativity within the
Wallonia-Brussels area, such as WallonieBruxelles Design Mode, Wallonie-Bruxelles Théâtre, Wallonie-Bruxelles Image, Wallonie-Bruxelles Architecture and WallonieBruxelles Musique: networking and public relations at conferences, presentations in schools, participation in international seminars, consultancy work for overseas economic and sales attachés, organisation of press conferences in Belgium, collaboration on international projects and participation on publications. • The mobilisation of the economic and technological network overseas
Our entire economic and technological network overseas, namely economic and sales attachés, foreign investment attachés, technological attachés, scientific liaison officers, as well as the network of Walloon decision-makers, will be mobilised in order to report to the Centre for Trend Analysis which will be created shortly. Furthermore, scientific liaison officers (ALS) in position in priority countries with a high potential in the fields of R&D and technological innovation will have an important role to play because, in the framework of the Plan Marshall 2.Vert (Green Marshall Plan), they have been put in charge of developing
collaborations and partnerships between Walloon and foreign research stakeholders (universities and research centres), with specific attention to competitiveness clusters. • Creative Wallonia actions and missions AWEx will include in its 2010-2011 activity programme several actions based on creativity and innovation in regions which are leaders on the subject and with which partnerships may be concluded
Action II.5 Â : Distinguish innovative best practices Every year, in the frame of the Society of Creativity, in collaboration with major private stakeholders and on the basis of an assessment by a top level international jury, the best practices in the field of pure innovation (product, processes, marketing methods, design, etc.) or support for innovation will be awarded. These prizes will be attributed to people and structures (schools, companies, associations, etc.) which have shown an outstanding capacity for creativity and innovation.
The objective pursued is to contribute to the identification and reputation of innovative stakeholders from (and emblematic of) Walloon society, and, in the same way, to stimulate the taste for creativity and innovation among the entire Walloon population. Called ZĂŠnobes, after the first name of the Walloon inventor of the dynamo, ZĂŠnobe Gramme, these prizes will include several categories so as to reflect the range of ways in which creativity may be demonstrated. Thus, they should cover the technological, non-technological and social innovation fields; promote individual creativity
as much as collective creativity; distinguish between creators or innovators and those wanting to ensure innovative production (editors, manufacturers, investors, etc.). Implemented by the Scientific Policy Council (CPS), under the joint authority of the Minsters of New Technologies and Research, they will replace the present-day Technological Innovation Prizes. Unlike existing initiatives, the focus will not necessarily be on new ideas, but on the combination of ideas implemented-put into practice.
the focus will be on the combination of ideas implemented-put into practice Projects which include collaborative and international dimensions will be given special preference. A special prize will be awarded to companies which favour intrapreneurship.
axe3/ Support innovative production 66
second part dispositif
Action III.1 Â : Favour the marketing of new products/services/ processes In the present-day economic context, the aim of the current measure is to support technological and non-technological companies (SMEs and VSEs) which have developed a prototype but which do not have the resources required to develop it commercially. A prototype is the model of a product, service or commercial asset during the phase which precedes the finished product and its marketing.
Prototyping, the target of this measure, is the final step for a product or service prior to its commercialisation. Therefore, the idea is to support a product, service, or commercial assetâ€™s move from the prototype stage to the industrialisation and marketing stage. The stages subsidised will cover the technological improvements still required, changes, adjustments and adaptations, especially in terms of design, prior to marketing, as well as the actual marketing stages.
The measure is based on the following thematic subdivision:
Action III.2 : Financially support innovative production
• Technological industrial prototypes;
III.2.a Improve the action of financial tools which favour innovation
• Projects concerning the image sector; • Prototypes concerning creative design and industry (excluding image).
Based on a joint observation that, on the one hand, the financing of innovation is an essential priority for ensuring a region’s economic dynamism and, on the other hand, that the present-day banking system does not guarantee a well thought-out allocation of funds for this objective, it is suggested that an assessment of existing public instruments be carried out in order
to evaluate their impact in terms of the objectives described in this programme. Measures will also be taken to enable the most innovative projects to benefit from appropriate public financial guarantees. Finally, special attention will be paid to the personalised financial supervision of innovative companies via the setting up of an ad hoc tool..
III.2.b Stimulate the creation of public private partnerships in order to support and accompany innovative new companies PPP will be set up with the support of public or semi-public financial tools and major companies working in the sectors concerned. Priority will be given to cutting-edge sectors likely to make their mark in the coming years for which Wallonia has a large potential.
PPP may adopt a variety of legal statuses, but must meet the very highest standards in force in terms of transparency and effectiveness. A specific charter will be drawn up on this subject
Action III.3 Â : Complementary measures IIl.3. a Measure designed to ensure legislative harmony favourable to innovation
. The Minister will make the necessary provisions to raise awareness among all the stakeholders in Wallonia and the Federal Government likely to intervene in the legislative process affecting the innovation process in order to avoid any counter-productive effects in the setting up of a new mechanism or the adaptation of an existing mechanism.
the financing of innovation is an essential priority III.3.b Measure designed to encourage innovation through tax incentives The Minister will invite the Federal Minister for Finance to propose measures likely to encourage innovative companies through tax incentives.
Notes & rĂŠfĂŠrences
1 An innovative experience was initiated at a school in Chareleroi and completed successfully throughout an entire school year among 2nd year primary pupils. It was completely in line with the framework defined above and could legitimately be extended to all of schooling and to different school networks. This approach is based on the use of a series of very simple and fun tools which lead the child to acquire a series of skills useful for the rest of his or her life: creativity, a critical spirit, perseverance, introspection, etc. These tools are built according to the TRIZ theory (theory of inventive problem solving) developed by G. Altschuller, and one of its variants OTSM-TRIZ (general theory of powerful thinking). Walloon advocates of this experience are currently working with experts from other countries (NL, F, D)
Cabinet de Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice-Président et Ministre de l'Économie, des PME, du Commerce extérieur et des Technologies nouvelles : 2, rue Kefer, 5100 Jambes
www.creative-wallonia.be éditeur responsable : Henri Monceau, 2 rue Kéfer, 5100 Jambes conception graphique : dogstudio
Published on Nov 23, 2011