VARIO selects 5 benchmark countries and 17 benchmark regions
This is a first response to the request for advice from Minister-president Jambon and Vice-minister president Crevits to make it to the top of innovation regions.
At the joint request of Minister-president Jan Jambon and Vice-minister president responsible for innovation Hilde Crevits regarding a roadmap for Flanders to the top of knowledge and innovation regions, VARIO initially formulated a recommendation of relevant benchmark countries and regions. VARIO has selected Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands as benchmark countries. It also identifies 17 benchmark regions, 4 of which are located in Scandinavia (2 in Sweden, 1 in Finland, 1 in Denmark) and the remaining 13 in the "Blauwe Banaan", a vast megalopolis from Wales to northern Italy (7 in Switzerland, 4 in Germany, 2 in the Netherlands).
Although Flanders is also in the middle of the "Blauwe Banaan", at the moment it is still 'Strong Innovator+'. This is a category in the Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS2019) just below the Innovation Leaders.
In response to the second part of the request for advice, VARIO is now working on the development of a set of transparent strategic policy indicators and concrete policy recommendations for a 'roadmap' to conduct Flanders to the top of knowledge and innovation regions by 2030.