Smart Story: The approach of the Silesia region to smart specialisation strategy monitoring
The actors of the innovation ecosystem of the Silesia Region play an important role in the implementation of monitoring and evaluation processes, taking into account their competences and responsibilities in the system. The Silesia Voivodeship is leading the monitoring process and is responsible for collecting data in the area of innovation, science and entrepreneurship. In particular, the Coordination Unit for the Implementation of the Regional Innovation Strategy, that is located in the Marshal's Office, acts as the responsible body of the monitoring process.
In addition, the Network of Regional Specialised Observatories is responsible for the collection of appropriate data related to each of the 9 technological areas. These observatories include regional actors from the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, comprising business support institutions, innovation agencies, industry and small and medium enterprises as well as the science and research sector. These observatories collect statistical and qualitative data that foment the monitoring system. Besides, business support institutions, such as innovation agencies and science and technology parks, are responsible for establishing a direct contact with industries and SMEs using a standardised Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) tool. The tool includes a direct interview based on a unified form in view of analysing the needs of enterprises and scientific units. It contains questions about the current situation of the entity, its environment and development strategy as well as questions about trends and planned activities. It also integrates elements of foresight related to the Smart Specialisation priority areas.
Moreover, institutions at the national level as well as advisory bodies and think tanks representing the interests of the Region in the area of regional development and based on smart specialisation areas, influence the monitoring process indirectly. Cooperation with the national entities, such as the Central Statistical Office (GUS) and the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland, provide useful statistical data that feed into the cyclical indicators’ assessment.
The annual monitoring reports are the result of the monitoring process. Entities participating in the Network of Regional Specialised Observatories prepare annual reports containing market trends in the areas of smart specialisation and valuable information and knowledge that are difficult to acquire for entrepreneurs, enabling them to make strategic decisions. The Specialised Observatories RIS reports, based on the data collected annually are an integral part of the annual monitoring report coordinated by the Marshal's Office. These reports are published on the Silesia’s Innovation Observatory platform and made available for all the actors of the innovation ecosystem.
The monitoring reports are not only responding to the question of the state of affairs, but are also the basis for conclusions, which serve to change the policy development and orientation in order to ensure the achievement of the assumed objectives.
 As indicated in the "Technology Development Programme of the Silesian Voivodeship for 2019-2030.