This project was approved in the FP6-2004-KNOW-REG-2 call for proposals of the 6th Framework Programme. The specific programme covered was “Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area” and the activity areas included were “Coherent development of research and innovation policies”.

The project performed a comparative analysis (benchmarking) of efficient support instruments for the RTD in geographical areas with demographic significant imbalances. In this way also specific tools of support were analysed for rural companies and entrepreneurs. Also, a panel of indicators of impact of the regional RTD support policies in this type of regions was developed, with special attention to the indicators of social impact.

A special attention was paid to the case of regions that have obtained significant advances implementing RTD policies in the last years (for example: Regions to which the good use of the resources has allowed, or will allow, to leave the Objective 1). In the consortium several regions of this type (Castilla y León, Brandenburg) took part. These regions also carried out a task of mentoring on the rest of regions in the project.

One of the factors for success in the present project was the achievement of wide regional consensus and the involvement of regional RTD players in the project. A strong effort was made in order to obtain this actor interaction, integrating key players in the management structure and widely disseminating project results. Also the benchmarking process contributed to trans-national exchange of experience.

Other objective of the project was to carry out foresight studies of policies and support instruments to RTD guided to future sectors, intensive in knowledge and with high added value. The development of these new sectors allowed the participant regions to maintain and promote equilibrium between the competitiveness of its basic industries and businesses and the bid to introduce new economic activities in sectors with good prospects of future.

See more: BEFORE project