Emmia Report
Policy Learning Platform
Concrete Actions

Some recommendations



   Giving recommendations is something that you should do with humility and caution. People will usually look for an easy solution, but the reality is that there are no easy solutions and no "one size fits all" that could easily be implemented.

   Our aim when writing this report has been to provide answers where appropriate. In some cases we supply recommendations, and where we see a trend developing we have highlighted the factors that are of great importance in creating excellence in the field of mobile.

   We also believe that not all of the regions across Europe are suited to build clusters of companies within the mobile sector. The environment that is needed in order to create the excellence required doesn't exist everywhere and we can't do anything about that. It doesn't mean that we should stop trying to develop new mobile services available for all regions across Europe, but it does mean that excellence within the field of mobile and mobile ser­vice industry only can be created in those regions where the right conditions are in place

   We have chosen to divide the recommendations into different levels, based on how unique the conditions in a region are. This doesn't mean that some regions are better than others; it just means that there are different levels of maturity in regions across Europe and that we need to adjust the regional policies to the prevailing conditions. The recommendations are therefore given according to three different levels of maturity that have been identified:

Excellence level is for those regions that are amongst the 20 emerging regions that we have identified in this report. It is also for those who are very close to being included in the top 20 list.

Climbing level is for those regions that have some of the things that are needed to create excellence, but still need to build critical mass or infra-structure in order to get further up on the value chain.

Challenger level is for those regions that don't have an existing mobile or mobile service industry and where other sectors are stronger. They can be regions with a strong cluster within tourism or agriculture for instance, whe­re mobile services will be a part of the core offer from these sectors but not an industry in itself.


Based on our findings, regions that are already very strong in the field of mobile or mobile service industry are advised to:

Secure access to capital

   Especially for smaller regions, access to capital is crucial for a sustainable community of start-ups within the mobile and mobile service industry. This includes both public and private capital. It also includes different incentives regarding investments in start-ups (like the tax incentives that exist in the UK for instance). Very often, private VC companies also look at the possibilities to leverage on public money, this should also be considered in a regional policy. Accelerators should also be considered, since these are still initiatives that we see much more of in the USA.

Attract large brands

   The presence of a well-known brand provides an injection into a region in many ways, but often not the ways that regional developers think. Big brands are often connected to job creation, but as we see for instance in London even the presence of name itself can provide a huge boost. When Google started its Google campus in London, it gave a boost to the region that nobody could have predicted. Google only hired a few people, but the inclusion of the name in itself has probably attracted thousands of jobs.

   This has happened because the infrastructure required was already in place and the environment that supports start-ups is already there. Simply attracting a large brand (unless of course it is a factory) will probably not provide a sustainable solution for a region.

Indirect factors need to be pushed in policies

   It has been said throughout this report that the human talent that is needed in those regions that are striving for excellence is of people who demand: a rich cultural life, a multicultural society & good public transport etc. This means that policies supporting the creation of excellence within the field of mobile must be coordinated with policies around everything from culture to public transport. Those regions that are already in the "excellence group" needs to have a clear strategy on how to attract and keep talent in the regi­on and it must be connected with the other factors that have been mentioned.

Don't interfere with the market

   Most people would say that this is so obvious that it is unnecessary advice. But, unfortunately we have seen, during our work on this book, some examples where regions think that they can create a market. Our advice, based on our findings is not to attempt that. Those regions that rank highly on market access do so because the markets work there. Creating an artificial market through public incentives will not create sustainability, industries will move once the incentives disappear.

   This advice should not be confused with public private partnership solutions that do of course work when the conditions are right. Also, the public sector can act as a buyer of new technology in order to create a start-up community - as we have seen in Estonia. Regions on the excellence level have probably already done these things. Institutional money should be invested in public infrastructure, support to culture & educational systems etc. This will provide a much better return on investment, whilst creating sustainable solutions that don't interfere with the market.


Develop connections towards capital

   Access to capital is one of the key factors to be considered when looking at start-up communities. Public policies should try to include incentives to attract private VC but also public financial instruments. VC companies want to see leverage of their funds together with public risk money and that should be part of a regional policy.

   Policies should also include ways to communicate the strengths of the regi­on to VC communities. This can of course be done in many different ways.

   Policies should also include ways to communicate the regions strengths towards VC communities. This can of course be done in different ways.

Focus on strengths

   All regions have strengths and even if the climbing region has a community of start-ups within the field of mobile, it will probably be wise to try to focus on other industrial areas that are already traditional strengths. This should probably be formulated in a smart specialisation strategy, focusing on areas that could help the region to achieve strength also within the mobile sector.

Build up knowledge and access to knowledge

   When climbing, access to knowledge will at some point be the factor that decides if a region will be successful or not. There are some findings that are particularly interesting and that should be taken into account to affect regional policies.

   Firstly, building knowledge within a region is a long-term action. It will take many years to increase the knowledge base, but there are some measures that can help in this process: Knowledge building should take place in close collaboration with industry. Industry knows what it needs much better than the traditional stakeholders in higher education. For example, the sector is in a great need of developers and to become a good developer you don't need to be an engineer.

   Out of this comes the second finding: Vocational training has a much higher impact on knowledge access when it comes to developers, and this should be taken into account when developing regional policy. Therefore, policies should point towards industry and vocational training, rather than traditional stakeholders like universities (this is only valid for developing resources, not when it comes to R & D).

   Attracting knowledge is also closely connected to indirect factors such as culture and the others that have been mentioned before. A policy supporting the attraction of new talent should be focused on. Thereby building up an attractive society rather than just relying on financial incentives - which only seem to work only in the short term.

Invest in infrastructure

   Infrastructure includes everything from public transport to high speed Inter­net. Regions that want to climb need a 360 degree infrastructure investment plan. Policies should therefore include long term plans for public infrastructure investments as well as strategies for how to, for instance, go from 3G to 4G and how to implement Wi-Fi spots across public areas.

   Without good and sustainable infrastructure the region will not be able to attract the right talent. But, infrastructure investments must be directed towards the right goals. A region that provides companies with fast Internet connections and forgets about the public will probably have problems attracting talent. Therefore, a joined-up regional policy is essential.

Create policies around public sector as a buyer

   PPP instruments and other types of activities where the public sector act as a buyer can stimulate SMEs in a region and help them to grow. A public sector who acts as a buyer with great knowledge or who acts via a public company will increase the speed in which R & D gets out into the market. A well-defined public policy supporting how the public sector can act act as a buyer of new innovations will help the start-up community to grow. We can clearly see this from the experience of Sweden, where mobile giants like Ericsson got a jump start in the 50s and 60s though joint R&D with the state owned telecom operator Televerket. So, active regions that can put demands on start-ups within the mobile sector in order to buy new mobile services will probably in the long term, create a sustainable mobile start-up community.


Focus on the regions strength

   A region with a non-existent or very small mobile or mobile service industry will do better by focussing regional policies on traditionally strong sectors. Mobile solutions should be seen as a tool in order to create excellence within a traditional sector. This means that a smart specialisation strategy must include how to cross fertilise a traditional sector such as tourism with the new possibilities that are opened up through mobile services. It also means that the focus from the region should be on trying to find the latest technology amongst other regions in Europe, and then building up knowledge on how to adopt these technologies across the region.

Build infrastructure

   Challenger regions must very often focus on improving existing infrastructu­re. Regional policies should focus on how to improve infrastructure in order to improve the take up of new mobile technologies by traditional industries. In order to make this happen the region needs, for instance, to invest in efficient networks for data traffic. In urban areas additional Wi-Fi spots should be considered, or even, equivalent technologies should be installed.

Build trust

   Innovation comes from collaboration between people. If a region is on the challenger level, it is very often that the level of trust is equally low. This causes problems when it comes to innovation.

   Building trust is not easy, but public policies can help if they address the key question: How do we get people to start talking to each other? In this sense we need policies to create meeting places in a region where entrepreneurs can meet and share ideas. The role model for this is of course University Road in Palo Alto (Silicon Valley) where the open environment really encourages people to talk to each other and share ideas. The region should encourage open innovation processes, events for entrepreneurs and co-working spaces for SMEs. Simple solutions are often the best, virtual meeting places have very low impact according to research.

   Creating meeting places is also about using existing infrastructure like cafes and restaurants. Public policies should enable cafes to have flexible opening times, so that entrepreneurs can use them as meeting places and venues for discussions and sparking new ideas.

Build support systems for instance cluster organisations

   In order to build trust, which probably is the most important thing for regions on this level, supporting public structures should also be developed. This stu­dy shows that regions with well-defined and experienced cluster organisations also have higher trust between companies than those regions without cluster organisations.

   For a region in the challenger level, cluster organisations should be created to support growth and networks. Cluster managers need to have insight in the industry sector as well as in-depth knowledge about mobile services. The main activities for the cluster organisation should be: networking, knowledge building, matchmaking and internationalisation. Most of the activities can be provided through events, which will lead to people starting to meet and build trust with each other.

   In order to get continuity, programs should be formed that support cluster organisations for at least 7-8 years. Since it normally takes 5-8 years for a cluster to start deliver results the funding programmes need to reflect this.


  Policy recommendations are hard to develop. Either they get to generic so they don't appeal to the persons who are supposed to implement them or they are to specific so they more or less only work for one type of environment. That is why the project decided to develop recommendations on three different levels.

   In order to find out how the recommendations work in reality, 3 innovation partnerships where created. Together with 3 different regions in Europe the recommendations has been put into a context, tested towards the regional innovation community and then transformed into contextualised specific recommendations that could be implemented on a regional level.

   The methodology used was a combination of research of the region and crowd sourced information gathering using iterative techniques in order to involve as many relevant persons as possible. In each region the project per-formed an initial workshop with stakeholders from the regional innovation system, a second workshop with participation from different actors in the innovation system (also including SME:s) and then a final presentation also including feedback from the actors.

For each region a report has been produced which is downloadable from the EMMIA website.

Luxembourg - climbing towards excellence

The general findings and recommendations was put into a context and more specified:

  • combine mobile technology with already existing industries for instance financial sector
  • increase activities attracting talent
  • make it easier to start up a company
  • create test beds and large scale demonstrators
  • create an open data portal in order to create new business opportunities
  • build capacity through new digital ways of sharing knowledge
  • introduce free Wi-fi in Luxembourg
  • increase collaboration between industry and university

   The work has resulted in a policy brief with concrete actions to take for the public sector and a public presentation with feedback from the innovation community.

Kyustendil - challenging old mindsets and habits

   The region of Kyustendil in Bulgaria faces many challenges: Old infrastructure, lack of talent, bureaucratic administration for SME's, low self confidence and lack of financial resources. Even though there is a huge will to take steps forward in order to increase job growth and attractiveness of the region. The involvement of key persons within the regional public structure combined with experience from EU funded structural programmes, made it possible to put the general recommendations into a context and make them more specific:

  • Focus on the existing industry (agricultural and tourism) and create a smart specialisation strategy around them. The strategy should address concrete actions in order to improve the possibilities to implement mobile services connected to smart agriculture, functional food industry and experience based tourism.
  • Invest in infrastructure that makes it possible to be connected. The region needs fiber connections, upgraded 3G nets and access to public wifi. There is also a need for meeting places, preferably connected to existing industry structures for instance tourism.
  • Increase education level by starting up higher education in the field of agriculture, functional food and tourism. This could be done in collaboration with either the university in Sofia or international universities.
  • Work with trust building by creating for instance cluster organisation using the models existing in Europe. Activities should concentrate on networking and building trust.

Dublin - taking excellence one step further

   The city of Dublin is one of those spots in Europe that already has achieved excellence in the field of mobile development. Involving stakeholders from both public sector, universities and industry recommendations ended up concentrating around finance and market access:

  • Create better connections between public funding and private venture capital. This includes further development accelerators such as Wayra
  • Develop long term relationships with the large brands in order to minimize the risk when multinationals leave
  • Connect public policies around culture with enterprise policies. In order to maintain excellence talent must stay in the region and more talent needs to be attracted. Culture plays an important role.
  • Improve existing policies with a sustainability module, with the goal to "make things work without interference from the government
  • Create a map over what funding that is needed and connect this to the public policies


   Putting general and often generic policy advice into a real context shows us how hard it is to develop policies that work. During the reality check we learned that the reality always is more complex than you imagine and that some things will take long time to change. But we also learned that Europe is filled with engaged, passionate and skilled people that wants to create changes in order to improve conditions in their region.


  • Words don't always mean the same thing. We need a common vocabulary in order to understand each other
  • The more people you meet the better recommendations can you give. Crowdsourcing works perfectly well when doing policy recommendations
  • Physical presence is essential. If you want to give advice to a region, you need to go there. Seems obvious but we have realised that this not always happens
  • If you find the passionate persons on an early stage, life will be much easier.


   This report was made with the intention to show how policies can help creating excellent regions throughout Europe using mobile technology. For some regions the technology in itself will create new jobs in the ICT sector, for other regions the technology will help boost existing industry sectors to become excellent in the future.

   We will though finish of where we started - there are no easy "one size fits all" solutions that can be implemented in order to achieve competitiveness in the future. All regions have different strengths, prerequisites and culture. So think of the recommendations in this book as something that needs local adaptation in order to work.

   Follow the future implementation and the development for the innovation partners on www.mobilise-europe.eu and get inspired.




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