From Vision to Implementation
Bureau Louter’s research Get to Know the Leiden Region is the basis for Economie071. 5 themes which the partners are working on together have been selected from this. These themes were developed further using an intensive process during theme discussions. Representatives from the fields of government, education and entrepreneurs were involved. This has led to a common vision policy of which the central ambition is:
The Leiden region wants to be an enduring place holding a position in the top of Europe’s knowledge regions with Life Sciences & Health as key sectors and spin-offs for production, small businesses and services, in terms of new jobs, increasing turnover and new markets.
After the committee was formed from all six participating districts, a “reaffirmation” of the Economic Agenda with the districts took place in mid-2014. This was the start of the implementation phase. First, by the creation of the foundation Stichting Economie071 including a small Program Bureau. Under the direction of this bureau, all partners came together after the summer of 2014 to focus on achieving the objectives, this led to the establishment of eight projects. These will continue until mid-2016. The projects are aimed at strengthening the top sectors Life Sciences & Health, at an investigation into a new cluster Vitality and at stimulating Entrepreneurship and Innovation. These are all expected to benefit investment and employment.
The Organisation of Cooperation
Economie071 is based on the establishment of a powerful network to be organised by strong links and connections.
The strength of Economie071 lies in the network of partners in the region: government, entrepreneurs, education and research facilities. To achieve the Economie071 objectives, the power of the network must be utilized as efficiently as possible. Two items are essential for this:
- Ensure that the power of each link is used to its best advantage and
- Ensure that the individual links in the network are properly connected.
Harnessing the power of each link and strengthening the connections between the links are the fundamental principles for setting up the organisation within the Program Bureau Economie071.
Harnessing the Power of each Link
Harnessing the power in each link will be achieved by placing responsibility for implementation at a decentralised level. Implementation of the eight projects will be decentralised. The responsibility for execution therefore lies with the 14 partners. That is where the expertise can be found for carrying out the projects well, where the investments are made and where the benefits will be felt the most.
The role of the Program Bureau Economie071 in this is maintaining the pace, direction and motivation. By maintaining a central final goal and by continuously emphasizing regional cooperation where each partner is encouraged to contribute through their own strengths maximum results will be reached.
When the projects are completed, a new proposal will be issued by the Program Bureau for new projects based on the original implementation plans.
Turning strong links into a powerful network requires the establishment of powerful connections through different means:
- Consultation about the objectives and implementation of the strategic agenda, both within the cooperation (partners) and externally (discussions with new strategic partners);
- A shared understanding of progress in the implementation of the projects;
- A joint communication and accountability about the results achieved;
- Meetings which contribute to the formation of valuable networks.
These connections will be created by the program team, as a stimulating power of Economie071. They will provide cross-connections between projects, communicate objectives and provide coherence between the projects. Furthermore, the program team represents Economie071 in meetings at regional and provincial levels.
Tasks, Roles and Responsibilities
The Program Bureau is part of the foundation Stichting Economie071. This foundation holds primarily an administrative status and role. The content and financial control of the program, definition of new projects, monitoring progress and evaluation falls under the guidance of the steering committee, which is supported by the program team. Investments necessary for the projects are always submitted to the district councils.