Enhancing the innovation of economic entities from lagging regions by developing effective instruments for sustainable development.
dr hab. Agnieszka Siedlecka, dr Joanna Żurakowska-Sawa, dr Magdalena Zwolińska-Ligaj, dr Agnieszka Gałecka, mgr inż. Anna Trocewicz.
IMPACT DESCRIPTION SUMMARY
Scientific activity focused on the conditions and possible directions of Lubelskie Province development as a region representing a group of the least developed regions of the EU, the so-called lagging regions. Enterprises, agricultural farms andmunicipal units of local self-government were surveyed. Pro-innovative activity deficit of these entities within environmental management and the need for activation of widely understood innovations were shown. Taking into account environmental conditions and the need to implement the concept of sustainable development, adequate instruments and solutions were proposed to strengthen the innovativeness and competitiveness of the surveyed entities comprising the pro-ecological concepts of development. Systemic support models for regional innovation were developed, including local innovation strategies. The core of the developed models were innovations, among others of pro-ecological nature contributing to sustainable local development.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MAJOR RESEARCH CONCLUSIONS
Scientific activity provided strategic insight into the determinants, challenges, and tools necessary for the creation of innovative and sustainable development of the Lubelskie Region considered as lagging region. Cause-effect relations were formulated, opportunities and desirable directions of development, as well as instruments enabling the implementation of the proposed directions of changeswere indicated. The research focused on broadly understood innovations, including pro-ecological ones relating to the public and private sectors.
The research conducted between 2010-2020 showed pro-innovative activity deficit of enterprises, farms, and local government authorities,low level of exploitation of local resources and environmental qualities of naturally valuable areas, and problems of economic use of such resources. In addition, the research provided the required knowledge onstagnation areas (economic situation, local areas of cooperation, etc.), which enabled to take measures for the development of their key economic sectors – various areas of entrepreneurship, increase in innovation, competitiveness and adaptability to prevailing conditions and trends in contemporary socio-economic reality.
The need for organisational and institutional support in the process of improving the level of competitiveness in the surveyed area was shownthrough: a) increasing cooperation in favour of sustainable use of local resources [R1, R2, R3]; b) providing preferential access to external resources for financing pro-ecological investments and to information, as well asenhancing the level of cooperation between the local government and local entities [R1, R2, R3]; c) spreading environmental management systems [R1, R2, R3]; d) promotingthe development of network structures [R1, R2, R3, R4]; e) promoting the Lubelskie Region, including the economic zone and betteruse of the border location [R4]; f) supporting the development of bridge capital in the following sub-regions: Bialski, Kraśnicki, Radzyński, Łęczyński, Chełmski, Biłgorajski, the city of BiałaPodlaska, Hrubieszowski, Puławski [R4]; g) implementing local innovation strategies [R4]; h) using the developed systemic support models for regional innovation, which constitute a source of natural competitiveness of local units and contribute to the competitive position strengthening of both the enterprises sector and farms using natural resources in addition to the entities cooperating with them [R1, R2, R3, R4, R5].
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ROLE OF THE ENTITY IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY OUTCOMES
The research was conducted based on two leading externally funded research projects:
1. NCN research project no. 2011/01/D/HS4/03927 “Ecological determinants and factors of economic functions development in naturally valuable areas of Lubelskie Province” (2012-2015), prepared and conducted independently by the following researchers of the Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in BiałaPodlaska: Adamowicz, Guzal-Dec, A. Siedlecka, and Zwolińska-Ligaj [R1, R2, R3];
2. Systemic project “Intellectual capital of Lubelskie Province 2010-2013” implemented in the framework of Operational Programme Human Capital, priority VIII – Regional management of economy, activity 8.2. Knowledge transfer, and subactivity 8.2.2. Regional innovation strategies (2010-2013) in cooperation between a research team member of the Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in BiałaPodlaska, D. Blaszczak, PhD, and researchers from The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin [R4].
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES AND SUMMARY OF UP TO 5 SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS
[R1] Municipal self-government in establishing sustainable development of environmentally valuable areas in Lubelskie Province
The research concludes that local governments insufficiently set conditions to implement sustainable development process within: shaping pro-ecological organisational culture of municipal offices, an integrated sustainable development model, assumptions and implementation of green policy and the policy of supporting environmental competitiveness, and that local governments implementing the sustainable development integrated model are described by a higher level of environmental competitiveness.
[R2] Environmental aspects of rural households functioning in environmentally valuable areas of Lubelskie Province
The research states that to implement the concept of sustainable development and production, it is vital to implement changes in household managers’ attitudes, which should lead to the increase of rural residents’ interest in environmental issues and involvement in various forms of training in the field of environment protection and environmental management, implementation of pro-ecological solutions in the household and agricultural production, and the development of sustainable consumption.
[R3] Integration of economic and environmental functions in environmentally valuable areas of Lubelskie Province: a business perspective
The research concludes that naturally valuable areas provide potential opportunities for deepening the process of integrating economic and environmental functions. These possibilities depend on a more comprehensive and sustainable use of natural and other local resources. An important factor in the sustainable development of local systems are ecological innovations implemented in the conditions of activation of local entities showing attitudes of social responsibility.
[R4] Analysis of local development and stagnation areas in Lubelskie Province (expert opinion)
A proposal to use intellectual capital as a factor supporting development strategies was presented. Local innovation strategies were developed. Key sectors determining the competitive potential of the analysed area along with areas of stagnation and significant deficits in the social and economic aspect were defined. An opportunity for the development of the studied area is the increase in expenditure, and thus the elevation of competitiveness and innovation in selected sectors of the economy.
[R5] Innovative activity of enterprises in the peripheral region, Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference “ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT” No 47. Jelgava, LLU ESAF, 9 11 May 2018, pp. 433-441, DOI 10.22616/ESRD.2018.050
The survey positively confirmed the hypothesis that there are few development-oriented enterprises in the studied area, which actively introduce innovations and are aware of the need for their implementation. Thus, being able to overcome multiple barriers in this process. Financial barriers constitute main obstacles regarding innovative activities of enterprises. Barriers related to the limited access to knowledge in the innovation process are not so essential in comparison with financial ones.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THERESEARCH ACTIVITY IMPACT, INCLUDING THE ACTIVITY WHOSE OUTCOMES ARE THE SUBJECT OF COMMERCIALISATION, WITH AN INDICATION OF THE RELATION BETWEEN RESEARCH ACTIVITY AND THIS IMPACT AS WELL AS THE SOCIAL GROUP BENEFITTING FROM THIS IMPACT AND THE GREATEST RESEARCH ACTIVITY IMPACT AREA
As a result of the research entitled “Ecological determinants and factors of the development of economic functions in naturally valuable areas of Lubelskie Province” carried out under the scientific project concerning the functioning of economic entities in naturally valuable areas, problems encountered on a daily basis by local governments, farmers, and entrepreneurs were identified. Local and regional conditions for creating sustainable, multifunctional, and pro-innovative development of economic entities from lagging regions were also recognised. Therefore, specific cause-effect relations as well as identified opportunities and desirable directions of development provided inspiration toundertake development initiatives of economic entities from lagging regions. Local authorities, entrepreneurs, and farmers gained access to the Guidebook, in which the preferred types of economic activities in naturally valuable areas were indicated.[S1].
Access of economic entities to the results of advanced and unique research on the sharing economy, as well as to highly specialised knowledge, a range of innovative solutions, modern insights that shape new market, and business opportunities in enterprises and farms, has resulted in process, product, and service innovations contributing in: Enterprises to [S2]: a) improve market competitiveness, expand the market, and increase demand for existing consumer goods; b) contribute to the European Green Deal policy; c) reducemateriallosses; d) decrease the amount of volatile compounds emitted into the environment; e) reduce production costs, thus increasing competitiveness while maintaining the highest quality of manufactured products; on agricultural farms to [S3]: a) improve production processes by implementing the principles of the precision farming system; b) generatesavings of 30-40%; c) reduce the consumption of fuel, fertilisers, and plant protection products; d) expansion of the machinery park on the farm allowed to increase the acreage of crops.
The development of Local Strategies of Innovation (LSI), provided a basis for undertaking significant, from the point of view of the region and its inhabitants, decisions concerning the strategic directions of development of individual areas within the socio-economic activity. Conclusions and recommendations provided essential knowledge on areas of stagnation. Their application made it possible to measure human, structural, and relational capital, observe key areas of socio-economic change dynamics in Lubelskie Province, and identify key areas of socio-economic development and areas at risk of stagnation. On the basis of numerous expert opinions carried out under the project “Local Capital of Lublin Region in 2010-2013”, as well as consultations with representatives of various social groups (entrepreneurs, agricultural producers, and local authorities), fields of specialisation in the area of stagnation were identified, which included bioeconomy, pro-health, and recreational-tourist services [S4].
The implementation of local innovation strategies increased the competitive potential of the Lubelski region at risk of stagnation by supporting the development of innovative sectors of the economy, stimulating the development of the local innovation system and multidimensional cooperation in areas recognised as leading for their development.
In case of BiałaPodlaskapoviat and the city of BiałaPodlaska, strategies have been developed around the transport-forwarding-logistics, medical services, tourism, as well as food production and processing sectors.
On the basis of the LSI, in local governments of LubelskieProvince, it was possible to undertake activities for the development of key economic sectors, primarily various areas of entrepreneurship, increase in innovation, competitiveness and adaptability to the prevailing conditions and trends, as well as prevailing in the contemporary socio-economic reality. These strategies have become the basic tool for managing local development in a rational and more effective way [S4]. The results of the obtained research were also used in the study concerningthe implementation of the innovation support policy in the European Union [S5].
DETAILED CHARACTERISTICS OF UP TO 5 PIECES OF EVIDENCE OF SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY IMPACT
[S1] “Supporting and developing economic activity in environmentally valuable areas: a guide for local government authorities, entrepreneurs, and farmers”.
The guidebook is a compendium of knowledge made available to recipients for practical use in enterprises, farms, and local government units in the field of business development in areas of natural value and using natural resources.
[S2] Certificates of cooperation with local authorities.
1. The certificate confirms the cooperation regarding the building of LSI for BialskiPoviat and BiałaPodlaska city.The certificate confirms the cooperation regarding the building of LSI for BialskiPoviat and BiałaPodlaska city. 2. Report: Demand analysis performed as part of the preparation of the project applied from the ERDF: Revalorization and modernization of the Radziwiłłów Castle and Park Complex in BiałaPodlaska. The BCK extension and modernization was based on the cooperation of the PSW Expert Team with the BiałaPodlaskamunicipality.
[S3] Certificate of cooperation with entrepreneurs.
The certificate of cooperation. On the basis of the contract signed between PSW and the entrepreneur, an opinion on innovation was developed: 1. Development of the conducted activity by purchasing machinery and equipment along with setting a photovoltaic installation; 2. Development of the conducted activity by building new premises with adjacent infrastructure, purchasing new fixed assets and setting a photovoltaic installation.
[S4] Certificate of cooperation with farmers
The certificate of cooperation indicates the basis of the cooperation undertaken. Then, on the basis of a signed contract, opinion on the innovation of the project entitled “Development of the conducted activity through the purchase of new fixed assets as well asfinancial assets” was developed.
[S5] An official EU document: “Study on the effectiveness of public innovation support for SMEs in Europe.
Conclusions obtained from the research on innovation of enterprises implemented under the SGP were used in a document of the European Commission on the effectiveness of public support for innovation in SMEs in Europe. The document indicates the problems of supporting the activity of enterprises located in peripheral areas.
INFORMATION WHETHER THE IMPACT IS THE RESULT OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES, AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES FOR THE CREATION OF THIS IMPACT
Survey within the discipline of economics and finance was devoted to the issues of possibilities and conditions for stimulating sustainable development of peripheral regions, directions as well as tools to implement regional and local policies. The economic sciences perspective provided the possibility to analyse the components of innovation and to develop tools for creating innovative potential and sustainable development of lagging regions.
Innovation processes analysis requires adopting a microeconomic perspective. Thus, survey on the sustainable development of peripheral regions approached the issues of management and quality sciences. Particularly, the topic of activity status of the surveyed entities in the field of environmental management was taken up as a display of their pro-innovative activities and environmental competition. The issue of managing innovation, including social and environmental innovation, was also taken from the perspective of managing the development of territories.
The conducted survey largely took into account the territorial nature of development processes in peripheral areas. The surveys were related to the search for factors of innovation and competitiveness rooted in local systems. The role of intellectual capital in innovation processes, as well as the network perspective, were especially considered. Such a research perspective indicates close relations between the conducted research and such scientific disciplines as geography or sociology.