The focus of the PLIP project has been on local development policy supporting innovation processes in peripheral localities. The core phases of the project were a comparison of Nordic innovation policies from the point of view of small towns and rural areas, an analysis of good practices, a transferability analysis and the transfer of good practices, and the drawing of conclusions.
Good practices were defined as locally anchored, consisting of something extraordinary, an achievement which was expected to have a potential for telling others something, giving them new ideas which they might use in practice. These good practices in innovation policies were looked for, analysed, compared and finally transferred to other regions. They were grouped according to their functions in: competence building, entrepreneurship and product innovation, and networking and co-ordination. The transferability analysis took place through workshops in the case study areas.
Our recommendation is to set up good practice networks consisting of receiving partners who aspire to learn to do a given good practice combined with networks of those who are already doing so and researchers capable of codifying the good practice, and organizing its transfer.
In order to create functioning good practice networks, we need some kind of institutionalized facilitating mechanism providing the conditions for long term processes of learning within wide-ranging networks. A proper institutional context for taking this approach further could possibly be the EU structural fund programmes. Here, some of the successful good practices identified in PLIP could be used as pilot cases.