The interventions in support of the regional system of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (AFR & I) are at the centre of the policies that the Tuscany Region has implemented, over the last few years, to promote a wider access of young people to tertiary education, consolidate the presence of research centres of excellence in its territory and increase the competitive capacity of the regional production system.
In order to create a qualified knowledge base, the Tuscany Region has for some time equipped itself with the Regional Research and Innovation Observatory; It is in this context that in 2017, thanks also to the direct involvement of the main stakeholders (Universities, Research Centres, Trade Associations, Regional Departments), the Toscana Open Research portal was conceived. It is an innovative policy intelligence tool that integrates and makes regional, national and European data on the AFR & I Tuscan ecosystem interoperable and explorable.
The portal – consisting of five different sections addressed to teachers and researchers, students, citizens, institutions and companies – allows users to access and consult a variety of open data, as well as a series of additional non-open datasets integrated through the subscription to specific protocols. It offers useful information to monitor the interventions carried out, guide and develop new policies and enhance the AFR & I Tuscan ecosystem, also through the creation of a constantly updated interactive data analysis and display system (dashboard). Thanks to the development of a specific domain ontology, the information system also allows users to compare and match data that use different classifications, thus making it possible to summarise information coming from a wide variety of sources.
With the launch of this newsletter, the Region intends to establish a new communication channel, more direct and continuous, with the portal “public”, providing information on the main innovations, proposing insights and new interpretations of the data available while offering insights into knowledge and stimuli for thought and discussion. Ultimately, it is a user-friendly tool which raises awareness on the possibilities offered by Toscana Open Research and by an information system which is now a nationally recognised model.
In fact, the process for the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Tuscany Region and the MUR is currently being concluded. Based on this, the technology and domain ontology developed in Tuscany Open Research will be made available to the Ministry to strategically analyse the current state of skills, activities and research production in Italy, understand their evolution compared to the 2015-2020 period and the strategic areas of the NRP and highlight their strengths and areas to be strengthened for the subsequent definition of the 2021-2027 NRP and related monitoring through the development of appropriate indicators.