Research represents an opportunity for developing concepts and methods, exploring new solutions and new markets, strengthening internal competences and promoting debate and knowledge dissemination.

  • During 2018, t33 research activity has focused principally on the topics of innovation and evaluation of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
    This year the company drafted a t33 Quaderno ‘The evaluation as a supporting tool to research and innovation in EU policy: from design to impact assessment’. The paper illustrates lessons learned from authors’ evaluation experiences within the ESIF framework. The paper sets out the focus of the evaluation in the policy cycle’s phases, describes implementation challenges and options of financial instruments, instead of, or in combination with grants, and builds on the main findings of a few impact studies conducted in various regional and national contexts.

    Evaluation shall not be considered as a mere technical exercise. Instead, it can be a supporting tool to research and innovation policy if it: (1) evolves and develops with the policy cycle (from design to review); (2) adopts a benchmarking function for judgements and recommendations to compare the case under assessment with others; (3) combines theory-based and counterfactual impact evaluation approaches; (4) ensures the integration of various types of data including big, open and georeferenced data.


    Key-words: Innovation, research, evaluation, impact, Cohesion Policy, ESIF, financial instruments, grants, counterfactual, theory-based, big data, open data, georeferenced data.

  • t33 research has covered financial instruments, impact evaluation, sustainable and territorial development, environmental effects, innovation, data visualisation, future of cohesion policy. Research has been an opportunity to deepen and consolidate analyses in studies, evaluations and assignments, to increase and strengthen networking capacity, explore new tools and test specific methods.

    In March, t33 participated in the 2nd International Conference ‘Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions’ and presented ‘SEA for sustainable cities: how the strategic environmental assessment has driven the ESI programme towards urban sustainability’. The draft paper was presented in March and accepted for publication.

    t33 participated in the Regional Study Association event - The Great Regional Awakening: New Directions, (Dublin, 5-6-7 June). The presentation on the future of cohesion policy focused on policy delivery tools for the new period and the debate over grants versus loans arguing that financial instruments can have significant added value when they are used to tackle a well-defined market failure. 

    In June 2017, t33 participated in the International Evaluation Conference and presented the impact evaluation of the Romanian intervention supporting micro enterprise development. The presentation was during Panel 5 ‘Effects of public support schemes on SME’ of the International Evaluation Conference.

    t33 published Financial Instruments for Enterprises in 2007-13: a Practice Run for 2014-20? on ESIF (European Structural and Investment funds journal). The paper is based on the DG Regio ex-post evaluation on financial instruments for enterprises.

    The methodology ‘Improving Sustainability of Programmes in Strategic Environmental Assessment Procedures: the QUAlitative Structural Approach for Ranking (QUASAR) the Environmental Effects’ already presented at the 4th International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) in September 2016, is now published on the European Journal of Sustainable Development (EJSD, Vol.6, n.1, doi:10.14207/ejsd), the double blinded peer-reviewed open access journal supervised by the European Center of Sustainable Development. QuaSAR represents a new approach for the qualitative assessment of environmental effects in strategic environmental assessment procedures, in cases where a quantitative assessment is not possible. 

    Moreover, in 2018, the research activity of t33 has also focused on methods and tools for monitoring and evaluation within a PhD programme at Marche Polytechnic University. Three papers are currently under peer-review. The first ‘Is Smart Specialisation Strategy coherent with regional innovative capabilities?’ aims at providing a first empirical assessment of the coherence between the technological domains chosen by Italian regions and those where they have research and innovation capabilities, as measured by their patenting activity. The second ‘Assessing technological relatedness between specialization domains in the Smart Specialization Strategy’ uses patent data and IPC codes to analyse the extent that EU regional authority choices improved relatedness between technological domains in European regions. The third paper ‘Data Visualization of European Regional Operational Programmes: Unleashing the Informative Potential of Open Data for Performance Assessment’ describes the process of open data mining and visualisation for information production on regional programme performance in achieving effective expenditure. The paper is available in open preview at: https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/201801.0066/v

    In the health sector, and specifically in the medical field, two papers have been published. The first isDoes PPOFEV1 predict early observed FEV1 after uniportal vats anatomical resections? A prospective evaluation’ and is available at https://academic.oup.com/icvts/article/23/suppl_1/i56/2487290.
    The second paper is ‘The VATS lobectomy procedure doesn't offer any functional recovery advantage in comparison to the open approach after three months after the operation. A case matched analysis’ and is available at https://academic.oup.com/ejcts/article-abstract/51/6/1177/3048648.


    Key-words: Counterfactual, impact, evaluation, monitoring, RSA, future, Cohesion Policy, financial instruments, cities, quasar, programme contribution, governance, capacity, SEA, Medical research, Smart specialisation, microenterprises.

  • t33 published the article 'Is culture a key factor in the European Union’s macro-regional strategies?' on the the economic magazine Economia della Cultura.

    t33 participated at the 4th International Conference on Sustainable Development (ICSD) held in Rome on the 15 and 16 September 2016 presenting QuaSAR, a new approach for the qualitative assessment of environmental effects in strategic environmental assessment procedures. The article will be published in 2017 on the European Journal of Sustainable Development.

    t33 presented two working papers at the annual Regional Studies Association (RSA) Conference held in Graz. The first one was entitled Programme Contributions to EUSALP in the Alpine Space Multi-level Governance Perspective and the second one Contributions of ETC Programmes to EUSAIR Pillars. Furthermore, the working paper Assessing technological relatedness between specialisation domains: an empirical analysis of S3 in Italian regions was presented during the conference Towards Impact and Contribution to Knowledge held at the Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, UK on the 27th and 28th October 2016.

    t33 adopted various counterfactual impact evaluation techniques for medical research in order to provide statistical and computational support to the group of medical researchers from Ospedali Riuniti Ancona (IT) and Leeds St. James University Hospital (UK).


    Key-words: Medical research, counterfactual, RSA, territorial cohesion, EUSAIR, programme contribution, governance, EUSALP

  • t33 presented in Lisbon a working paper at the annual Regional Studies Association (RSA) network on EU Cohesion Policy on the opportunity of EUSAIR for territorial cohesion in Europe.


    Key-words: RSA, territorial cohesion, EUSAIR, macro-regional strategies

  • t33 presented at the Espon Seminar Territories Acting for Economic Growth: Using territorial evidence to meet challenges towards 2020 a working paper on the use of territorial evidences for macro-regional strategies.

    t33 published the article Territorial Evidence Packs for Structural Funds Programmes – TerrEvi in Prezioso M. (2014) Espon Italian Evidence in Changing Europe. The article has been presented on May 21st at the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.


    Key-words: ESPON, territorial evidence, macro-regional strategies

  • t33 presented two papers, one related to the Adriatic and Ionian Macro-regional Strategy (Quaderno 1) and the other one concerning the combination of qualitative and counterfactual methods for the evaluation of innovation policies carried out on behalf of Marche Region, Italy (Quaderno 2).
    t33 presented a working paper at the annual EUGEO conference on the use of ESPON evidence for supporting regional programme decisions.


    Key-words: EUSAIR, macro-regional strategies, RSA, counterfactual, innovation, qualitative methods, evaluation, ESPON, EUGEO, territorial evidence, programmes


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