The purpose of the Workshop, held as a side event to the 3rd Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region (EUSAIR), was to stimulate the debate on how to promote Research and Innovation cooperation in the macro-region. Starting from an introduction on the European strategic framework, the event looked into some existing initiatives and tools to support R&I investments at macro-regional level, focusing on the indicative actions defined in the EUSAIR Action Plan and on possible synergies between ESIF and direct thematic funds (e.g. H2020, COSME, etc.).
Special attention was devoted to the Smart Specialisation (S3) approach that proved to be key for the forward looking evidence based economic development and implementation of the innovation strategies in Europe and beyond. Based on collaborative and participatory processes, S3 facilitate demand driven innovation and collective solutions involving quadruple helix innovation ecosystems. Connecting different key actors and creating enabling environments for the development, commercialisation and exploitation of innovation, strong territorial innovation ecosystems are essential also for the valorisation of the Macro-regional innovation potential.
Interregional cooperation based on Smart Specialisation has the potential to connect innovation ecosystems, complementary skills, infrastructure and markets. Nevertheless, the challenge is to promote investment synergies between the private and public sectors and to build competitive interregional value chains.
In a phase of transition between the two EU programming periods, this workshop has further developed the following topics:
1. Key role of Smart Specialisation in the future EU programming period;
2. The importance of innovation ecosystems for socio-economic development;
3. How to reinforce innovation capacities and innovation ecosystems in the “widening areas”;
4. The role of the networks as system integrators;
5. Funding synergies and governance of the EUSAIR Macro-region;
6. Concrete interregional cooperation initiatives and pilot projects;
7. Possible strategic priorities to focus macro-regional R&I investments;
8. How to involve the industry and SMEs in the implementation of Macro-regional Strategies;
9. How to stimulate interregional innovation investments; and
10. The role of the EU financial instruments to enhance R&I in the EUSAIR Macro-region.
The event was attended by around 60 participants. The agenda of the event, presentations and conclusions are accessible below. Further information on the 3rd Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for Adriatic-Ionian Region may be found on the EUSAIR website.
Agenda and Presentations
9.30 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION - Moderation Aleš GNAMUŠ, Joint Research Centre, European Commission;