JRC S3 Policy Brief Series Mark Boden, Patrice dos Santos, Karel Haegeman, Elisabetta Marinelli, Susana Valero
The core aims of the JRC RIS3 Support to Lagging Regions project are to provide concrete support to the implementation of RIS3s in Romania and selected low-growth and less developed regions in seven other EU member states and to develop a cross-cutting approach to key issues regarding growth and governance in those regions.
Building on the specific support activities and positive outcomes of the recent JRC project on the refinement and implementation of a RIS3 strategy in the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (REMTh), the Lagging Regions project also aims to:
- Improve understanding of slow and limited growth in EU regions and links to macro-economic framework conditions, taking RIS3 as an entry point.
- Develop and disseminate lessons and a tool box for other EU regions.
- Contribute to advancing relevant theory on (implementation of) smart specialisation by codifying hands-on experiences.
Main activities of the project
- Stocktaking and assessment of state of RIS3 implementation in the selected territories
- Specific support activities - Undertaken in each of the selected regions, these centre on stakeholder events focused on catalysing and sustaining the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, mutual learning activities, as well as targeted support for RIS3 implementation, such as appropriate instruments, funding opportunities and tools and approaches for monitoring and evaluation implementation. Work also has a focus on linkages between national and regional RIS3.
- Horizontal support and peer learning - addressing key common issues with wider relevance, including RIS3 governance, human resources and mobility, transnational collaboration and policy mix.
- Analysis, tool development and policy recommendations – the outcomes of both specific, as well as more horizontal support activities, provide the basis both for further policy support and the refinement and adaptation of methodological approaches for wider application.
- Coordination, cooperation, and communication – the coordination between the various stakeholders of the project and wider dissemination of project activities and their outcomes, principally through a dedicated section of the S3P.
The impacts of this work and the lessons emerging are seen to be highly relevant for not only stakeholders in the region, but for those in other lagging regions across the EU as well as for policy makers at EU level.
Conducted in collaboration with DG REGIO, this project implements two complementary preparatory actions of the European Parliament, in collaboration with DG REGIO:
- Support for growth and governance in lagging regions - Building on the REMTh approach, this activity goes further in providing appropriate and specific support for activities in the selected regions and in developing a more cross-cutting approach to key issues regarding growth and governance in such regions, including: governance, human resources and mobility, transnational cooperation and refinement of the RIS3 model.
- The economic competitive advantages and the potential for smart specialisation at regional level in Romania – Also building on the REMTh approach to provide targeted support in RIS3 refinement and implementation, this activity aims to ensure a coherent, coordinated and sustainable approach, to secure, develop and enhance engagement of relevant stakeholders in two selected Romanian regions (North East and North West) and to create linkages between the regional and national RIS3s.
The project covers regions of two specific types: 'low growth regions' those characterised by a persistent lack of growth over more than a decade; and 'low income regions', with rising, but still low levels of GDP. On this basis, the following definitions of these two types of lagging regions have been proposed:
- Low growth regions
- Greece – all regions, with a continued focus on Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
- Italy – Puglia
- Portugal - Centro
- Spain – Extremadura
- Low income regions
- Bulgaria - Severen Tsentralen
- Hungary - Észak-Alföld (city focus - Debrecen)
- Poland - Warminsko Masurskie
- Romania - Nord-Est and Nord-Vest