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On the 2nd of June 2016, during the Smart Regions conference, the European Commission has launched two Smart Specialisation Platforms: for Industrial Modernisation and Agri-Food, in addition to the existing S3 Platform for Energy.
These initiatives are to offer hands-on support to regions to foster interregional cooperation based on matching smart specialisation priorities related to these three areas - such as Key Enabling Technologies, service innovation or resource efficiency. It will be hosted by the European Commission's Smart Specialisation Platform located in Seville.
The aim of this initiative is to create an investment pipeline of mature projects in new growth areas across the EU, by providing tailored advice and helping regions establish links with the business and research communities.
The platform could help regions develop or share infrastructure such as testing facilities, pilot plants, data centres, and Fab-Labs.Particular support will be given to regions to combine different EU investment instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, COSME, Horizon2020 and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan.
Smart specialisation is an innovative approach promoting efficient and targeted use of public investment in research and innovation to enable countries and regions to capitalize on their strengths and create new competitive advantages. National and regional smart specialisation strategies serve as compasses for ESI Funds investments in research and innovation.
135 regions indicated industrial modernisation-related priorities as one of their key investment areas under smart specialisation, thus highlighting the enormous potential for joint projects.
The first thematic Smart Specialisation Platform was set up in 2015 to foster interregional cooperation in the field of energy. The Platforms, managed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, provide expertise, advice and networking opportunities through workshops and seminars.
Antonio Vezzani, Marco Baccan, Alina Candu, Alessio Castelli, Mafini Dosso, Petros Gkotsis