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Bridging thinkers and doers: first lessons from the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace

At the core of regional smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) is the bottom-up identification of a limited set of priorities for which regions think they have potential to obtain a comparative advantage. For setting such priorities entrepreneurs are in the driving seat, by identifying business opportunities together with other research and innovation actors.
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Abstract

At the core of regional smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) is the bottom-up identification of a limited set of priorities for which regions think they have potential to obtain a comparative advantage. For setting such priorities entrepreneurs are in the driving seat, by identifying business opportunities together with other research and innovation actors. Such a process, also referred to as an entrepreneurial process of discovery (EDP), has been widely described in theory, but reported experiences on its implementation are scarce. This policy brief takes stock of a novel experience in implementing an EDP process in the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, drawing on practices from a European Parliament Preparatory Action in which the JRC-IPTS has been engaged, centred on the refinement and implementation of a RIS3 strategy in this region. The region one of poorest regions in Europe and was heavily hit by the crisis. The challenge of implementing a RIS3 strategy in this context offers lessons not only for the region itself but also for other convergence regions in Greece and Europe.