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Developing an Evaluation Framework Integrating Results of the Thematic Approach to Smart Specialisation

This paper examines how European regions can jointly pilot experimental policy support measures in precise S3 niches prior to their full-scale rollout in partner regions. By tackling new and often ambitious areas together, participating regions are able to test new policy support instruments while sharing the overall risk and uncertainty associated with such experiments.
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Joint interregional initiatives can allow participating regions to mitigate risks of failure through a collective use of limited resources while identifying potential improvements or shortcomings. By working together, regions can clarify their vision and ambitions to occupy specific parts of the industry value chain. 

Joint pilot activities can also help regions get a better picture as to how strong their positions are and whether specific clusters of global value chain activities in their partner regions are similar or complementary to their own activities. Furthermore, participating regions continue engaging with the industry while anticipating the likely evolution of the industry globally. 

Finally, by monitoring such activities regularly, regions can assess the challenges and opportunities that can arise from future industry trajectories. By feeding this information back into each partner's smart specialisation strategy, regions are able to confirm the validity and relevance of previously selected RIS3 priority areas so that they could prepare themselves to respond to future challenges and opportunities in a proactive manner.