The motto of the EXPO 2015:" Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life" is a global appeal to reflect upon current issues of nutrition, food production, management and distribution, as well as global and regional governance of food. Participating countries, organisations and institutions will share their experience, demonstrate and confront their approaches as well as discuss potential future scenarios and development. The European Union, a key player on international scale, shared results of its work done over the last 50 years.
The European Commission, Directorate General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) and its Smart Specialisation Platform (S3 Platform) specifically contributed to the discussions on food and smart growth in EU regions. The S3 Platform organised a thematic workshop entitled "Smart specialisation and food: food, gastronomy and bio-economy as elements of regional innovation strategies". The Workshop took place in the EU Pavillion on 22nd September 2015.
The workshop focused on food, gastronomy and bio-economy as domains of smart specialisation in EU countries and regions. A number of international experts, regional and national policy-makers, representatives of Managing Authorities and European Commission services discussed food as an element of smart specialisation in EU countries and regions. Expert presentations focused on food innovation as a driver of smart regional growth, the role of institutions (i.e. public administration) as well as differences in gastronomy culture and approaches.
The Workshop was a thematic workshop arranged in line with participatory leadership approach. The S3 Platform participatory workshops have been a successful series of workshops designed to provide professional advice to EU countries and regions for the development and implementation of their Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3). Participatory approach allows EU MSs and regions to be reviewed by experts and peers from across Europe, and thus receive critical yet friendly and constructive advice on RIS3 process. The methodology allows creating an open and trusted learning environment where practical aspects and issues can be discussed and explored through challenges and experiences of all participants.
The Workshop "Smart specialisation and food: food, gastronomy and bio-economy as elements of regional innovation strategies" brought together MSs and regions for mutual learning and exploration of ways in which food smart specialisation domain can be implemented. EU regions presented and discussed implementation of their specific smart specialisation domains with their peers and experts. They illustrated why they had chosen food as a priority in their smart specialisation strategies, how they intended to implement that priority and what results as well as impact they expected.
The main objectives of the Workshop were:
- to discuss importance of food, cuisine, and food tourism for regional and economic development
- to discuss importance of regional characteristics, identity and origins of food;
- to understand the role of national and regional governments in sustaining and enhancing R&I in food specialisation area;
- to understand the implementation process of food smart specialisation domain: common elements, issues and approaches;
- to frame appropriate policy advice and recommend strategies and actions for different stakeholders;
- to prepare dissemination material so that the results of the workshop can be shared with relevant stakeholders.
- National and regional authorities
- European Commission services
- Experts from business, NGOs and research
- National and regional authorities, representatives of Managing Authorities working with RIS3 strategies (development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation).
- National and regional policy-makers and administrators responsible for research and innovation in the field of food.
- Regional representatives involved in trans-regional cooperation in area of research and innovation (funded by ESI Funds such as INTERREG, Macro-Regions, etc.)
- Public authorities responsible for synergies between ESI Funds and Horizon 2020
- Experts from international organisation working with/ knowledgeable of smart specialisation