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Joint Undertakings analysis of collaboration mechanisms with ESI Funds in a S3 context

This report investigates in particular the motivations and practices for strengthening collaborations between Joint Undertakings (JUs) (focusing on non-territorial innovation) and national and regional ESI Funds’ managing authorities (focusing on territorial innovation) and offers guidance to take the necessary steps to start or upscale them.
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Abstract

Challenge-driven innovation in the EU calls for closer collaboration between territorial innovation initiatives and non-territorial innovation, in order to build critical mass and take full advantage of synergies and complementarities. This report investigates in particular the motivations and practices for strengthening collaborations between Joint Undertakings (JUs) (focusing on non-territorial innovation) and national and regional ESI Funds’ managing authorities (focusing on territorial innovation) and offers guidance to take the necessary steps to start or upscale them.

Collaborations with JUs can also help to optimise the S3 priority setting by refining priorities and positioning them within the European research agendas of the JUs. From their side, JUs can benefit from stronger links with S3 in order to maximise the impact of their agendas and projects, and build more critical mass. Typologies of current collaboration modes are identified, while highlighting bottlenecks and challenges faced in implementation.

With a view to further unlock the untapped potential of JUs and ESI Funds’ Managing Authorities working together, guidance is provided on the type of actions and initiatives that could be taken to reinforce such alliances. The practical knowledge about existing mechanisms and their limitations presented in this report can assist in the optimisation of such interactions and lead to more effective implementation of national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) and of Joint Undertakings.

This publication is part of the Stairway to Excellence project, funded by the European Parliament, and implemented by the Joint Research Centre in close cooperation with DG REGIO.