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New S3 Targeted Support - Horizontal Activity on “S3 and international cooperation” took place in Madrid on the 25th of February

 As part of its Lagging Regions Project, the JRC organised a workshop on “S3 and international cooperation” at the premises of the European Commission in Madrid on the 25th of   February 2020. 

 Participants from more than 20 regions in nine EU member states took this opportunity to delve deeper into the importance of developing participation in international and   interregional  networks for the implementation of smart specialisation strategies. This topic corresponds with the fulfilment criterion for international cooperation of the S3 good   governance enabling condition proposed by the European Commission under the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
 The workshop explored a number of key dimensions of interregional cooperation: challenges, opportunities, preconditions, actors, resources required, governance, benefits and   expected results. It aimed to enhance understanding of whether and how international cooperation can lead to higher mobility of resources, competences, and ideas, thus contribute to   implementation of smart specialisation strategies in slow growth, low income regions, strengthening the innovation ecosystems. 
Five successful cases of interregional cooperation were presented Centro (Portugal)/Extremadura (Spain) and Norte (Portugal)/Galicia (Spain) showed how to develop longstanding   cooperation trajectories, in the context of the development and implementation of smart specialisation strategies. Three interregional projects (BRIDGES, GoSmart BSR, and Beyond  EDP were also presented, underlining the benefits of connecting lagging and non-lagging regions as well as strengthening the  stakeholder’s engagement beyond regional and national   borders. An active discussion session involving groups of participants, centred on three key issues:
  • What are the main challenges and opportunities around inter-national collaboration in research and innovation (R&I)? What preconditions / actors / activities make it most effective?
  • To what degree are similarities important for international collaboration on RIS3, or, conversely, are differences / complementarities more significant?
  • What different institutional frameworks exist and what are the advantages/disadvantages of different models and approaches?
  • How can ESIF programmes and calls and smart specialisation strategies better integrate opportunities for interregional cooperation?
 Two further workshops meetings advancing discussion on these and related topics are envisaged in April and June 2020.