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Peer eXchange and Learning (PXL) workshop on Multi-level Governance for RIS3

General Information

Smart Specialisation strategies (RIS3) have mostly been designed at regional level. Though the centrality of regional governments is not questioned, there is an emergent reflection on the role of sub-regional governments in the RIS3 policy cycle. On the one hand, there is a normative discourse on the desirability of integrating sub-regional governments in order to improve the governance of Smart Specialisation (S3). In this discourse, entrepreneurial discovery processes can be developed in more diverse constellations of actors if regional governments collaborate with sub-regional ones. On the other hand, some sub-regional governments (e.g. city councils, provincial governments, county administrations) as well as other territorial organisations with competencies on regional development have developed their own RIS3, generating the need for ex-post coordination.

The PXL workshop on multi-level governance for RIS3, planned for 12th April, is part of a new series of peer review workshops. It is organised by the S3 Platform in co-operation with the Basque Government and Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness. It brings together national, regional and sub-regional policy makers from EU countries, representatives from the European Commission and researchers on the field. The aim is to explore the coordination among different level of governments within the RIS3 governance. 

This workshop will be based on the PXL methodology developed by the S3 Platform. The PXL exercise will explore opportunities and challenges related to multi-level governance aspects in the RIS3 context.



Agenda and Presentations






Mikel Anton Zarragoitia, Director of the European Affairs of Basque Government

Xabier Ochandiano, Bilbao City Councillor for Economic Development, Trade and Employment

Fabrizio Guzzo, Scientific Officer, Territorial Development Unit, DG JRC, European Commission

Multi-level governance: topic framing

In this session, Kevin Morgan (Cardiff University) will frame the multi-level governance concept by drawing on his work with all three levels of governance in the EU - the supra-national, the national and the sub-national level of cities and regions - to demonstrate that RIS3 needs to be framed as a multi-scalar process.

He will also argue that cities have been the missing the link in the RIS3 process up to now and they need to be involved more centrally because they are urban laboratories of innovation and development. 

Kevin Morgan, Professor of Governance and Development - Cardiff University

Advantages and challenges to develop multilevel governance for S3

This session will present the concept of multilevel governance and its relevance for RIS3 in terms of place-based approaches and efficiency of policies. During this session, the challenges of constructing multilevel governance will be discussed.

Miren Estensoro & Miren Larrea, Researchers, Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness


Coffee break


Presentation of the PXL methodology

This session will provide some information on the organisation of the following peer-review sessions in which each partner will provide a short account of their experience in promoting coordination among different levels of governments within the RIS3 governance. Presentations will be then followed by a discussion of the key questions, issues and challenges proposed by the three regions under review. This discussion will be organised across different tables, with each addressing one of the key questions. Someone from each table will then report back on the outcomes.

Fabrizio Guzzo, Scientific Officer, Territorial Development Unit, DG JRC, European Commission


Peer-review session 1: Basque Country (SP) (Background document)




Peer-review session 2: Six City strategy (FI) (Background document)


Coffee break


Peer-review session 3: Flanders (BE) (Background document)


Collective reflection and conclusions

Moderator: Martina Pertoldi, Scientific Officer, Territorial Development Unit, DG JRC, European Commission.

The three partners under review, together with Kevin Morgan and Orkestra researchers, will comment on the main recommendations and lessons learnt emerged during the PXL exercise. Conclusions and follow-up activities will also be provided during this final session.




Bilbioteca CRAI, Universidad de Deusto, Ramón Rubial Kalea, 1, 48009 Bilbao


How to go to Bilbao

From the Loiu Airport, the centre of Bilbao can be reached in 15 minutes by bus, on line A3247 of Bizkaibus:

BILBAO - AIRPORT from 05:25 to 21:55 every 30 minutes.

AIRPORT - BILBAO from 06:15 to 00:00 every 30 minutes.

TICKET PRICE: 1.45 euros

More information: BIZKAIBUS


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Miró Hotel

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