The concept of smart specialisation (S3) started to diffuse outside the EU borders as an attractive model promoting growth and well-being in regions. It has been recognised by the EU neighbourhood and enlargement policies as a model supporting economic reforms and leading to more efficient place-based research and innovation (R&I) policies. In support to EU enlargement and neighbourhood countries, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has been carrying out activities within its dedicated Enlargement and Integration Action (E&IA), which among other R&I activities also focuses on the S3 approach in identifying the strengths, opportunities and needs for building capacities. In late 2016, JRC launched a pilot project to address the needs and gaps in R&I by supporting S3 processes in three selected countries: Ukraine, Moldova and Serbia. At this event, targeted interventions with good practices from EU regions and Member States provided the building blocks to start the S3 process in the Republic of Moldova.