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Study Smart Specialisation in Latin America

The Joint Research Centre, through its Directorate of Growth and Innovation (Territorial Development Unit) is currently conducting a study on Smart Specialisation in Latin America. The objective of this study is to analyse how policy makers and other territorial actors are designing and implementing the S3 concept in Latin America. The study will suggest how countries and regions of Latin-America and EU can establish cooperation frameworks within Smart Specialisation areas.

The Study will build-up on the work and analysis already carried out by DG REGIO.

Most EU Member States and regions have now completed the process of designing a S3 according to a legal pre-condition or ex ante conditionality for using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for innovation spending in the new period (2014–2020). Accordingly, national and regional authorities are expected to be more entrepreneurial and become active part of the regional innovation system itself. The development of competitive R&I activities in a globalised economy means that policy makers must be more outward looking, positioning their country or region in global value chains and exploring cooperation opportunities.

The S3 approach requires looking beyond the national/regional administrative boundaries. A country or region should be able to identify its competitive advantages through systematic comparisons with other countries/regions, mapping their national and the international context in search of examples to learn from, or to mark a difference with, and performing effective benchmarking. Moreover, each country/region should be able to identify relevant linkages and flows of goods, services and knowledge revealing possible patterns of integration with partner regions. This is important in the case of both developed and less developed countries/ regions that would often require to source know-how and technology from elsewhere. 

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Javier Gómez Prieto