Adriatic-Ionian Region

Smart Specialisation activities in the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region are facilitating interregional cooperation in the thematic areas/pillars “Blue Growth”, “Connecting the Region”, “Environmental Quality” and “Sustainable Tourism” aiming at promoting economic and social prosperity and growth in the region through enhanced competitiveness and connectivity.

Adriatic-Ionian Region

EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian Region and S3 cooperation

The Region is primarily defined by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas basins. It connects eight countries: four EU Member States (CroatiaGreeceItaly and Slovenia) and four candidate and potential candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia), together accounting for more than 70 million people.

Though the EUSAIR strategy does not contain a special pillar on the collaboration regarding the research and innovation (R&I),  the main thematic pillars of the strategy: ‘Blue Growth’, ‘Connecting the Region’, ‘Environmental Quality’ and ‘Sustainable Tourism’ also contain the R&I areas indicated in the smart specialisation strategies of the EU countries and regions.

What is the rationale for the EUSAIR S3 cooperation?

The cooperation platforms established within the EU macro-regional strategies offer important possibilities for projects and project partners to widen their collaboration networks. Innovation benefits from wide networks and synergies. Smart specialisation as a cross-cutting approach to the R&I offers numerous opportunities for collaborations, creating alliances of partners with similar or complementary priorities at macro-regional level and reinforcing linkages with ESIF funding for research and innovation. The analysis of the S3 priorities in the EUSAIR countries and regions confirms the focus on Blue Economy with a prioritization of the areas such as Tourism, Fisheries, Environment and Transport/Logistics. Also the Non-EU countries members of EU macro-regional strategies can benefit from the S3 approach and may progressively align their R&I strategies to the S3 requirements and join the macro-regional collaboration platforms in the common areas of interest with their neighbouring EU partners from the macro-region.

Actors involved in S3 cooperation

S3 cooperation gathers stakeholders of different types and levels involved in R&I: industry and entrepreneurial sector, education and research institutions, government and civil society. Macro-regional strategies can extend the local, regional and national R&I eco-systems to macro-regional networks. Furthermore, the synergies and complementarities should be sought with other similar initiatives such as: the inter-governmental Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (AII), Adriatic and Ionian Interregional Group at the Committee of the Regions, Forum of the Adriatic and Ionian Chambers of Commerce (AIC Forum)Adriatic Ionian Euro-Region.

The Interreg Adriatic-Ionian (ADRION) Transnational Cooperation Programme is important instrument contributing to the implementation of EUSAIR.

What facilitates the S3 cooperation in the Adriatic-Ionian Region?

The S3 Platform was actively involved in the discussions on the EUSAIR macro-regional cooperation and the role of the smart specialisation in facilitating decision-making by the policy stakeholders from the Adriatic and Ionian region. As a part of discussions on the progress achieved since the establishment of the EUSAIR and the ways forward for the strategy at the First EUSAIR Annual Forum held in May 2016 in Dubrovnik (HR) the role of the S3 in identifying the right policy needs, priorities and actions was discussed and its added value for instructing policy making was widely recognised by the EUSAIR stakeholders.

Related links


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