During the elaboration of Norte RIS3, one of our main concerns was to establish a conceptual framework that, through the methodology proposed by the European Commission, would allow an adequate engagement of the regional stakeholders in the identification and characterisation of the priority domains of the smart specialisation. This allowed us to construct a framework for identifying priority domains, based around three corners of a triangle, with public policy in the middle to coordinate the process.
The first corner corresponds to resources and assets of the region, in particular those that are not easily imitated or transferred, but upon which tradable goods and services could be created on a global scale. Importantly, they may be technological (analytical and synthetic knowledge) or non-technological (for example, symbolic capital), which we measured in different ways.
The second corner of our triangular model is the entrepreneurial base that integrates and gives focus to the resources and assets. Nodal points were identified which demonstrated the greatest potential articulation between these two corners, which in turn were analysed quantitatively to establish the level of technological and entrepreneurial relatedness.
Finally, the third corner incorporates advanced users of innovation which are companies and other institutions that produce goods and services to meet demand (both domestic and international, including public procurement). Evaluating their needs is fundamental to the viability of S3 domains and also serves to inform policies that promote structural changes in the regional economy.
Following this analytical model we pre-identified eight priority domains categorised as nuclear (proven), emerging or 'wild card', which were then fully discussed by stakeholders of the quadruple helix to refine and integrate into our S3.