Smart Specialisation Conference in Latin America

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • Hybrid event - Hidalgo Science and Technology Park (Mexico)


How to use place-based innovation policies to build sustainable and inclusive growth in Latin America?

This event presented key findings on the development and adaptation of the Smart Specialisation policy concept in selected LatAm countries and regions. It discussed main challenges, lessons learnt, and good practices for the implementation of these kind of strategies in Latin American territories. 

Against this background, the conference aimed to:

  • Support a territorial approach to innovation policies by sharing the experience of the Latin American regions already working on their innovation strategies inspired by the Smart Specialization concept as a bottom-up approach involving all levels of territorial stakeholders;
  • Promote a sound territorial diagnosis of local innovation systems based on innovative analytical methodologies such as economic complexity and network analysis techniques;
  • Explore interregional cooperation based on similar specialisations/value chains to strengthen comparative advantages for a sustainable future.
  • Promote Smart Specialisation as an effective vehicle and enabling methodology for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Time meeting starts:

  • 15:00 CET (Brussels)   
  • 08:00 PET/CDT (Mexico City, Lima)        
  • 09:00 CLT (Santiago, Chile)

More Information

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21 June, 2022

  1. 15:00-15:30 CET, 08:00-08:30 PET/CDT, 09:00-09:30 CLT
    Opening remarks
    • Alessandro RAINOLDI, Head of the Territorial Development Unit, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission
    • Lamán CARRANZA RAMÍREZ, Head of the Planning and Prospective Unit, Government of the State of Hidalgo
    • Jerome POUSSIELGUE, Head of International Relations, EU Delegation in Mexico
    • Victor VELARDE, Project Officer, EU Delegation in Peru
  2. 15:30-16:00 CET
    Smart Specialisation Strategies for Sustainability in Latin America: state of play and future pathways – Presentation of the report
    • Monika MATUSIAK, Head of Smart Specialization / Global Reach, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission
    • Jaime DEL CASTILLO, President of Infyde
  3. 16:00-16:45 CET
    Analysis of economic domains with sustainable growth potential and opportunities of collaboration in LatAm countries and regions
    • Simone SASSO, Economist and Policy Analyst, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission
    • Randolph BRUNO, Associate professor, University College London
    • Pierre PADILLA and Juan Carlos CASTILLO, N-Able
  4. 16:45-17:15 CET
    Coffee break
  5. 17:15-18:45 CET
    Experiences and future perspectives of place-based innovation strategies in LatAm regions.
    • José Alonso HUERTA CRUZ, General Director of the Council of Science, Technology and Innovation of Hidalgo (CITNOVA)
    • Gloria MARMOLEJO, Vice President of the State Agrifood Councils of Mexico and Advisor to the Innovation Agency for Sustainable Development (INN4MX)
    • Carlos Alberto CÁRDENAS, Director of the Regional Institute of Scientific-Technological Innovation, Regional Government of Piura, Peru.
    • Claudia JARA, Coordinator of Development and Innovation, Undersecretariat for Regional and Administrative Development (SUBDERE), Chile



    • Ricard ESPARZA, Professor, Economic Analysis Unit, Autonomous University of Barcelona
    • Jürgen HABERLEITHNER, Independent Expert of the Horizon Europe Framework Program of the European Union, Austria
  6. 18:45-19:15 CET
    Closure: The future of decentralized innovation policies in Latin America
    • Nicolo GLIGO, Economic Affairs Officer, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), United Nations
    • Omar FAYAD MENESES, Governor of the State of Hidalgo

Practical Information

21 Jun 2022

Hybrid event - Hidalgo Science and Technology Park (Mexico)

Registration Information



Over recent years, in Latin America, six countries (namely, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru) and over seventy regions have participated in the debate on and stepped into the design and implementation of place-based innovation policies inspired by the Smart Specialisation approach. 

Smart Specialisation can embed a strong value added to Latin American territories from different angles. First, Latin America can benefit from the large experience that the EU has developed on Smart Specialisation as a key tool to foster economic transformation, strengthen institutional capacity, and build more robust regional innovation ecosystems. Next, Smart Specialisation can represent a powerful vehicle for bi-regional cooperation between the EU and Latin America. Finally, Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) represent one of the global methodologies for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Roadmaps for the achievement of SDGs, which features high on the agenda of several LatAm countries. 

Building on earlier collaborations with Latin American countries developed in the context of previous DG-REGIO and FPI projects, since 2020, the European Commission - through the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG-INTPA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - has worked closely with national and subnational governments in Chile, Mexico and Peru on the project Smart Specialisation Strategies for Sustainability in Latin America. The project aimed at adapting the Smart Specialisation methodology to their local contexts and steer innovation-driven territorial development, in line with the sustainable development principles.  Project activities included, among others, quantitative and qualitative studies on the potential for knowledge-based economic development in Chile, Mexico and Peru, identification of areas with high growth potential and prospective interregional collaborations, as well as capacity-building and tailored-support activities for the implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies in pilot regions.

Target audience

The key target audience are representatives of National and Subnational governments of the EU and Latin America, particularly those in charge of innovation, territorial development and/or sustainable growth policies, as well as representatives of EU Delegations in Latin American countries; officials of International Organisations and other STI professionals and practitioners.