The Arctic region consists of Northern regions of EU countries (Arctic Finland and Arctic Sweden); the non-EU European Arctic (Greenland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Arctic Norway); Northern Russia and the American Arctic.


All these regions share some common specific characteristics of a sparse population spread across a vast land area, being in wealth of natural resources, long geographical distances between sparsely-populated communities and lack of connectivity between them.

Smart Specialisation concept developed for higher impact of the research and innovation investments of EU countries has found very relevant applications in European Arctic regions. Joint Communication by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on ‘An integrated European Union policy for the Arctic’ (2016) states that adaptation and implementation of regional smart specialisation strategies is a way to support sustainable growth models based on more sustainable use of resources.

Since 2015 the S3 Platform has been examining conditions and implications for Smart Specialisation in sparsely populated areas including Nordic regions, suggesting a tailor-made approach due to the challenges of critical mass and absorptive capacity. In 2018 this work has been elaborated further with focus on the European Arctic. The research confirmed that smart specialisation has potential to bring broad social and economic benefits and also to fit into the context of other Arctic regions beyond the EU. Collaboration on joint opportunities is the proved way to create sustainable and long-term smart specialisation solutions in the Arctic.

The European Commission has put forward ambitious yet realistic proposals for a modern EU budget. It is time for an EU budget that reflects rapid developments in innovation, the economy, the environment and geopolitics, amongst others.


Smart Specialisation in the Arctic Regions
On 11th of October the S3 Platform invites to discuss how smart specialisation supports sustainable and innovative development of Arctic regions at Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik


The EU Blue Economy Report 2020

In its third edition, the EU Blue Economy Report continues to analyse the scope and size of the Blue Economy in the European Union. It aims at providing support to policymakers and stakeholders in the quest for a sustainable development of oceans, coastal resources and, most notably, to the...

The European Commission Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and t he Joint Research Centre
Smart Specialisation in Sparsely Populated European Arctic Regions

This report explores applications of smart specialisation in sparsely populated European Arctic Regions. The paper provides an overview of the specific context of Arctic regions and examples of how smart specialisation has been implemented there with aim to discover how smart specialisation and...

Jukka Teräs, Viktor Salenius, Laura Fagerlund and Lina Stanionyte
Implementing Smart Specialisation in Sparsely Populated Areas

This Working Paper explores Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) in Sparsely Populated Areas (SPA). The paper discusses the most significant elements of Smart Specialisation (S3) in SPA focusing on its theoretical background as well as on the empirical processes...

TERÄS Jukka, DUBOIS Alexandre, SÖRVIK Jens, PERTOLDI Martina