Collaboration managing authorities - Joint Undertakings (Policy support) Collaboration managing authorities - Joint Undertakings (Policy support)


Low engagement in international networks and with business is concern for regional authorities that are implementing strategies to develop their regional innovation systems in order to close the gap that exists within the EU between different territories. Joint Undertakings are EU wide (and in many cases beyond the EU) public-private partnerships in research and innovation for specific areas. They are therefore a potential mechanism for managing authorities to engage with as a strategy to upscale international and business engagement. Analysis of the collaboration mechanisms, the difficulties and potential future activities and best practice can assist in the optimisation of such interactions and lead to effective implementation of national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies and their further refinement and increased relevance. Such activities can help to optimise the S3 priority setting by refining priorities and positioning them within the existing research agendas of the JUs.


Work conducted

  • Participatory event on aeronautics involving CleanSky2 (CS2), regional and national MAs, entrepreneurs and researchers to discuss bottlenecks and solutions in implementing collaborations between ESIF and CS2 (3 July 2017).
  • Matchmaking event in Brussels between regions, MSs and Joint Undertakings, with close to 200 participants (7 March 2018). Also six different Directorates General from the European Commission participated.
  • As JUs are very diverse in nature, in-depth analysis was performed to understand for each JU the form of engagement with regions, the themes covered by the JU as well as the types of projects funded, the governance system, and the participation profile (regional and industrial involvement). The analysis included desk research on the relevant documents related to JU and potential synergies (JU website, multi-annual work plans, annual work plans, interim evaluations, etc.), interviews (with representatives of the different JUs as primary source of information and some the industrial partners organisation to clarify and validate findings from the desk research), as well as bilateral meetings with single JUs.


Lessons learned


  • Collaboration between ESIF MAs and JUs has high potential. JUs can pool more critical mass around their objectives, and regions and MSs get access to international networks, easier collaboration between SMEs and big companies, ESIF spending which is closer to the market, etc.
  • In addition, good experiences are available to draw upon. There are a range of different mechanisms employed to foster engagement between regional authorities and JUs from specific MoUs with regions to agreements with regional networks. A typology of collaboration modes is presented in the technical report.
  • However, regional authorities are not always aware of the expertise in their region which is relevant to the JU. This calls for more awareness raising by the JU and better expertise scanning by the regional authorities.
  • JUs also need better awareness of the regional S3 and regional authorities better informed on the strategic research agendas of the JUs.
  • A series of bottlenecks exist with regard to collaboration. The event with Cleansky CS2 showed that several solutions are available to address most of them, through peer learning and exchange of experiences.
  • Collaboration with JUs is a way to increase the visibility of the regional S3 and a mechanism to refine and develop the priorities.
  • Collaboration with JUs is rather low in EU13, and also between JUs big differences exist. There is significant potential for upscaling and disseminating practices across regions and across JUs.


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