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Reflections Guiding Smart Specialisation Strategies Impact Assessment

Caroline Cohen
This report analyses the potential impact of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) in the quality of policy governance and innovation ecosystem, as well as, its effects in terms of growth and jobs. It is based on the main findings of a collective reflection carried out from March to December 2020 with 12 European territories.

Horizon 2020 funding: research and innovation for pandemic diseases

Vezzani, A., Doussineau, M. and Woolford, J.
This brief provides an overview of health-related capabilities across the EU27 Member States and the UK in the immediate pre-COVID-19 period, in order to potentially inform future funding and policy priorities in relation to health and pandemics.

From Digital Innovation to "Smart Tourism destination": Stakeholders' reflections in times of a pandemic

Anabela M. Santos; John Edwards and Manuel Laranja
This JRC policy insight presents the main findings of an online event that took place on 30th September and 8th October 2020, organised by the Portuguese’s Algarve region and the JRC. The workshop aimed to support the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process EDP, a key feature of Smart Specialisation. 65 stakeholders participated in the event to discuss challenges, opportunities and needs of the region in the field of the digitalisation of tourism. Lack of adequate skills, inadequate infrastructure, weak links between tourism services and others economic activities and ineffective data collection and analysis were some of bottlenecks discussed. Regional assets, new market trends and the advantage of big data analysis were the main opportunities identified.

An intervention-logic approach for the design and implementation of S3 strategies

Doussineau M., Saublens C., Harrap N
The report invites policy makers to address the questions about the ‘why’ (is the intervention addressing a problem?), the ‘who’ (what is the target of the intervention?), and the ‘how’ (do I have financial and administrative resources?). Starting from a pre-existing Smart Specialisation Strategy, the results-oriented ‘stress-test’ is divided into six steps: (1) the assessment of stakeholders’ needs, (2) the strategy operationalisation, (3) the estimation of target indicators, (4) the strategy implementation and management, (5) the resource allocation and (6) a final consistency check.

Higher Education for Smart Specialisation: The Case of the Northern Netherlands

Paul Benneworth, Eskarne Arregui-Pabollet
This technical report presents the findings of the case study carried out in Northern Netherlands on the role of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the design and implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3). It is one of the case studies undertaken in the project Higher Education for Smart Specialisation (HESS), an initiative of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture.

Interregional Cooperation and Smart Specialisation: a Lagging Regions Perspective

Jayne Woolford, Effie Amanatidou Elisa Gerussi, Mark Boden
The aim of the present report is to explore key aspects of interregional and international cooperation in order to better understand whether and how they contribute to strengthening innovation ecosystems and interact and influence Smart Specialisation Strategies. The potential for lagging regions to participate in interregional and transnational cooperation remains under-exploited and this report examines the specific challenges that are relevant to low growth and less developed regions as well as the potential benefits and opportunities. It explores the nature and extent of mutual reinforcement between interregional collaboration and smart specialisation in a selection of lagging regions drawing on a survey, case studies, and events. Interviews were conducted with stakeholders in regional agencies and Ministries. The case study territories include: 1. Puglia, Italy 2. Centro, Portugal 3. Western Hungary, Hungary 4. Croatia (national level) 5. Extremadura, Spain 6. Western Macedonia, Greece 7. Nord-Est, Romania 8. Centru, Romania 9. Kainuu, Finland (non-lagging region collaborating with lagging regions)

Smart Specialisation and Blue biotechnology in Europe

Doussineau M., Gnamus A., Gomez J., Haarich S., Holstein F.
This science for policy report evidences the great potential of the Smart Specialisation approach applied in the context of maritime-oriented policies. Specifically, the report analyses the blue emerging sectors of aquaculture, algae and micro-algae, confirming that marine technology offers innovation potential being a multidisciplinary, knowledge and capital intensive technology. Territorially, although Blue biotechnology offers major potential in coastal regions, it is observed that non-coastal EU regions also specialise in micro-algae and development of bioactive compounds from marine bio-resources. Accordingly, five different types of regional specialisation profiles were identified, reflecting the territorial and socio-economic diversity of EU regions.

Creating Growth by Connecting Place-Based Development Strategies

Age Mariussen and Fatime Barbara Hegyi
With reference to existing literature and experiences so far, the paper outlines a conceptual framework of how transnational cooperation may strengthen regional place-based development strategies and improve regional innovation capabilities.

State Aid Map in the Energy Sector

JRC Conference and Workshop Report RUDOLF MESARIČ Jana, SEIGNEUR Isabelle, MERIDA MARTIN Fernando
ESI Funds managers for S3 and energy across the EU often mention that the assessment whether their public interventions constitute State aid and whether the measure is compatible with the EU competition law is a constant challenge. This report is the summary of the “Workshop on State Aid Map in Energy Sector” organised by the S3PEnergy with the REGIO Communities of Practitioners, as a practical contribution in assisting professionals from national and/or regional authorities on State aid issues in the sector of Energy.

Digital Innovation Hubs as Policy Instruments to boost digitalisation of SMEs

Kalpaka A., Sorvik J., Tasigiorgou A.
Building upon the knowledge gained during the last two years on how Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) operate in different regional socioeconomic contexts this practical handbook aims to provide national/regional policy makers and/or existing DIH managers useful and structured information on how to setup a new DIH or reinforce existing ones while benefiting from available funds with a special focus to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2021-2027. Given the urgent need of SMEs to rapidly deploy advanced digital technologies to mitigate the negative consequences of the recent COVID19 crisis to their businesses the role of DIHs is more important than ever. The Handbook introduces a step-by-step approach to provide support to policy makers that envisage strengthening DIHs in their regions/countries with a view to accelerate digital transformation of the economy and society. This approach allows to use the Handbook as a reference tool depending on the specific needs and level of implementation of DIHs. The practical character of the Handbook is enhanced with the inclusion of many examples that highlight good practices in the different steps of the proposed methodology.