Promoting innovation is not a luxury for advanced economies, but a key driver of growth and development also in emerging economies. In recent years, Latin America (LatAm) has shown increasing interest to advance on the definition of decentralized Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) policies based on the Smart Specialisation approach. Smart Specialisation can embed a strong value added to Latin American countries for different reasons. First, Latin America can benefit from the large experience 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, STI promoted through Smart Specialisation Strategies can play a key role for sustainable development, which features high on the agenda of several LatAm countries.
The European Commission - through the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG-INTPA) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) - has been providing technical assistance in selected LatAm countries and regions to formulate sound innovation strategies based on some key principles behind Smart Specialisation, such as the prioritisation of specialisation areas, the identification and engagement of all relevant actors and the outward-looking dimension leading to inter-regional or international cooperation. This page aims at illustrating the main developments of selected LatAm countries and regions in the implementation and adaptation of the Smart Specialisation approach. It will showcase initiatives, good practices, strategies and roadmaps taking place in different LatAm countries and regions as a way to foster the establishment of cooperation bridges between territories.