Taking forward the achievements of S2E II, S2E III has built on the analysis of bottlenecks and areas for improvement identified in the earlier phases of S2E, by moving from analysis into providing more targeted support to achieve progress in research excellence and in bridging the innovation gap, in a RIS3 context.
To this end, S2E phase III has explored and tested different ways to do so. The dimension of combining funding sources, particularly structural funds, H2020 and other types of R&I funding, has still played an important role, but has been embedded in the wider context of developing targeted support to MSs and regions to catch up.
In doing so, the activities of S2E III have led to the following key findings, both in terms of
- analytical work, and
- policy support
S2E phase IV will continue to build cooperation with other Commission services, the Policy Support Facility (PSF) as well as other EU institutions and platforms. More concretely, the activity aims to:
- provide assistance to Member States (MS) and their regions in closing the innovation gap, in order to promote excellence in all EU MS and regions;
- stimulate effective implementation of national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies, identifying ways to address typical barriers to implementation;
- Actively promote and assess the combined use of all available funding sources for research, development and innovation, thereby contributing to closure of the innovation gap; and
- Contribute to further refinement of the RIS3 model for increasing cohesion and for closing the innovation gap, codifying and disseminating hands-on experiences in different contexts.