Gómez Prieto, Javier ; Demblans, Albane; Palazuelos Martínez, Manuel
Olga Diukanova, Andrea Conte, and Simone Salotti
COWI; A/S; DG REGIO
What is S3 Cooperation?
Cooperation in design and/or implementation of Research and Innovation Strategies of Smart Specialisation (RIS3) involves sharing knowledge, coordination and exploiting synergies with RIS3 initiatives in other countries and regions. Inter-regional and trans-national collaboration in research and innovation (R&I) is a key component of RIS3. Cooperation with others and outwards looking helps to understand the competitive position of the country/region with regard to others and to identify its position within global value chains. Outward orientation in the context of RIS3 refers to a wide spectrum of transnational and inter-regional forms of policy engagement.
The dimensions of S3 cooperation can be explored in the following dimensions:
What are the rationales for collaboration? How are these rationales related to the smart specialisation agenda?What?
What are the broad areas or goals of collaboration - common problems, common smart specialisation priorities, new opportunities or learning?Who?
Who are the partners and what are the criteria for choosing them?Where?
What are the geographical boundaries of collaboration? Is geographical proximity an important criteria ? What other types of proximity are necessary?How?
What mechanisms for collaboration are being used?
Why or what is the rationale?
The importance of the global economy and innovation networks calls for a regional innovation policy that goes beyond regional and national borders. Collaborating in S3 countries/regions combine complementary strengths, exploit their competences in R&I, get necessary research capacity, overcome lack of critical mass as well as fragmentation and access to the global value chains. One of the drivers for transnational and inter-regional collaboration in S3 relates to the attempts to overcome the lack of public investment for R&I, where the alignment of S3 agendas and usage of ESIF for joint S3 initiatives can help overcome capability failures hindering innovation. Furthermore, cooperation across borders is an important source for new ideas, innovative approaches and skills, which can facilitate transfer of knowledge and capabilities, as well as accelerating learning processes.
How does S3 Cooperation affect S3 strategies?
Cooperation in S3 helps to assess whether and how the envisaged RIS3 priorities differentiate or are complementary to the neighbour countries/regions and to avoid imitation. S3 cooperation allows creating strategic linkages and tackling common challenges when engaging in joint RIS3 projects. Outward looking RIS3s enable regions to take advantage of the best available knowledge, to exploit opportunities and to face challenges together.
S3 cooperation involves a wide variety of stakeholders – national and regional authorities, universities, research institutes, business and civil society who in varied configurations can develop collaborative initiatives within common S3 domains. RIS3 is an exercise that involves a range of policy areas and organizations at local, regional and national levels. This multi-level dimension implies the need for wider stakeholder involvement at various levels. To promote processes of entrepreneurial discovery, stakeholder involvement should include not only the so-called triple helix of academic, public, and business spheres but also wider users and civil society (quadruple helix).
The S3 Platform offers several tools to support stakeholder interaction in S3
A number of our Policy Briefs and Working Papers are relevant for inter-regional and transnational collaboration.Match Making:
Our online tools facilitate match-making by:
- Identifying reference regions across Europe which are structurally similar to your region through the Tool for Structural Regional Benchmarking;
- Relate to their R&I priorities through the searches of the Eye@RIS3 tool;
- Investigate what countries/regions are your trade partners and competitors in Inter-regional Trade and Competition Tool.
Ask us to assist you in facilitating and setting-up workshops aiming at starting or strengthening inter-regional or trans-national S3 collaboration. Please assure some initial interest in the topic and/or event by at least three regions before asking for our assistance.
Which policies can influence S3 Cooperation?
There are many R&I policy instruments that can be devised to advance a collaborative basis of RIS3, including the joint provision of research infrastructure, technology transfer, cluster initiatives, provision of joint funds for private R&D and innovation support and etc. The degree of intensiveness of collaboration can also vary from the sharing of good practices and the alignment across initiatives or it can involve joining forces for the provision of services, collaborative projects. S3 cooperation may begin on a bottom-up basis involving exchange of data and information, and then move on to experiment with collaborative projects, later on evolving into strategic platforms and alignment of funding instruments allowing comprehensive policy approach opening up joint programmes and a combination of policy instruments.
Some of the policy instruments what can be used to encourage S3 cooperation:
- Joint research and education programmes
- Joint provision of research infrastructure
- Collaborative schemes to support R&D investment in firms
- Collaborative schemes to support R&D investment in firms
- Technology transfer infrastructure
- Innovation support services
- Joint development of access to finance
- Cluster policy
- Public procurement
- Other demand side innovation policies
References You can read more about S3 cooperation and the joint policy instruments to encourage implementation of RIS3 in S3 Working Paper: Uyarra, Elvira, Jens Sörvik and Inger Midtkandal (2014), Inter-regional Collaboration in Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3), S3 Working Paper Series No. 06/2014, European Commission- Joint Research Centre - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.