Events Events

S3 Thematic Platforms Days: Conference and Meetings

The S3 Thematic Platformd Days: Conference and Meetings, co-hosted by the Basque Country, consisted of a Joint Thematic Platforms Conference and three...

S3PEnergy - High Level Event

The project concluded the first phase of its activities at the end of 2017. As a conclusion of the tasks carried out by the S3PEnergy, a High Level Event...

Innovation camp smart specialisation in energy

This innovation camp takes place these 11th and 12th October in Brussels. It counts on the joint participation of three S3PEnergy partnerships, external...
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S3 Energy Partnerships S3 Energy Partnerships


Based on a bottom-up approach, the S3PEnergy is currently facilitating the creation of "S3 Energy Partnerships", offering interactive and participatory arenas for interregional cooperation along shared priorities related to energy. These S3 Energy Partnerships aim at helping policy makers to use the S3-related European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF) and other public/private investments smartly, in order to harness their place-based competitive advantages on the most appropriate way.

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The Cohesion Policy funds for energy offer significant opportunities to the EU national and regional authorities, however they also pose important challenges in terms of the readiness of the Member States and regions to assure the qualitative uptake and meaningful absorption of the investments.

EU national and regional authorities have initiated the implementation process of their respective S3 strategies. In line with the S3 priority areas for research and innovation, EU national and regional authorities have started investments from the ESIF, ideally in combination with national/regional PPP funding. These investment priorities have been supporting also the shift towards low-carbon economy (including energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart distribution grids and sustainable urban mobility), as well as they have aimed at contributing to the removal of key bottlenecks in energy infrastructures.

In this context, cooperation across EU regions and member states sharing similar S3 energy priorities can offer, among others, the following opportunities:

  • learning from each other;
  • combining complementary strengths;
  • exploiting their competences in R&I;
  • getting the necessary research capacity;
  • strengthening critical mass as well as fragmentation and access to the global value chains
  • developing joint investment projects; 
  • and more generally, to scaling up the regional efforts and provide a greater impact.
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Any entity representing regional (or national) public administration from the quadruple helix interested in contributing to the effective implementation of their S3 energy-related priorities. These entities can include, among others, regional development, innovation and/or energy agencies.

Research centres, universities, private actors, or any other type of institutions (e.g. associations) are also welcome to participate if endorsed by their corresponding regional administration.

These S3 Energy Partnerships will be led by the regions ensuring an active participation and commitment of the relevant stakeholders of the regions.

The S3PEnergy will act as a facilitator of interregional cooperation dynamics and support the regions during the implementation –and subsequently monitoring and evaluation– of their S3 in energy.

One region may participate in one or several S3 Energy Partnerships.

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  • Elaboration of a concept note with feedback of European Commission and validation of participant regions, including information such as: objective, mission and priorities of smart specialisation. 
  • Definition of governance structure (e.g. leaders, co-leaders, responsible of thematic lines, rules of functioning).
  • Identification of new members and stablish a protocol to invite them to join the partnerships.
  • Identify strategic synergies with related initiatives (e.g. networks, associations, clusters, programmes, projects, platforms) in order to build operational synergies.
  • Mapping of emerging value chains in the region.
  • Organisation of a steering meeting to discuss the progress and agree on next actions.
  • Background analysis (e.g. results from previous studies, analysis).
  • Head towards Political commitment / institutional agreement.
  • Definition and agreement of Partnerships' joint work plan: milestones, share of tasks, expected impact: ex ante setting-up of clear and measurable targets and corresponding indicators, etc.
  • Establish collaborative synergies with related initiative in the thematic of reference.
  • Elaborate joint mapping and matching of capacities and resources available in the regions (e.g. industry, technologies, patents, resource availability).
  • Identification and agreement on Pilot activities according to the thematic of reference and leading to establish key frameworks of cooperation (E.g. European Value Chains, Investments Pipeline, Private engagement, Joint Investments, joint large-scale demonstrators, shared technology centres, other cross-regional projects, small projects bundled together in 'investment platforms', single cross-regional large scale projects, or large-scale individual projects to be developed across European industrial value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation S3).
  • Identification of external support needs and communicate it to the European Commission.
  • Pilot activities implementation (according to action lines to be developed within each partnership).
  • Evidencing results derived from pilot joint projects.
  • Definition of business plan: cost estimates, identification of available funds, exploration of funding possibilities, design of co-investment projects (e.g. joint calls) integrating several sources of financing and addressing common thematic objectives.
  • Stimulation industrial cooperation at higher scale.
  • Strategic engagement of private sector as counter-part of big projects.
  • Deployment of real joint investments (evidence-based found in pilots).
  • Deployment of bankable and autonomous projects, less dependent on public funds.
  • Monitoring and evaluation (regional growth, economic and social indicators).
  • Deployment of successful projects at a larger scale.
  • Accessing new/international markets.

Thematic areas

So far, the following 6 interregional partnerships have been launched under the S3PEnergy:
Call: Expressions of interest for setting-up and co-leading new partnerships in new thematic areas related to Agri-Food, Energy or Industrial Modernisation can be submitted here between the following periods:
  • 1 February - 31 March
  •  1 September - 31 October

It is anticipated that the evaluation of all new submissions will be completed by:

  • 31 May (for the proposals submitted between February and March)
  • 31 December (for the proposals submitted between September and October)