S3 Thematic Platforms

The Thematic Smart Specialisation Platforms are joint initiatives between several Directorate Generals of the European Commission that encourage regions and their innovation actors across the EU to build strategic partnerships, promoting complementarity of regional funding for innovation in specific smart specialisation areas.

The current Cohesion Policy encourages regions and Member States to build regional coalitions to support the creation of new European value chains, in areas associated with strategic growth. To support this goal, starting in 2015, the European Commission services launched three thematic smart specialisation (S3) platforms. New partnership for sustainable blue economy has been launched in 2022. These platforms have been put in place to provide an interactive and participatory environment supporting interregional cooperation in the context of smart specialisation areas related to Agri-Food, Energy and Industrial Modernisation and Blue Economy.

In particular, the thematic S3 platforms are contributing to building an increasing number of interregional partnerships across the EU. These collaborative networks have the ultimate goal of establishing European ecosystems for transnational and interregional collaboration in regions and countries with similar or complementary S3 priorities. Together, partner regions analyse and tackle various obstacles related to the implementation of their smart specialisation strategies. Thematic partnerships help regions to improve their regional knowledge base, leading to new paths of development and a better position in global value chains and to transnational joint strategies of innovation.

The thematic platforms offer a structure to exploit synergies across partnerships and across sectors. These platforms are joint initiatives, managed and coordinated by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), with the support of several EC's Directorates-General  including Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO), Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI); Energy (ENER); Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW), Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MARE)  and Research and Innovation (RTD). In addition, to get a wider view for cooperation, interactions with other EU initiatives (such as the Interreg Europe Policy Learning PlatformEuropean Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and the KICs) are also developed.

Thematic Platforms Interactive Map

This interactive map offers information on regional and national participation in the S3 partnerships created under the structure of the S3 Thematic Smart Specialisation Platforms on Agri-Food, Energy and Industrial Modernisation.

Agri-food Platform

The S3P-Agri-Food aims to accelerate the development of joint investment projects in the EU in agri-food

Agri-food partnerships
S3 Agri-food meetings​​​​​

Energy Platform

The S3PEnergy supports European territories in the implementation of energy-related innovation strategies

Energy partnerships
S3 Energy meetings

Industrial Modernisation Platform

The S3P-Industry supports EU regions committed to generate a pipeline of interregional industrial investment projects

IM partnerships
S3 IM meetings

Sustainable Blue Economy

S3P Sustainable Blue Economy provides a framework of cooperation among blue economy stakeholders


Our methodology

Thematic S3 partnerships follow a dynamic methodology understood as a flow of activities that result in living documents and outcomes that require continuous monitoring and review.

EU support

The S3 thematic interregional partnerships established under the Platform could take advantage from a number of EU support actions along each of the steps in establishing and consolidating their activities.

Expression of interest

EU regions can propose a new thematic area that is of their interest and is linked to any of the three existing Thematic Platforms on Agri-food, Energy or Industrial Modernisation.

Latest news

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Joint Event Thematic S3 Platforms
This online meeting was an opportunity to discuss common issues and explore cooperation opportunities among various European Commission services and 35 partnerships involved in the three Thematic S3 Platforms.
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