Smart Specialisation Strategies for Sustainability (S4)

What does the fourth “S” change?

The first change is that of directionality. S4 refers to Smart Specialisation Strategies which ex-ante aim at improving sustainability and inclusiveness through an innovation-driven policy. These are place-based strategies, which combine directionality with bottom-up energy.

They connect strategies and actors at regional and national level with EU-wide policies such as the European Green Deal and the new industrial policy for a sustainable Recovery to the new green and digital economy.An S4 approach also changes quite fundamentally policy implementation. It mobilises transformative innovation in a systemic approach for cross-sectorial solutions and whole-of-government-approach, while leaving no one behind; it focuses on synergies between innovation, sustainability, infrastructure and skills; and it connects investment with regulation and reforms.

S4 is a voluntary choice. It repositions smart specialisation in the new EU policy agenda to use the unprecedented EU investment for local jobs creation in the post-Covid recovery.

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A boost to green and digital recovery with regional Smart Specialisation

Today the EU’s pilot initiative “Smart Specialisation Strategies for Sustainability (S4)” was launched in Seville by the President of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Apostolos Tzitzikostas and the Director for Growth and Innovation of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission,...


'Smart Specialisation for the Recovery' online workshop
This online workshop on Smart Specialisation for the recovery co-organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), takes place next 15 April 2021.