A new study delves on how Arctic regions implement Smart Specialisation strategies for SDG’s

News article |

As the Arctic regions continue to attract increasing global policy attention, a new evidence-based scientific report, published on March 2023, aims at providing insights on how the smart specialisation strategies developed at regional level address sustainable development challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study includes examples of relevant projects and initiatives drawn from Arctic Finland, Arctic Sweden and Arctic Norway and it highlights how crucial it is for the European Arctic communities to increase research and policy debates about empowering sustainable development and industrial transitions.

The study has been guided by strategic research queries such as identifying the characteristics of the development of regional Smart Specialisation policies in the Nordic Arctic regions, understanding how can Smart specialisation strategies and the SDG framework be synthesised and thus respond to Arctic challenges at regional level. Distinguishing the biggest opportunities and challenges for S3 to foster sustainability transitions towards the SDGs and assessing state-of-the-art good practices to further facilitate and scale up efforts. 

Key findings are particularly significant in the context of providing data information that supports the increased momentum of Horizon Europe and the European Green Deal. In addition, regional and localised strategies and processes discussed in the report are expected to play a key role in legitimising top-level strategic frameworks concerning the Arctic. These include the EU’s Arctic Policy, for which the most recently updated version emphasises the value of empowering sustainable regional development in European Arctic regions through Smart Specialisation.

Joint Research Centre Deputy Director General, Salla Saastamoinen keenly presented the study and highlighted some of the main findings during her intervention at the annual Summit of European Indigenous Sámi People that took place on 22nd – 24th March 2023 at the European Parliament, Brussels. The summit sought to promote a closer dialogue between the Sámi community and the EU that can lead to more sustainable development among indigenous people in the Arctic region.   
Access the full report for detailed key findings and conclusions.