Smart Specialisation: monitoring and evaluation State of the play and next steps

  • 24 Jan 2019 to 24 Jan 2019
  • Committee of the regions - Bâtiment Jacques Delors, Rue Belliard 99-101, Bruxelles: room: JDE53

Given its experimentalist and result-oriented approach, Smart Specialisation places a strong emphasis on the role of monitoring and evaluation.

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Agenda and Presentations


Event concept note

09:00-09:30     Welcome

CoR representative (tbc)

            Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of Unit - Territorial development, JRC

Marek Przeor, DG REGIO

09:30-11:00     Monitoring Smart Specialisation – the JRC work

The JRC work on monitoring has identified two sets of challenges for S3 monitoring. Some are technical/conceptual in nature, whereas others are organisational and, de facto, underpin the former, namely:

  • Technical and conceptual challenges
    • Monitoring S3 priorities
    • Data availability
  • Organisational challenges (I.e. Enabling conditions for S3 monitoring)
    • Capacities within public administration
    • Engaging stakeholders in monitoring
    • National-Regional coordination


In the introductory session of the day, Carlo Gianelle, Fabrizio Guzzo and Elisabetta Marinelli will explain these aspects by going through the evidence collected through participatory and analytical activities conducted by the JRC, as well as the framework developed within the Massive Open Online Course on S3 monitoring. Following the presentation, there will be an open Q&A with the public.


Following their presentation, Dr Henning Kroll and Mr Manuel Paris will discuss the presentation, providing insights (and criticism) from their experience.


The session will close with a Q&A aimed at understanding whether there is a shared understanding on monitoring Smart specialisation and –if not- identify the critical points and discuss them.


Dr Henning Kroll,  ISI Fraunhofer

Mr Manuel Paris, Xunta Galicia


Moderator: Manuel Palazuelos, JRC



11:00-11:30     Coffee break

11:30-12:30     Monitoring S3: from the general to the specific

The technical challenges (and the underpinning organisational ones) exposed in the first session will be discussed in the second part of the morning, with three experts involved in S3 monitoring from different perspectives (Academic, National and Regional policy maker/practitioner). The three experts will provide examples from their monitoring systems and discuss them in light of the general framework presented by the JRC. The session will be chaired and moderated by Mr Ken Guy.


  • Presenters (15 minutes each)

Mr Luc Hulsman, Northern Netherlands Alliance – Engaging SMEs in S3 monitoring through an innovation survey.

Dr Federica Bertamino, Italian Agency for Territorial Cohesion – The challenge of national coordination of regional S3 monitoring   

Dr Ricard Esparza, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona – Monitoring as a shared learning process – examples from Catalonia

Q&A 15 mins

  • Moderator: Ken Guy, Wise Guys Limited



12:30-13:30     Lunch buffet

13:30-15:15     From monitoring to evaluation: what, how and why 

As the debate on S3 monitoring reaches maturity, it is necessary to start reflecting on the following logical and chronological step: S3 evaluation.


The session will revolve around the following questions:


  • What questions should an S3 evaluation answer? Why?
  • How should we evaluate?
  • The relationship between monitoring and evaluation
  • Timescale for evaluation


The presenters have been chosen because they can contribute to the discussion with different perspectives and methodologies. Following the presentation there will be an open discussion, the JRC will seek to understand, from the public, whether there are differences in thinking about evaluation among practitioners and researchers.  


The session will be moderated by the JRC.


  • Presenters (15 minutes each)

Dr Fabrizio Guzzo and Dr Carlo Gianelle - JRC

Prof. Francesco Prota – University of Bari

Prof. Attila Varga – University of Pecs

Dr. Yannis Tolias – Innovatia Systems

Angelos Sanopoulos – Monitoring and Evaluation Factory


  • Moderator Elisabetta Marinelli, JRC



15:15-15:45     Coffee break

15:45 – 16:15  Evaluating Smart Specialisation:  where to start 

In this session, Ken Guy will bring together the different contributions of the day and provide suggestions on how to start thinking about Evaluating S3. The presentation will be followed by a short Q&A.

  • Presenters (20 minutes)

Mr Ken Guy – Wise Guys ltd


  • Moderator Elisabetta Marinelli, JRC


16:15-16:30     Conclusions – How to prepare for 2021-2027

                        Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of the territorial development unit, JRC

           Marek Przeor, DG REGIO



Speakers short bios

Practical Information

24 Jan 2019 to 24 Jan 2019
Committee of the regions - Bâtiment Jacques Delors, Rue Belliard 99-101, Bruxelles: room: JDE53
Registration Information
Registration has closed as we have reached the limit to participation.


Throughout the years, the JRC has developed a solid framework for monitoring, in response of a very strong demand from national and regional authorities. As the end of the programming period approaches, it is time to debate on the state of the art of monitoring activities and how to evaluate S3.
In order to address these aspects, it is necessary to build a space for communication between researchers and practitioners, based on shared empirical and conceptual ground. This document proposes the agenda for one workshop aimed at strengthening such common space.

The workshop pursues two main objectives:

  • strong>Share the JRC knowledge and work on monitoring which include:

    • A basic conceptual framework for S3 monitoring, illustrated in detail in a Massive Open Online Course, available on the iversity platform

    • Empirical evidence on S3 monitoring related issues (state of the play, challenges, obstacles, etc.) collected through surveys and workshops.

  • Start building a conceptual framework for S3 evaluation.

The workshop shall be dynamic, including elements of dialogue and interaction with participants, highlighting the links with the experiences of researchers and practitioners in the audience.


Streaming will be available for the duration of the event at: