EU Smart Thematic Platforms – Promoting Interregional Cooperation

At the recent Smart Regions conference (June 2nd, 2016), the European Commission launched two Smart Specialisation Platforms. In addition to the existing S3 Platform for Energy, it launched smart platforms for Industrial Modernisation and Agri-Food.

The aim of these initiatives is to offer hands-on support to regions to foster interregional cooperation based on matching smart specialisation priorities in these three key areas–energy, industrial modernisation and agri-food. It will be hosted by the European Commission’s Smart Specialisation Platform located in Seville.

The aim of this initiative is to create an investment pipeline of mature projects in new growth areas across the EU by providing tailored advice and helping regions establish links with the business and research communities. There will be a focus on areas such as key enabling technologies, service innovation and resource efficiency.

The platform aims to help regions develop or share infrastructure such as testing facilities, pilot plants, data centres, and so on.

Particular support will be given to regions in combining different EU investment instruments, such as the European Structural and Investment (ESI) Funds, COSME, Horizon2020 and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

Smart specialisation is an innovative approach promoting efficient and targeted use of public investment in research and innovation to enable countries and regions to capitalise on their strengths and create new competitive advantages. National and regional smart specialisation strategies serve as compasses for ESI Funds investments in research and innovation.

The first thematic Smart Specialisation Platform was set up in 2015 to foster interregional cooperation in the field of energy. The Platforms, managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, provide expertise, advice and networking opportunities through workshops and seminars.

Photo credit: http://www.colourbox.com. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from European Commission.

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