New initiatives and priorities for the S3 Partnerships

#22, April 2022

Technical Coordination team

S3P Traceability & Big Data

The Smart Specialization Platforms on Agri-Food, Industrial Modernisation and Energy, celebrated the Joint Steering Committee Meeting on March 29th 2022. An important event since it indicates the priorities of the European Commission regarding the Thematic Partnerships and the course we should follow.

The 2021 was a transition year not only for the European Commission regarding the new programming period, but also for the Smart Specialization Platforms. The Joint Research Centre finished the support service to the Partnerships (agreed for the period 2016-2020), being moved to DG REGIO. Specific programs and services finished, our contact points changed, the regional and European priorities advanced through a sustainability model, etc. And of course, the pandemic, that has modified and shake everything.

The previous Steering Committee Meeting, held on July 2021, anticipated the policies and programs of each Directorate Generale, but now, in March 2022, we have been informed about concrete policies, initiatives and opportunities for the Thematic Partnerships.

The main one is the creation of the S3 Community of Practice, a compressive and integrated technical assistance for the different Partnerships of the 3 Thematic Platforms; a historical request done by Traceability & Big Data (also by most of the Partnerships) to guide and support the development of our activities, covering in a part the absence of specific financial aid. Expected on the second half of 2022, the S3 Community of Practice will be the main contact point and source of information on the S3 concept, will advice on the development and the implementation of smart specialization to national and regional authorities and stakeholders, will offer analytical, advisory and technical support on projects and expert databases and also in communication activities. Additionally, there will be a S3 Secretariat to manage and overall coordination of activities of the S3 Community.

It is also a happy announcement the expected return of the physical S3 conferences, having bi-annual events for the S3 stakeholders to be held in Brussels or in a Member region. Physical forums will collaborate on generate cross fertilization of ideas, activities and projects among partners.

Bilateral sessions in the afternoon were separate for each platform (Agri-food and Energy & Industrial Modernization) in a way that partners from most of the agri-food thematic partnerships could share time talking with the DG REGIO representatives about bottlenecks, how to better involve EU13 partners, the I3 instrument, our action plan for the next months and the first impression of the new S3 Community of Practice.

Traceability & Big Data was represented through various partners who joined the session, such as Navarre, Limburg, Oulu and the North-East Regional Development Agency of Romania, as well as Andalusia as coordinator of this Thematic Partnership.

The complete Agri-Food Platform was encouraged to boost consortiums, in order to apply to the next cut-off period of I3, next October 18th. Moreover, when speaking about the involvement of EU13 partners, Traceability & Big Data was considered like a best practice, as we count on 3 regions (South Transdanubian and Hadju-Bihar in Hungary and Pazardzhik in Bulgaria) and their respective regional nodes, and 2 associate members (Agrotransilvania Cluster in Romania and ICT Innovation Network in Slovenia), some of them involved in projects and pilots born under the umbrella of this Partnership, like Regions4Food, TRACK or Complat.

Finally, we would like to concrete our path with 3 main ideas:

  • Further collaboration with clusters coming from our regions and associates.
  • Focus on the I3
  • The future work under the S3 Community of Practice guidelines.