DG REGIO announced in the recent Thematic Smart Specialization Platforms (TSSP) Steering Committee, the launching of a technical support tool for the Thematic Platforms. Named as S3 Community of Practice, it is expected to be implemented in the second half of 2022. Jitka Vocaskova, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) of the European Commission, the S3 Community of Practice is called to be the main contact point and source of information on the S3 concept.
Moreover, this Community will advise on the development and implementation of smart specialization to national and regional authorities and stakeholders.
Jitka Vocaskova detailed the main novelties that the S3 Community of Practice will incorporate such as a Practice Secretariat to be responsible for the management and the overall coordination of all activities; a one-stop digital portal for knowledge, information management and communication activities; and an expert database for providing ad-hoc support to individual Member States and regions with S3 development and implementation.
Furthermore, three S3 Working Groups and an Expert Group will be created. The Working Groups will be dedicated to innovation diffusion, industrial transition and interregional cooperation. The Expert Group will join S3 and innovation policy experts and academics to discuss and advance the S3 concept.
During the TSSP Steering Committee, Denisa Perrin, European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA), European Commission, spoke about the current status of the Interregional Innovation Investment Instrument, the so-called I3. She encouraged Thematic Partnerships to participate in the next cut-offs of the call and analyzed topics and frequently asked questions received for the first proposals submitted.
Representatives of different Directorates-General of the European Commission, such as GROW, ENER, MARE, AGRI AND RESEARCH, presented the current and future opportunities for interregional innovation in the programming period on Industrial Modernisation, Agri-Food sector, Energy and Blue Economy.
The Steering Committee finalized with a specific session dedicated to share regional good practices on regional funds supporting the interregional dimension of S3. Participant regions were Tuscany, Andalusia, Danube and Lapland.
The afternoon was dedicated to the bilateral sessions of the Thematic Platforms, one specific for Agri-food and a joint session for Industrial Modernisation and Energy. The objectives and topics for discussion were to bring together the actors of the same Platform, to have bilateral conversations on the progress and challenges experienced, to envisioned steps for the next six months and to set the support needed on behalf of the European Commission.