EU Science Hub

Supporting Smart Specialisation Strategies and Technology Transfer in South-East Europe

Jun 18 2019

In the semester of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, the Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation and the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding organise a high-level conference on smart specialisation and technology transfer, taking place at the Politehnica University of Bucharest on 18th June.

Progress, results and challenges related to the development and implementation of successful smart specialisation strategies, innovation ecosystems and technology transfer capacities will be the conference's main topics.

The event would set a scene for stock-taking/lessons learnt from the smart specialisation processes in South-East Europe, also with special focus on the Western Balkans economies. It will open a dialogue on possibilities and issues for regional and transnational cooperation for smart specialisation and technology transfer. The conference is also linked to the "Innovative Enterprise Week" which will bring together innovation activities from different EU R&I funding programmes and agencies and in light of the future European Union's R&I programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027).


/jrc/en/file/document/179775Draft agenda


Registration is open to all interested participants until 7th June.

Participation will be free of charge but subject to space availability. Registered participants will receive confirmation of their acceptance by return mail.

Moreover, nationals from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, the Republic of North Macedonia, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia may apply for waiving accommodation and travel costs. If you are eligible, please make sure to submit your expression of interest at the latest by 10th May. The applications will be assessed on the basis of motivation, background, geographical balance and organisation. The evaluation's results will be announced by 17th May.


Promoting research and innovation, digitalisation and connectivity is among the priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The 2018 edition of European Innovation Scoreboard has confirmed the large innovation gap between West and East Europe. At the same time, following President Juncker's 2017 State of the Union address, the Commission adopted in February 2018 a strategy for 'A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans'.

The conference will bring together:

  • Innovation practitioners
  • Policy makers
  • Financial institutions
  • Decision-makers from public and private organisations
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Innovation agencies
  • SMEs
  • Representatives of academia
  • Other innovation actors

The Sofia Process

In 2018, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) started a programme named "the Sofia process", aiming at making smart specialisation and technology transfer important tools to promote transnational cooperation in the region for innovation-based economic transformation and to provide a dialogue forum for discussing strategic innovation policies and implementation practices. The Sofia process was launched with the conference on 'Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth', during the Bulgarian Presidency. This high-level event presented an opportunity to propagate evidence-based policy-making as well as to build on the links between the EU and the Western Balkans R&I community, to enhance connections towards economic integration and to exchange experience among the broader South-East Europe region in the fields of smart specialisation, technology transfer and digital economy.