As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.
The JRC and the Commission's Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology have just published a comprehensive guide for regional and national authorities to design strategic approaches to digital growth in the broader framework of their innovation activities. It also gives guidance on the pre-requisites for ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and broadband investments using European Regional Development Funds, which are a part of the European Structural and Investment Funds.
This Digital Agenda Toolbox  highlights ICT opportunities as a key element in national and regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) and related operational programmes. The publication provides hands-on assistance for developing digital growth policies by providing the do's and don'ts of the process and by giving examples of good practices.
Strategies for digital growth can build on an ICT-specific policy framework or digital agenda. Such a framework can be a standalone document or may be incorporated into broader RIS3. Regardless of which option is chosen, this Toolbox provides guidance on how to design a policy framework that reinforces competitiveness and improves social, economic and territorial cohesion while contributing to the objectives set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe and in the national reform programmes where applicable.
The toolbox complements the RIS3 Guide  and other related policy documents such as the Guide to Broadband Investment . It is the outcome of the ICT group in the Smart Specialisation Platform  of the JRC that works closely with the Directorates-General for Regional and Urban Policy and for Communications Networks, Content and Technology