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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
This paper identifies territorial patterns of location of R&D+I grants supporting projects within the Polish Smart Specialisation framework. Using a data set of R&D+I grants from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs), the paper analyses the geographical concentration of projects, the link between local characteristics and the implementation of projects, and attempts at cooperation among organizations implementing projects. The results show an urban–rural divide and confirm the agglomeration of projects around the main Polish cities and industrial locations. By contrast, less-than-adequate conditions in rural areas and smaller counties may limit the potential for attraction and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).