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S3 Newsletter Special Issue

Joint Research Centre

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In this issue
Editorial
Foreword from Xabier Goenaga, Head of the Knowledge for Finance, Innovation and Growth Unit at the Joint Research Centre

Xabier Goenaga is Head of the Knowledge for Finance, Innovation and Growth Unit at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. In this editorial, he stresses that Smart Specialisation has the potential to become a decisive vehicle for economic transformation, fostering the new green and digital economy all across the EU, and buttressing economic recovery. It is uniquely well placed to connect EU-level policies and instruments to place-based strategies, pursuing real impact for citizens, while mitigating the risk of regions falling behind.

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Smart Specialisation for the Recovery
Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Elisa Ferreira is the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms. In her welcoming address, she reaffirms Smart Specialisation Strategies as decisive instruments to drive cohesion policy forward, helping address new societal challenges, including economic recovery, and digital and green transitions. She also underscores their role in fostering synergies between policies and instruments, notably between between cohesion funds and Horizon Europe, provided they ensure a cohesion logic and pursue correcting asymmetries, promoting convergence and a balanced territorial development.

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Carlos Ferreira de Morais Pires, representing Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

Carlos Ferreira de Morais Pires, is a Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. He has given his address on behalf of Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. In his welcoming speech, he outlines the importance of Cohesion policies combined with Research and Innovation strategies, as well as education and skills development, to pursue Europe's objectives related to the green and digital transformations.

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Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions

Apostolos Tzitzikostas is the President of the European Committee of the Regions. In his keynote address, he underscores the critical role of Research and Innovation for a sustainable post-pandemic recovery. He also emphasises the potential of the regions in leveraging Smart Specialisation, notably through efficient partnerships and cooperation.

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The Regions and the New Cohesion Policy
Bernard Magenhann, Deputy Director General of the Joint Research Centre

Bernard Magenhann is Deputy Director General of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Acting as Chair of the "Regions and the New Cohesion Policy" first workshop's session, he highlighted the opportunity for territories across Europe to mobilise their Smart Specialisation Strategies and implement the largest stimulus package ever financed through the EU budget, thereby turning investment into sustainable jobs and prosperity for its citizens.

 
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Thomas Wobben, Director within the European Committee of the Regions

Thomas Wobben joined the European Committee of the Regions in 2012 as Director for Horizontal Policies and Networks and is currently the Director of Legislative Works for the COTER, ECON and SEDEC commissions. In his speech, he underlines a number of key challenges faced by Smart Specialisation, and also highlights the great potential of the concept, notably to foster place-based economic transformation, to support industrial transition and interregional value chains, as well as to promote synergies between Cohesion Policy and Horizon programmes and missions.

 
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Nicola De Michelis, Director of Smart and sustainable growth and Southern Europe in DG REGIO

Nicola De Michelis is Director for Smart and Sustainable Development and Programme Implementation in Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain, in the Directorate General for regional and urban policy (DG REGIO). In his keynote speech, he identifies the pivotal components needed for Smart Specialisation to be an effective tool for economic transformation.

 
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Mikel Irujo: Opportunities of the New Cohesion Policy

Mikel Irujo is the Regional Minister of Economic and Entrepreneurial Development in the government of the Region of Navarre (Spain) and Member of the European Committee of the Regions. In his presentation, he stresses a set of important challenges that need to be addressed in the Next Generation EU framework. He also advocates for future Smart Specialisation Strategies that would be based on interregional strategic cooperation, with the double objective of generating synergies between regional innovation and development policies, and financial instruments, and, secondly, of avoiding duplication and fragmentation at EU level.

 
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Manuel Palazuelos: Taking stock of the implementation of Smart Specialisation: Evidence and Lessons Learned

Manuel Palazuelos is Team leader of the Smart Specialisation Platform at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, within the Knowledge for Finance, Innovation and Growth Unit (B7). In his presentation, he underlines the lessons learned from the implementation of Smart Specialisation, with special emphasis on Governance, the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as policy implementation measures, more broadly.

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Tatiana Fernandez Sirera: The experience of Catalonia (Spain)

Tatiana Fernández Sirera is Head of Economic Promotion at the Government of Catalonia’s Ministry of the Vice-presidency and of the Economy and Finance (Spain). She coordinates the Research and Innovation Strategy for the Smart Specialisation of Catalonia (RIS3CAT) and other strategic projects.

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Jerker Johnson: The experience of Ostrobothnia (Finland)

Jerker Johnson is an economist, specialised in international trade and development. His work as the International Coordinator of the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (Finland) has brought him to work in the context of European cohesion policies and Smart Specialisation. He is currently involved in different international partnerships drawing lessons for Smart Specialisation and policy development for the Green Deal.

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Albane Demblans, Political Assistant to the Director for “Growth and Innovation”

Albane Demblans acts as Political Assistant to the Director for “Growth and Innovation”, and Programme Manager, at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. In her intervention, she notably reflects on the importance of governance and coordination between the regional and the national level, and also of a thorough evaluation of Smart Specialisation Strategies.

 
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The Future Role of Smart Specialisation in the Cohesion Policy
Mikel Landabaso Álvarez, Director of the Joint Research Centre

Mikel Landabaso Álvarez is Director for “Growth and Innovation” and Director of the Seville site of the Joint Research Centre in the European Commission. In his address, he throws into sharp relief the role of Smart Specialisation to nurture the European recovery, and to foster the place-based pursuit and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 
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Peter Berkowitz: The Future Role of Smart Specialisation in the Cohesion Policy

Peter Berkowitz is Head of Unit for Smart and Sustainable Growth within the Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission. In his keynote speech, he emphasises the crucial role of Governance, of the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, and of Monitoring and Evaluation, in implementing Smart Specialisation.

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Johan Stierna and Dario Diodato: Smart Specialisation for Recovery to the Green and Digital Economy

Johan Stierna is Team leader of the Smart Specialisation Platform, and Dario Diodato is an Economic Analyst, both working at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, within the Knowledge for Finance, Innovation and Growth Unit (B7). They present a methodology for S4 that encompasses a bottom-up directionality towards sustainability, combined with a transformative innovation policy. It also uses the S4 Priority Compass, as a tool to help policymakers refine their policy priorities.

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Christian Saublens and Mathieu Doussineau: A Strengthened Evidence-Based Approach for more Result-Oriented S3

Between 1992 and 2016, Christian Saublens was the Executive Manager of the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA). He has more than 30 years of working experience in European trade organizations. Mathieu Doussineau is a Policy Analyst at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, within the Knowledge for Finance, Innovation and Growth Unit (B7). They propose a methodology to improve governance mechanisms and the regional ecosystems, following several steps geared towards a clear intervention logic.

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Smart Specialisation Enabling the Achievement of SDGs
Monika Matusiak: Smart Specialisation for the localisation of SDGs

Dr Monika Matusiak is a Team leader on Smart Specialisation – Global Outreach, within the Territorial Development Unit (B3) of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. She supports the adaptation and application of the Smart Specialisation concept in 24 countries worldwide. In her key messages, she spotlights notably that in order to abide by the ambitious priorities of Global Agenda 2030, Science, Technology and Innovation need to be mobilised for sustainable economic growth and for addressing the societal and environmental challenges we face.

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Kieran McCarthy, Member of Cork City Council and the European Committee of the Regions

Kieran McCarthy is Member of the Cork City Council and the European Committee of the Regions. In his presentation, he stresses the challenges of implementing Smart Specialisation in many regions across Europe, and highlights the experience of the Interreg COHES3ION project, to foster the territorial dimension and develop cohesive Smart Specialisation Strategies.

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Smart Specialisation and the Recovery Drive Joining Forces
A Green Recovery with Smart Specialisation
Juan Espadas: A Green Recovery with Smart Specialisation

Juan Espadas is the Mayor of Seville and Chair of the Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the Committee of the Regions, and of its ‘Green Deal Going Local’ Working Group.

 
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Markku Markkula's Key messages as Concluding Remarks

Markku Markkula is Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), having been the President in 2015-2017. He is the President of the Helsinki Region and the Chair of the Espoo City Board, and a former member of the Parliament of Finland. His professional experience focuses on knowledge creation, lifelong learning, and societal innovations.

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Editor: Caroline Cohen, European Commission's Joint Research Centre, Smart Specialisation Platform (Unit B7).