Assessment of support to the development and implementation of smart specialisation strategies provided by the European Commission from 2010 to 2017
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This study assesses the support provided by the European Commission (EC) to the development and implementation of smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) based on consultations with stakeholders involved in the process. To help regions develop RIS3, the EC put in place a range of instruments providing non-customised (guides), customised (workshops) and highly customised (AMI-CEI experts) support.
The study shows that despite a limited budget, support ensured an adequately diversified geographical distribution. However, highly customised support was abnormally concentrated during the design phase. Overall, EC support is characterised by a difficulty in acknowledging the differentiated capacity of regions to implement RIS3 and absorb support. The added value of support can be maximised by concentrating on the basics of RIS3 (governance, functioning of “Entrepreneurial Discovery Process” and monitoring and evaluation), which are at the core of the new “enabling condition” over the 2021–2027 programming period. It is recommended to establish an efficient knowledge management system and to streamline the portfolio of support instruments, in particular by reviewing the management of the AMI-CEI list.