RIS3-Net promotes smart growth throughout Macaronesia

RIS3-Net is one of the first cooperation projects in Europe to launch an alignment process aimed at resilient, inclusive and sustainable regional growth, while generating debate that will allow the Macaronesian region to advance in a coordinated way.

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Tenerife, Canary Islands ©CCO Creative Commons,/Falco Tenerife, Canary Islands ©CCO Creative Commons,/Falco

" Take advantage of our potential for comparative advantages to create competitive advantages. "

Alberto Santana Perez, CEO Plan B Group, European Commission

Located off the coast of Europe and Africa, Macaronesia consists of four archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean belonging to Spain, Portugal and Cape Verde. The RIS3-Net project was initiated by the Canarian Agency for Research, Innovation and the Information Society to boost the economic development of the region through prominent sectors such as marine and maritime, tourism, and agriculture. The project is identifying and promoting smart specialisation synergies between the archipelagos and their neighbouring countries in areas of common economic activity.

Smart specialisation is a location-based approach, linking regional research, development and innovation (RDI) with practical economic development, and coordinating any local initiatives from a regional perspective. By analysing the participating regions and exchanging experiences and best practices, the project is developing an extensive cooperation strategy, focused on the development of smart growth and smart specialisation in the region and beyond. 

The benefits of working together

To date, the strategy has led to the creation of three pilot projects, all of which are related to the region’s prominent industries. 

RIS3-Net is focusing on increasing the region’s RDI, which is why each pilot project is putting together its most relevant stakeholders in these fields. The goal is to promote the benefits and potential of working on a transregional level. These pilot projects were set up to validate and consolidate the foundation of a transregional RIS3 management model that can be applied to any future project.

So far, several workshops have been organised on all three pilot projects, spread out over the region, to make use of each region’s unique RDI specialisations and identify synergies.

Turning comparative advantages into competitive advantages

RIS3-Net was initially set up to overcome the difficulties the Canary Islands’ industrial sector faced because of their remoteness and small size, and to adapt to globalisation. Although the islands are leading the initiative, research centres from Madeira and the Azores are participating in the project, with institutions from Cape Verde, Senegal and Mauritania.

The project is currently working on creating a transregional platform for intelligent specialisation in areas of mutual interest, from which all the Macaronesian archipelagos and project participants can benefit. The platform is consolidating existing resources and best practices from the region and is expected to go online and become available for the general public by September 2019.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Interregional Cooperation for Smart Growth of the MAC Regions” is EUR 632 938, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 537 997 through the “Interreg V-A - Spain-Portugal (Madeira-Açores-Canarias (MAC))” Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Research and innovation”.


Draft date