European regions, especially less developed ones, are facing many challenges that could be easily overcome by interregional alliances to support the creation of new European value chains. The Smart Specialisation Strategies are at the centrе of this approach. The result of this approach can improve the competitive advantage of the regions supporting their capacity building.
The southern and south-east (or Mediterranean-Balkan) European regions are facing many challenges in their twin green and digital transition, smart manufacturing and deep tech innovation. As less developed regions they feel more social and economic pressure, compared to the more developed European regions, in the process of acceleration and diffusion of innovation. Less developed regions often experience difficulties in building institutional and legal environments conducive to innovation. Usually these regions lack talents as one of the biggest challenges is the demographic one –depopulation and an increasingly elderly population. On the other hand the policy makers of the less developed regions are aware of the role of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) in strengthening regional innovation ecosystems and strategic partnerships as key tools for addressing the innovation in their regions. It can reverse the trend by creation of new exciting and sustainable jobs.
The regional partners of the current project already have their Smart Specialisation Strategies. But they are also aware that building regional coalitions will support the creation of new European value chains characterised by the identification of strategic areas for the creation of jobs and growth.
The main objective is to increase the capacity of regional innovation ecosystems in less developed regions to collaborate in EU value chains.
The project consortium consists of: 2 less developed regions (BG233 – Gabrovo, BG and ITG16 – Enna, Italy), 2 transition regions (EL303 – Athens, Greece and …………….., Cyprus), 1 more developed region (to be defined) and 1 associated partner (Business Angels, Norway – as a competence provider of training).
The capacity building scope includes:
- Fostering collaboration between more developed regions, transition regions and less developed regions
- Facilitating interregional cooperation between regional innovation ecosystem actors to participate in calls under I3 strands 1 and 2a
- Addressing the needs of regions with specific challenges such as EU outermost regions and regions with difficulties in retaining and attracting talents
The specific objectives of the project are:
- Creation of preconditions for interregional cooperation and investments in S3
- Facilitation of the validation process of investment ideas through improved knowledge
The project consortium consists of 6 partners from 6 European countries: