S3P: Background and current work

As part of our “S3P” theme, this week’s blog post comes from Jens Sörvik, Researcher at the Joint Research Centre at the European Commission. Jens kindly outlined for us the aims and scope of the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) in Seville, in particular with regard to its structure and background.

What is the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P)?

The Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) is a group within the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

Located in Seville, it is both funded by and works closely with other European Commission Directorate Generals (DGs), which include:


Directorate-General for regional policy


Directorate-General for Energy


Directorate-General for education and culture


Directorate-General for the Digital Single Market


Directorate-General for commercial growth


DG for agriculture and rural development

When was the S3P set up, and what is it designed to do?

The S3P was set up in 2011 in order to support EU regions and Member States in their work with developing and implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3). The S3P is also designed to aid Commission services in their regional work on industrial strategies.

Currently, we have 18 EU countries and 168 EU regions registered as members, as well as 2 Non-EU countries and 7 non-EU regions.

Our services include:

  • Provision of guidance material,
  • Research projects to inform strategy formation and policy-making,
  • Facilitation of learning workshops, and
  • Support access to relevant data, training and information sessions.

We also participate in the academic community and the conceptual discussions around Smart Specialisation (S3).

Current activities

Through our web we also provide a number of interactive tools, such as:

What has it achieved so far?

One of our first achievements was the development of the RIS3 Guide, which was done together with leading researchers and Commission officials. The S3P has also arranged a number of thematic workshops addressing aspects of strategy development (e.g. continuous priority setting) and implementation (e.g. monitoring), as well as the role of different actors (e.g. universities and SMEs).

In a similar fashion the S3P has written a large range of policy briefs and working papers on different aspects of S3. In May 2016 the booklet “Smart Stories, Implementing Smart Specialisation across Europe“, a collection of over 30 testimonies of regional and national work with RIS3 was launched. This is accompanied by an online repository of even more stories.

Yet another of our key focus is the support to interregional collaboration. This is something we have done within the framework of the macro regional strategies of the Danube  and the Baltic Sea since 2012.

What are S3P’s plans for the future?

We plan to further reinforce our support to interregional collaboration three thematic platforms have recently been launched, EnergyIndustrial Modernisation and Agri-Food. The aim of these initiatives is to create support the generation of mature collaboration projects in new growth areas across the EU.

About the author

Kim is the Digital Communications Officer for the Smart Specialisation Hub.

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