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Smart specialisation post-2020 and interregional innovation investments

The development of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) is an innovative approach that aims to boost growth and jobs in Europe, by enabling regions to identify and develop their own competitive advantages, to define their innovation strategy and to prioritise R&I investments. It is based on the analysis of local competitive strengths and economy potential, together with an Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (learning process to select R&D&I as well as non-technological activities in which a region can hope to excel).
S3 is a bottom-up approach that brings together local authorities, academia, business spheres and the civil society. S3 are funding precondition for the support by EU funds under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 40 b€ are available between 2014-2020 from the ERDF for the implementation of S3 at national and regional level, 65 b€ including co-financing.

The EC established the "S3 Platform", in order to assist regional and national authorities in developing and implementing their S3. It facilitates mutual learning, data gathering (e.g. guidance material and good practice examples), analysis, training and networking opportunities.

Three Thematic Smart Specialisation Platforms (TSSP) have also been created (DGs concerned: REGIO, GROW, AGRI, ENER, JRC): Industrial modernisation, Energy and Agri-food. They enable participating regions with similar smart specialisation priorities to join forces and resources (testing facilities, pilot plants, data centres, Fab-Labs, etc.). The aim is also to create an interregional investment pipeline of mature projects (TRL > 6) in new growth areas across the EU. It involves synergies between different EU instruments: ESI funds, the Investment Plan, Horizon 2020, COSME.

In the frame of those platforms were launched 8 thematic areas. Among them, the "Sustainable Buildings Partnership" thematic area, coordinated by Andalusia (Spain) under the TSSP for Energy, focuses on eco-construction, bioclimatism, insulation, systems of maximum energy efficiency in buildings and cities, and renewable energy integration in buildings. It initiated the Smart Campus Pilot Project which was selected in a call  by the EC for interregional pilot actions to help the scaling up of interregional projects. It is led by the Andalusian Energy Agency (Spain) and Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (Italy) and gathering, among others, 6 regional public authorities, 6 universities, 8 private companies or clusters and end-users’ representatives from different countries. Its global objective is to improve the energy efficiency of University Campuses. (The Lappeenranta University of Technology (Finland) is one example of Smart Campus pilot project. Between 2012 and 2016, it saved 26% on heat energy, 33% on water consumption and 24% on purchased electricity.)

All those actors realize survey activities, develop and test new technologies, share experiences, draw business plans etc., in order to drive the transition of technological solutions to the market. Three of those solutions have succeeded so far:

  • Intelligent control management of electrical energy consumption and local information by smart plugs
  • Real-time control and monitoring of electrical distribution grid
  • Smart Fancoil and Indoor Quality through IoT system.

The fiches of these technologies are available <link file:1522 _blank download file>here. The coordinators of Smart Campus are interested in capitalising on these 3 systems. This could be through their installation in other pilot sites (i.e. campuses), or through their promotion/commercialisation at a local, national or international scale.

For further information about the Sustainable Buildings Partnership, Smart Campus (see presentation here) or to manifest interest in joining the project, please contact:

Source: European Commission DG REGIO © European Union, 1995-2019 & Andalusian Energy Agency