How to unlock potential EU partnerships offer – workbook introducing S3 platforms


While there is plenty of information available in English on the partnership opportunities created with the regional smart specialisation approach, the comprehensive information in Finnish has been lacking so far. Therefore, the RIS Boost project run by the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council decided upon publishing a workbook. The book was published at the Final Webinar of the project on Wednesday 10 February and it can be found on our website.

The EU boosts innovation capacity and competitiveness of its regions in various ways

One important idea is to support regions in identifying their own strengths and potential for interregional cooperation. This is the essence of smart specialization. It is a place-based approach characterised by the identification of strategic areas for intervention in the region, written down as regional smart specialization strategies (shortened as S3).

“While smart specialization strategies are based on the specific needs of the region, the goal is to encourage regions to cooperate with other European regions interested in the same themes and in this way give its contribution to new European value chains”, says Senior Adviser Venla Virkamäki from the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.

To support these goals, starting in 2015, the European Commission services launched three thematic smart specialisation (S3) platforms related to Agri-Food, Energy and Industrial Modernisation. S3 platforms offer different stakeholders possibilities for competence development, cooperation, business growth and routes to new markets.

The workbook explains clearly what S3 platforms and partnerships are about. It also offers different stakeholders a possibility to analyse the needs, wishes and capacities of their own organisations for entering a S3 partnership. Well put questions will guide readers to understand what they could benefit, what they can expect and what they should be ready to invest in when it comes to these partnerships.

Support to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the region

The Ris Boost project aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in the Helsinki-Uusimaa region in the context of our smart specialisation strategy. The project started in 2019 and  will end in February 2021.

“During this project, the international activities and the international networks of our regional stakeholders were analyzed, several capacity building webinars were organised, as well as workshops to develop an understanding of the implementation of our RIS3 strategy”, tells Project Manager Emma-Leena Kemppainen.

The final webinar of the project compiled all different aspects – while the benefits of the platforms and partnerships were thoroughly analysed by our speakers and panelist, participants were also offered practical tips on how to use storytelling in finding new networks.

The RIS Boost project and the publication of the S3 workbook received funding from the Finnish Structural Funds’ program Sustainable Growth and Jobs 2014–2020.

Read more about the RIS Boost project (in Finnish)

Read more about the S3 platform

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