Go to main menu Go to search Go to main content Go to footer

European Commission offers support to setting-up and implementing smart specialisation strategies

By Other
Banner S3 CoP with red backgrouund

The European Commission supports regions and Member States with the fulfilment criteria and successful implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) through the newly launched S3 Community of Practice (S3 CoP). The S3 CoP Secretariat offers Targeted Support to interested EU regions with the aim of addressing the needs which arise when setting up or implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies.

Targeted Support activities to EU Regions are based on the principles of action-research, co-design and collaboration between DG REGIO, the S3 CoP Secretariat, the beneficiary region benefitting from the service and the assigned expert assigned. 

Targeted Assignments are demand-led to respond to the most pressing needs and demands of EU Regions on S3 design and implementation. Less developed EU regions, and regions with specific challenges, including demographic, geographic, green, digital or being stuck in a development trap, are prioritised.


The relevant authority in charge of managing S3 in the region (Regional and National Authorities, ERDF managing authorities) can submit an application online.


Open call with regular assessment (next cut-off date: end of March 2024

  • Within 1 month after the cut-off date: organisation of meetings to define the topics
  • 2 months after the cut-off date: launch of the Targeted Assignment
  • 20 expert days on the Assignment, timeline adapted to each case (between 3 and 6 months)

Progress chart of application process

Tentative examples of topics and methods

Assignments are tailored to the needs of the regions, the examples below are not exhaustive but offer an overview of the potential approach, topics and methods:

  • Support to Entrepreneurial Discovery Process:
    • Definition of a methodology and governance for continuous EDP, organisation of workshops with stakeholders
  • Strengthening Innovation Diffusion:
    • Analysis of the regional innovation ecosystem, identification of main actors and stakeholders, dissemination of a survey to analyze innovation diffusion among SMEs in a particular value chain, analysis of the results and production of recommendations
  • Support the development of synergies with national instruments in a specific priority area. 
  • Mapping potential demand and supply for technology transfer services
  • Analysis (based on action-research principles) of the available policy instruments to identify gaps (for instance, in terms of support by TRL)
  • Foresight scenario development in a particular value chain
  • Integration of higher education and vocational education in the S3 process.
  • In-depth participatory analysis of a specific policy instrument (i.e. innovation voucher, industrial PhDs, etc.)
  • Support the integration of clusters in Smart Specialisation
  • Support to the development of the monitoring system. 


Check out for more detailed information about the call. Interested authorities can apply via the dedicated survey.  

Support services
European Commission