The Basque smart specialization strategy has identified Biosciences-health, among other, as priority areas.
The Euskadi´s RIS3 is a strategy for the regional economic transformation that concentrate the available resources within a short number of R&D&i priorities. These priorities are opportunity niches where Euskadi have business and science-technological capacities. Three main areas are included into RIS3; a) advanced manufacturing, b) energy and c) biosciences-health.
Euskadi has launched the deliverance of RIS3 through the following 3 phases (Preparation and Approval, Implementation and Deployment-first part and Deployment-second part and Assessment). The creation of the Steering Groups is remarkable, they are composed by the administration, companies, clusters and scientific and technological agents to operationally boost the deployment.
The biosciencess-health priority works to generate wealth in Euskadi developing a sector of high added value that also benefits the health of people through:
• Strengthen the health system as support for the business sector and tractor new scientific-technological developments
• Consolidate value chains around healthcare products (including medical devices), new therapies and treatments, and health promotion.
The development of this sector is based on public-private collaboration, entrepreneurship, and open innovation. To lead its implementation, a Steering Group coordinated by the Ministry for Health has been created, which also contributes its Strategy for Research and Innovation in Health 2020.

Resources needed

The Basque Governments will mobilize 1.770 M€ along the 2017-2020 period (2017: 410,0 M€ and 2018:431,5 M€).

Evidence of success

The Steering Group defined 5 priority thematic areas of work (Neurosciences, Big Data, Personalized Medicine, Rare Diseases, Medical Device), 4 Strategic Initiatives (Baliosasun, Innosasun, Innovative Public Purchases and EIP-AHA (European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing)) and 2 cross-cutting areas, to concentrate capacities and boost business opportunities in the Basque industrial and service network. From 2014-2016 these groups boosted more than 140 R&D&I projects.

Difficulties encountered

Key challenges faced:
• SG Group is open access in order to guarantee the whole representation of ecosystem agent. But, the challenge is to get a whole representation of ecosystem.
• Channel RIS3 R&D&I aids to enterprises into an acceptable timeframe in order to be combined with private funds.

Potential for learning or transfer

Euskadi´s RIS3 plan is an excellence example of how to develop the RIS strategy. After the Steering Groups creation (biosciences-health priority) several goals have been achieved:
• They has been created as a “think tank” explicitly recognising the need to share knowhow and to develop collective intelligence that bridges the health system and the health-related business and research sectors.
• New possibilities have been found to transform some existing mature industries towards the health market.
• Some specific challenges identified after the SG work require the proactive involvement of different government departments and also explicit connections with other RIS3 priorities and opportunity niches. In other words, strengthen the net fostering the connection between other priorities in order to get new innovative value chains.
Main institution
Regional Government of País Vasco
País Vasco, Spain (España)
Start Date
January 2017
End Date


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