Cross-Border Smart Specialisation Strategy of Galicia – Northern Portugal (RIS3T)
In order for regions to be globally competitive today, their smart specialization strategies cannot be established with an approach limited to just one particular region. The grouping of objectives accentuates the need for creating greater external dynamics by coordinating and making the most of synergies with the policy initiatives, instruments and infrastructures in other regions. To that effect, trans-regional collaboration is a central aspect and a challenge for smart specialization, particularly for neighbouring regions with a cross-border dimension. The Smart Specialization Strategy of Galicia and Northern Portugal (RIS3T) is the first cross-border RIS in the EU. Its main objective is to generate economic knowledge, quality employment and social welfare by jointly promoting strengths and common challenges. Thus, the RIS3T aims to boost the participation of the euro-region in European calls for inter-territorial cooperation and constitutes a framework to launch coordinated actions and projects capable of competing with greater success in attracting funding from the H2020. The design of the Strategy was coordinated by each side of the border, by the Galician Innovation Agency (GAIN) and the Regional Coordination and Development Commission of the North (CCDRN).

Resources needed

The RIS3T begun with the creation of the cross-border Work Group with representatives from GAIN and CCDRN. Currently, there's a Steering Committee (political representatives from both regions), a Management Team (responsible the implementation of the strategy) and several Working Groups.

Evidence of success

The RIS3T is the 1st cross-border RIS3 in the EU and translates in more than 1 year of joint work between 2 EU regions. During this year, several collaborative tools were implemented that supported the process and more than 200 agents of the Euro-region’s innovation system participated in this cross-border exercise. The 1st effective application of the RIS3T was the fact that R&D&i projects applying to POCTEP (Interreg Spain-Portugal) should align with the RIS3T.

Potential for learning or transfer

This practice is potentially interesting for other regions to learn from since the RIS3T collected synergies from both RIS3 regions of the Northern Portugal and Galicia and tried to identify common goals to both regions. This can be done at a cross-border level in several between several other regions in Europe.

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Main institution
ANI - Portuguese National Innovation Agency
Norte, Portugal
Start Date
July 2014
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Luis Teixeira

Universidade Catolica Portuguesa