About the conference

Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) Conference 2023: 30 March 2023, Brussels, Belgium
Official launch of the S3 Community of Practice (S3 CoP)

The S3 Conference 2023 is the first in a series of events that the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy is organising for S3 stakeholders from across regions in EU Member States. The conference will be opened by the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.

The event brings together speakers from the European Commission, managing authorities and governmental bodies implementing smart specialisation strategies, coordinators for granted projects under the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument, S3 experts, and the OECD.

Conceived under the Cohesion Policy of the European Commission, the Smart Specialisation approach helps regions to target their support to research and innovation on carefully defined “priority areas” that reflect the strengths and assets of the regions. This includes in particular financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Smart Specialisation Strategies support knowledge-based regional development, and strengthens the integration of regional economies into European value chains.

The S3 Conference is the launch event for the S3 Community of Practice, DG REGIO’s major source of support for S3 implementation. This is a very timely moment, as the operationalisation of the EU Cohesion Policy for the 2021-2027 period is still in the early stages and the emphasis now will be on putting smart specialisation strategies into practice and delivering the necessary investments.

The S3 Conference will offer participants the chance to engage in interactive sessions showcasing the role of S3 in fostering innovation and driving local economic development in alignment with EU priorities.

Towards that objective, the S3 Conference will put a spotlight on:

  • the support provided by the new S3 CoP, such as working groups, expert groups, targeted support activities as well as event and online tools;

  • a policy debate on win-win opportunities for local economic development and EU priorities from experts and regional practitioners;

  • interesting complementary initiatives that foster interregional cooperation and innovation investments such as the I3 Instrument and the European Innovation Ecosystems. Furthermore, DG REGIO ongoing work with the OECD shows how foreign direct investment can support local SMEs ecosystems.

Programme of the S3 Conference

Please see the detailed programme here.

Additional Information

The 1st S3 Conference is a full-day online event to be broadcast live from a Brussels-based studio. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions using interactive tools.

Subsequent major events in person and in EU regions will follow this conference. The next one is scheduled for November 2023.

Join us to discover what’s next in Smart Specialisation on 30 March at the S3 Conference!

The S3 CoP is open to all practitioners and anyone interested in S3.

Let’s establish and develop the S3 Community of Practice!