During the current EU funding period, European regions have implemented various interregional activities in smart specialisation (S3) -focused projects financed by EU Interreg programmes aiming to strengthen interregional thematic partnerships. Simultaneously, the European Commission has launched several initiatives, such as ‘S3 thematic networks’ and the proposal of a new ‘interregional innovation investment’ funding instrument for the upcoming EU funding periods with the purpose to support development of interregional thematic value chains across Europe.

A new study “Smart Specialisation in the Baltic Sea Region – Learning towards Macro-regional Specialisation” was made by the Baltic Institute of Finland as part of the BSR S3 Ecosystem Platform project. The study is based on interviews with nine BSR regions that have been involved in Interreg projects related to S3: Central Finland, Hamburg, Helsinki-Uusimaa, Lithuania, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Päijät-Häme, Tampere Region, Trøndelag and Västerbotten. The study describes their regional approaches to smart specialisation, future plans, good practices and interregional activities tested in various S3 Interreg projects. The insights and case studies developed in this study aim to support Baltic Sea regions in improving overall capacity across the Baltic Sea Region for strategic thematic collaboration.

The study is available here.

Another report: “Value chain mapping in the Baltic Sea Region: Pilot exercise on circular bioeconomy” provides analytical insights on value chains in a selected focus area and fosters motivation for the mobilisation of BSR interregional effort in S3 collaboration. Value chain mapping is defined in the report as an analytical and visual tool that helps understanding how a particular innovation ecosystem is organised spatially, as well as size wise and direction wise.

The value chain mapping report is available here.