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Follow-up study on smart specialisation strategies in the EU


EU Commission





The priorities set in the context of smart specialisation in the EU between 2014 and 2020 demonstrate largely untapped potential for interregional cooperation. Furthermore, priorities in the respective innovation strategies have been examined, which has contributed to the green and digital transformation in the EU. These are exemplified in the findings of the study  “Analysis of key parameters of Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3),” which we prepared in partnership with CSIL for the European Commission.

A comparative overview of all smart specialisation strategies

The 185 smart specialisation strategies defined by the EU Member States and regions themselves generally benefit the EU. In addition to the contributions of the strategies to strengthen research and innovation in Europe, their priorities largely align with funding priorities of “Horizon 2020” and “Horizon Europe.”

The study further develops an approach that can be used to determine a “good smart specialisation strategy,”, which considers the technological capabilities and capacities of the respective regions. The study also provides guidance on how certain types of regions should approach the development of smart specialisation strategies.

The previous study presented the newly developed “S3 scoreboard,” which can be used to compare and evaluate smart specialisation strategies. This tool has now been developed further to include the comparative assessment of all smart specialisation strategies and the creation of a comparative map for all regions.

Our mission

The previous study “Prioritisation in Smart Specialisation Strategies in the EU examined the priorities that EU Member States and demonstrated how185 smart specialisation strategies were pursued in the respective regions. Together with CSIL, Prognos conducted detailed analyses on the various facets and prospects of these priorities, such as their usefulness to the European Commission’s other key priorities. The project team derived guidance from the results for the future alignment of priorities and smart specialisation strategies.

Our approach

A quantitative study design based on big data analysis was chosen to evaluate the key parameters of smart specialisation strategies. This analysis builds on the results and comprehensive database of the previous study, with the respective data based on the time period of 2014 to 2020. However, said data is also relevant for the current funding period from 2021 to 2027, since the overall setting of priorities in the various regions has not substantially changed.

Links and downloads

To the results (EU Commission website)

The previous study

Project team: Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer, Dr Georg Klose, Lennart Galdiga, Johanna Thierstein

Last update: 31.1.2023

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Jan-Philipp Kramer

Partner, Head of EU Services

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Lennart Galdiga


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Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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