More information about our Project!

TR3S is an interregional cooperation project for regional and local authorities and actors cofinanced by the EU Interreg IVC.   The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.

TR3S project deals directly with smart specialisation, which means identifying the unique characteristics and assets of each country and region, highlighting each region’s competitive advantages, and rallying regional stakeholders and resources around an excellence-driven vision of their future. It refers to the strengthening regional innovation systems, maximising knowledge flows and spreading the benefits of innovation throughout the entire regional economy. The project is built upon the regional strengths and seeks to fill the gaps for the effectiveness of theri regional development policies through mutual learning and exchange of experiences. TR3S partners illustrate the diverse EU innovation geography leading to fertile interregional cooperation. The project reinforces synergies and makes the whole value chain work in an effective manner and contributes to economic modernisation and increased competitiveness.

So it is all about learning what a country or region does best. It is an important concept for regional innovation policy as it provides a strategy for regions that takes into account their specific innovation assets.

Regions can – first of all – count on the S3 Platform whose main aim is giving them support for defining a Smart Specialisation Strategy.

The S3 Platform has released a very comprehensive guide (you can find it here), which is regularly updated with useful information concerning the Smart Specialisation Strategy. Furthermore, the S3 Platform organizes a series of events on this matter, among which the “Peer review” represents the choice for Regions to present their own Smart Specialisation Strategy and get feedback from other Regions as well as the S3 platform team.

The TR3S project has ten partners from nine European regions. The three-year project’s kick-off was in Bilbao at the end of March 2012.

More information about smart specialisation here.

Briefly about regional/ national RIS3 (Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation) targets:

  1. To make innovation a priority for all regions
  2. To focus investment and create synergies
  3. To improve the innovation process
  4. To improve governance and to get stakeholders more closely involved
  5. To develop and implement strategies for economic transformation
  6. To respond to economic and societal challenges
  7. To make regions more visible to international investors
  8. To improve a region’s internal and external connections
  9. To avoid overlaps and replication in development strategies
  10. To accumulate a ‘critical mass’ of resources

Source: Research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation.

TR3S will suggest future recipes for action and smart policy processes and schemes future-visioned in order to improve the effectiveness of regional policies, and ultimately, to contribute to the economic modernisation and increased competitiveness of Europe, spreading our results throughout the EU.

There will be five working cooking sessions planned throughout the project and will not only permit exchanging experiences among regions, but also serve to monitor and follow-up the regional thinking processes with the help of experts on the method suggested for that.

TR3S will also facilitate partnerships across regions, creating a collaborative and coordinated policy intelligence knot beyond institutional boundaries for innovative action.


Europe faces a moment of global transformation and must now take charge of its future. In the meantime, the world is moving fast and long-term challenges – globalisation, pressure on resources and ageing – intensify. To succeed Europe needs to act collectively as a Union. Regions need a strategy to come out stronger from the crisis, overcome structural weaknesses and contribute to turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy in accordance with the EU guidelines (e.g. Europe 2020 Strategy) to build a knowledge-based, low carbon economy with high employment levels. This calls for a deep analysis of regional capacities leading to the joint identification of the set of priorities on which stakeholders, regional innovation policies and investments should be focused in order to better position themselves in the knowledge economy.

Innovation is as relevant for lagging regions as for advanced regions, close to technology frontier. However, regional innovation policies have often demonstrated a lack of efficiency in identifying priorities for individual regions and forms of practical collaboration among them.  Thus more promising recipes & actions appear to be for TRES regions to jointly construct a strategic vision of their future that identifies how they should position themselves in the knowledge economy. It means finding out which R&D& innovation activities can best be developed competitively in the region concerned and then implementing the policies to pursue this vision. It is about regions trying to obtain an advantageous international positioning by differentiating and specialising and thus increasing diversity across Europe. It is not a simple industrial specialisation of a region in one sector, but it suggests specialising and long term investment in R&D& innovation in one or various specific sectors allowing the Buzz advantage. It is also about regions being capable of absorbing and making effective use of innovation, so that its benefits spread throughout the EU, helping maximise the Union’s knowledge based potential.


Lead partner:
Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation
Project Manager Ms Ezekiela Arrizabalaga
T 902 760 000 – T Div 902 760 008
T +34 946 430 850 (International calls)

Responsible for communication package:
The Baltic Institute of Finland
Project manager Ms Minna Säpyskä-Aalto
+358 50 587 0357

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