Getting started with the RIS3 key - S3 Smart Specialisation Strategies

The RIS3 KEY for self-assessment was developed by Joanneum Research Graz, in co-operation with and funded by BMWF, in the context of project “Drafting and Implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies” (2011-12) launched by the OECD Working Group on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP). The RIS3 KEY is committed to practical use. Please contact the authors for other language versions or should you wish to translate the RIS3 KEY for local use.

1. Getting started

1.1 What is Smart Specialisation?

The concept of smart specialisation can be defined as “an entrepreneurial process of discovery, identifying where a region can benefit from specialising in a particular area of science and technology”. The European Commission suggests that the development of smart specialisation strategies should aim at concentrating resources on the most promising areas of regional comparative advantage, e.g. on clusters, existing sectors and cross-sectoral activities, eco-innovation, high value-added markets or specific research areas. Thus, the concept calls for focusing on resources, singling out competitive advantages and aligning regional stakeholders and resources around a sound vision for the future.

1.2 What is a RIS3 Strategy?

A RIS3 Strategy puts the concept of smart specialisation into practice. As the RIS3 GUIDE highlights, designing a research and innovation strategy for smart specialisation – a RIS3 – starts with the adoption of a shared vision for the transformation of the regional economy towards a more competitive and more sustainable one in a long-term perspective. The core of this design process lies in the definition of priorities for knowledge-based economic development, identified on the basis of the region’s unique strengths and potentials.

1.3 How can the RIS3 KEY for Self-Assessment help you to prepare your RIS3 Strategy?

The RIS3 KEY is a well-grounded and easy to use tool to unlock the idea of smart specialisation for regions, and to mobilise the regional stakeholders for the strategy process. It helps regions to approach their RIS3 Strategies by stimulating communication and permitting a quick first assessment of their status and potential that is needed to prepare a SWOT analysis as described in the European Commission’s RIS3 GUIDE. It provides four sets of complementary questions that are addressing all relevant dimensions of a region ready and willing to start or improve their RIS3 development process.
Accordingly, the following dimensions can be assessed: the enterprise sector, the science / knowledge & creative sector, the government sector and the regional innovation system as a whole – covering interactions between all three sectors.
The RIS3 self-assessment KEY will help your region to prepare further steps on the way to smart specialisation by identifying existing strengths and potentials for future development efforts, spotting remaining gaps and bottlenecks in the regional innovation system, mobilising the relevant institutions and actors to be involved in the RIS3 development process, and by defining possible starting points for your RIS3 development process. [...]

Read more in the document attached!

Document type
  • Other


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
  • International; Other
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on July 3, 2012
Modified on July 3, 2012