SPI and Azores Regional Government joint efforts in the S3 Platform Seminar

27 July 2012

On 4th and 5th June 2012, in the wake of accession to the Azores S3 Platform of the European Commission, the seminar "Platform S3 - Towards Specialization Smart Strategies for Regions" was held in Ponta Delgada. This platform aims to further intelligent specialization strategies of states and regions, linked to innovation and competitiveness. 

The partnership between SPI and the Azores Government stems from the efforts of both entities towards the implementation of a strategy aiming at concentration of synergies in key areas of the region. Such a strategy will place it in a position of reference and/or highlight certain economic areas, in accordance with the concept of smart specialization.

In this workshop, the concepts of smart specialization were explained, with reference to their economic foundation along with regional experiences in the development of S3 strategies, and the issues and challenges in implementing such strategies. Also presented were strategies in preparation for the outermost regions of Cornwall, UK, and the regions of the union between the Canaries and the Azores. This last presentation was provided by Paul Menezes, Regional Director for Science, Technology and Communications of the Azores. 

At the end of the Seminar, the visit of two ongoing projects (EXPOLAB and NONAGON) in the region was highlighted. The first refers to a part of the network of science centers in the Azores, and the second to the future Science and Technology Park of San Miguel. There was also the opportunity to visit the Geothermal Installation of Ribeira Grande, since renewable energy is assumed as a key strategic area (given the specificity of soil formation in the Azores), and the Dairy Factory “Unileite”, which is developing several R&D projects in collaboration with university research centers. 

Among the participants at the seminar attended by over fifty experts, were representatives of several outermost regions, as well as other regions of Europe and European Commission experts and academics. 

Keynote speakers at the seminar stand included Michael Ralph, Director of the Director General for Regional Policy - Thematic Coordination General Directorate for Regional Policy European Commission, Philip McCann, Special Advisor to the Commissioner for Regional Policy and connected to the University of Groningen in Netherlands, Raquel Ortega-Argilés, co-author of the Guide for Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3) and member of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, and Ronald Hall, Director of the Directorate General for Regional Policy of the European Commission, without forgetting presentations made by the those from the Azores including Paulo Menezes and Jose Azevedo.