12 MAY 2021, from 16.00 to 18.00


Boosting innovation and facilitating the EU integration process to the Western Balkans: the case of Smart Specialisation Strategies as best practices supported by ADRION


  • Dimitris Corpakis, former EU official and Co-founder Friends of Smart Specialisation
  • Aleš Gnamuš, Senior Policy Analyst, Joint Research Center of the European Commission
  • Florensa Haxhi, Director for Development Programs & Program Manager for Regional Economic Area – Prime Minister’s Office, Albania
  • Viktor Nedovic, Director of Serbia Accelerating Innovation and Growth Entrepreneurship Project – Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia
  • Caterina Brancaleoni, Head of European Policy Coordination, planning, cooperation and evaluation Unit – DG Resources, Europe, Innovation and Institutions, Emilia-Romagna Region, Italy
  • Lodovico Gherardi, Coordinator of the Managing Authority Unit at Emilia-Romagna Region
  • Domagoj Saric, Croatian Chamber of Economy Sector for Industrial Development and Innovation System

Moderator: Lucia Seel, Member of the European Cluster Expert Group of the European Commission

Non-EU Member countries must comply with a full package of measures to align with EU standards and regulations which include 35 different policy fields. Among them, science and research as well as regional policy & coordination of structural instruments are the most relevant ones to allow for the development of the so called “Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3)”. Smart Specialisation strategies are an expression of sound innovation policies and inherently they can be drivers for the improvement of countries’ innovation ecosystems. Bringing together EU and non-EU member states through collaboration among regions is crucial for the implementation of the smart specialisation strategies. Through sharing knowledge, coordinating, and exploiting synergies, S3 cooperation may increase the chances to gain access to wider business and knowledge networks, get additional research capacity and expand business opportunities.

In 2018, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) started a programme named “the Sofia process”, aiming at making smart specialisation and technology transfer important tools to promote transnational cooperation. This seminar wishes to continue the dialogue and the set of initiatives initiated through the Sofia Process. The aim is to show how EU and non-EU countries have aligned their S3s and inform about outstanding examples of ADRION funded projects and their outcomes around Blue and Smart related growth.

Have a look at the event’s presentations on the EUSAIR website: