Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) 

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Drawing up the national and regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation comprised a key factor in the development planning of the period 2014-2020.

The Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) is an integrated, region specific economic transformation agenda, which:

  • focuses policy support and investments on key national/regional priorities, challenges and needs for knowledge-based development;

  • builds on each country/region’s strengths, competitive advantages and potential for excellence;

  • supports technological as well as practice-based innovation and aims to stimulate private sector investment;

  • ensures the full involvement of stakeholders and encourages innovation and experimentation;

  • is evidence-based and includes a sound monitoring and evaluation system.

A key procedure in setting priorities for a research and innovation strategy for smart specialisation and hence an essential element in its successful design is the entrepreneurial discovery process.

The entrepreneurial discovery process uses the business knowledge existing in a country/region adopting an entrepreneurial approach in the sense of focusing on market opportunities, diversification with respect to other countries/regions, risk taking (and management) and seeking alliances for optimizing access to resources and their use (natural, financial and intellectual resources, market knowledge, etc.). This means that the policy making bodies will have to engage all stakeholders in the area of innovation (businesses, technology and competence centres, Universities and public bodies, scientific and technological parks, business angels and venture capitalists, civil society etc.) in an entrepreneurial process for designing the smart specialisation strategy.

Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation in Greece

In Greece, one national and 13 regional research and innovation strategies for smart specialization were implemented. The national strategy was drawn up by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) of the Ministry for Education, Research and Religious Affairs, whilst each Region was responsible for preparing its own strategy. The Special Service for Strategy, Planning and Evaluation (EYSSA) of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism coordinated the entire process.

In the framework of preparing these strategies, Greece and its Regions had to identify those activities in which they have or are able to create advantages and to focus available resources and efforts on them, so as to enable the achievement of important development results.

The investigation made during the preparation of the National Strategy resulted in the identification of eight sectors, in which research and innovation could contribute to developing an important competitive edge, whilst the critical mass and excellence of the research potential were also taken into account.

These sectors are the following:

  • Agri-food
  • Health - medicines
  • ICT
  • Energy
  • Environment and sustainable development
  • Transport
  • Materials - construction
  • Tourism – Culture – Creative industries

In order to implement the entrepreneurial discovery process, on a national level, the GSRT created an innovation platform for each of the above sectors.

Key elements of the National Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation

The purpose of the National Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) is the focused productive reconstruction of Greece underpinned chiefly by research, technological development and innovation to redress regional inequalities and to foster sustainable employment with respect to humans and society, the environment and culture. Moreover, the smart specialization strategy is expected to contribute to the creation of stable employment relationships and, generally, in creating suitable conditions for the efficient use of national human resources.

The Strategy is structured based on three strategic choices and four priority axes that cut across the strategic choices, as seen in the following table, which presents the Strategy's intervention categories.

 RIS3 strategic choices

The National Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation outlines its governance strategy.

The following bodies have decisive competences:

  • The Council for the Smart Specialisation Strategy consists of the representatives of the Ministries (at a Secretaries General level) directly involved in the design and application of the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation, as well as the Association of the Greek Regions. The Council coordinator may invite other central administration and/or regional level bodies to participate in the Council. The Council for the Strategy makes proposals on the approval, monitoring and revision of the strategy to the Ministers of Economy, Development and Tourism and Education, Research and Religious Affairs. The Council is coordinated by the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism. The Council for the Smart Specialisation Strategy has been established by virtue of JMD 76201/EYSSA 1700/17.7.2015, which sets out its composition and competences. It convened for the first time on July 29th, 2015 and reached the unanimous decision to propose to the competent Ministers the approval of the National Smart Specialisation Strategy.

  • The Regional Councils in the 13 Regions of Greece reach decisions on the regional smart specialisation strategy. The above bodies are assisted in their work by the Regional Research and Innovation Councils.


Last modification date: 19/02/2016