EURADA in cooperation with the Joint Research Centre organised a workshop to discuss how to update Smart Specialisation Strategies for the next multiannual financial period. Building on the experience of Northern Netherlands Provinces, Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire, Flanders, Wielkopolska, Valencian Community and Andalusia; we talked about the development of closer to reality indicators than the current ones, aligned with the needs of the Operational Programmes of the Cohesion Policy. The workshop aimed at the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027) but was also useful for comparing the upcoming measures with the lessons learnt since 2014.

During two days, regional economic development experts from different regions of preselected sample deliberated –with the participation of Christian Saublens (EURADA’s former director) and Mathieu Doussineau (JRC European Commission)–  practical aspects of indicators like gathering data, alignment with resultant indicators of cohesion operational programmes, comparison between different periods, consistency with planned interventions, coherence in the programmes’ design and so on. This debate helped to a mutual understanding of how the indicators are operationalised, how the regions face the data collecting and how to enhance both for future revisions. At the same time, this was a great opportunity to pool in order the different approaches the regions have when talking about monitoring and evaluating the strategies.

There are good perspectives for the future because Smart Specialization Strategies will have a central role; the strategies are going to become an enabling condition in the next programming period, which will imply a continuous revision of the priorities throughout the process. On the other hand, cross-border interregional initiatives for cooperation and research and innovation programmes – both of them based on Smart Specialisation – will play a key role during this time.