Learning Among Regions on Smart Specialisation

October 2017 -
March 2021


Policy area:
1. Innovation 1.2 Smart specialisation


The project attempts to help the public sector in leading smart specialisation processes in their regions and to connect innovation networks across regions. It helps find solutions tackling the fragmentation of regional systems of innovation looking for entrepreneurial discoveries within such topics as blue growth, bio and circular economy, advanced production methods and technologies for energy efficiency.




The global value chains and increased sophistication of production constitute a large challenge for regional development efforts. There is a need to learn and up-grade the level of policy intervention. The point of departure for this in the LARS project is that regional innovation systems are different but may learn from each other through transnational learning and exploiting the complementarities. It has also been suggested that collaboration between smart specialized regions could form the base for macro regional strategies.


The project materializes in six steps:

  • Mapping of strategies in order to select the final intervention areas;
  • Triple-helix gap analysis with the purpose of finding deficiencies and also good cases of innovation network functioning;
  • Matching partners in transfer network based on the “good” and “bad” practices;
  • Learning on the transfers, essentially an innovation context analysis;
  • Piloting new activities in the regions with the purpose of improving the innovation networks;
  • Communicating the findings with a view on the wider implications of the project.

Partners involved

The consortium behind LARS consists of partners from Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Finland, constituting mostly of authorities with a substantial experience as implementers of EU-regional policies but also of research institutions with research and advisory experience in the field.

Highlights by mid-term:

The LARS project partners selected the value chains out of the already existing or emerging ones that play a vital role in the process of the smart specialisation strategies (RIS3) implementation in their regions, analysed those value chains as well as their relevant stakeholders.

The project partners accomplished a gap-analysis in all participating regions to investigate the bottlenecks in the regional processes of the RIS3 implementation. More than 100 interviews with representatives of the selected companies, public authorities, universities and NGOs were taken; a survey on connectivity and functionality of existing innovation networks was conducted and focus group meetings were organised to verify and discuss the collected findings through structured dialogues. Based on the gathered information, the project produced a report “Revealing the innovation potential in the Baltic Sea region: a comparative analysis”. The report presents a selection criteria for good practices in regional innovation policies, which can be used as one input by LARS partners when selecting good practices in the processes of the RIS3 implementation. Based on the selected good practices, and matching them, LARS partners plan pilots that will be implemented at the later stage of the project implementation


Follow-up activities

LARS is followed up by the project GRETA.




€ 1.65
€ 1.14
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.09


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Project manager

Regional Council of Ostrobothia

Jerker Johnson

+35 863 206 564

Legal representative

Regional Council of Ostrobothnia

Kaj Suomela


Financial manager

Regional Council of Ostrobothnia

Margot From


Communication manager

Regional Council of Ostrobothia

Jerker Johnson

35 863 206 564