The research and innovation strategy for the smart specialisation of Catalonia.

February 2014.- The European Commission requires that smart specialisation be prerequisite to investment in research and innovation co-financed with European funds. The member states and regions have to detect their own potential and concentrate European funds in economic areas that truly have the capacity to transform their region. 

Within this framework, the Catalan Government has approved the RIS3CAT research and innovation strategy, aimed at ensuring that European Union co-financed research and innovation investments are turned into economic growth and jobs.

RIS3CAT:

  • It defines the playing field as it establishes that it is the economic players who determine the future specialisation in Catalonia.
  • It arises out of a wide analysis of the weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities of the Catalan economy (internationalised, highly focussed on exports and with a solid industrial and business ecosystem, and also established as a hub for knowledge and research) and a further analysis of sectors and technological capacities.
  • It focuses on three angles to successfully face the enormous social and economic challenges of the 21st century: the inheritance of the great Catalan industrial tradition and its key competitive factors (innovation, technology, design and education), people’s welfare (alimentation, health and lifestyle) and the role of R+D+I in this welfare, and the global challenges represented by climate change, human impact on the environment and dwindling resources.
  • It sees Catalonia in 2020 as being an industrially-based country, with an open, competitive and sustainable economy combining talent, creativity, a diversified business ecosystem and its own research system of excellence, all within a dynamic, entrepreneurial and inclusive society. Multinationals and local companies live together, and consolidated sectors with international leadership also cohabit alongside emerging technological sectors.

Strategic objectives:

  1. Strengthen the competitiveness of the business ecosystem by improving the efficiency of productive processes, internationalisation and redirecting of consolidated sectors towards activities with a greater added value.
  2. Boost new emerging economic activities with research, creativity and innovation in order to create and explore new market niches.
  3. Consolidate Catalonia as a European hub of knowledge and connect its technological and creative capacities with existing and emerging sectors.
  4. Globally improve the Catalan innovation system, strengthen company competitiveness (especially in small and medium sized firms) and focus pubic policy towards innovation, internationalisation and entrepreneurship.

Areas of activity:

  • Seven leading sector ambits that, due to their significance and potential, can act as key drivers for economic recuperation and the redirecting of the Catalan economy towards a more rational, sustainable and inclusive growth model.

    1. Agrofood industries
    2. Energy and natural resources
    3. Industrial systems 
    4. Design based industries
    5. Sustainable mobility 
    6. Health industries 
    7. Experience-based industries.
  • New economic opportunities in emerging areas, arising out of technological capacities and synergies between related sectorial ambits
  • Transversal facilitating technology that transforms the productive ecosystem.

    1. ICT (with microelectronics and Nano electronics) 
    2. Nanotechnology 
    3. Photonics 
    4. Advanced materials
    5. Biotechnology 
    6. Advanced manufacturing technologies
  • Improvement of the innovation ecosystem and strengthening of companies competitiveness towards boosting innovation, internationalisation and entrepreneurship.

Tools:

RIS3CAT also identifies tools and public policies. It combines consolidated and new R+D+I instruments.

  • RIS3CAT communities 
  • Support for emerging activities 
  • Support for the development of key technological capacities 
  • Research and technology transfer infrastructures 
  • Support for collaborative R+D projects 
  • Support tools for technology evaluation and transfer 
  • International agreements and collaboration in R+D and technology transfer 
  • Innovative public procurement 
  • Projects of territorial specialisation and competitiveness (PECT).

The implementation of the instruments is closely linked to the operational programmes of the European funds. The Catalan government will present RIS3CAT to the European Commission, and will elaborate the operational programmes of the European funds and define the RIS3CAT instruments together with the representatives of the research and innovation system, companies and the local administration. 

Catalonia will receive €1,980 M in European funds between 2014-2020, 44% more than in the previous period (2007-2013).


Catalonia will receive €1,980 M in European funds between 2014-2020, 44% more than in the previous period (2007-2013)

The member states and regions have to detect their own potential and concentrate European funds in economic areas that truly have the capacity to transform their region.

Catalonia in Business