Smart Specialization Strategy (S3)

The Smart Specialization Strategy (S3) is a central pillar of the EU research & innovtion policy

CII is one of the main knowledge producers on S3

A recent article by Mora et al. (2019) on the current trends in scientific research on Smart Specialization positions our research group at the second place in Italy and the fifth in the EU as S3 knowledge producers.

For our recent publications on S3 go to the publications area or see the page on Researchgate.


The implementation of S3 requires EU regions to identify technological domains in which they are more likely to reach or maintain a competitive advantage, and then focus their investment and innovation policy in those domains. The concept of S3 is based on two fundamental ideas: a) that a region should avoid spreading investments across many different fields, but concentrate them in a few sectors or technological domains in which they can have a significant impact (specialisation); b) that those domains are not to be chosen because of their technological or market appeal but because they enhance or complement the research and productive assets already present in the region (smart). 

S3 is a major novetly for EU innovation policy. it also poses serveral challenges for its effective implementation.

The research activity in this area deals with the following issues:

- the analysis of the specialization domains chosen by EU regions

- relatedness and connectivity between technological domains both within and between regions

- the classification of technological domains