We would like to invite you to an event on SMEs and Smart Specialisation. The event will inform on and discuss possibilities for SME involvement in smart specialisation strategy development (RIS3) and their implementation. The event will take place,

The 8th of November in Brussels, 9.30-16.30, at the centre Broschette - 36 rue Froissart - 1049 Brussels

Purpose of the event:

·        Participants will be informed about the governance aspects, in particular how SMEs/SME intermediaries can get involved in smart specialisation strategy development (RIS3) and their implementation

·        There will be discussion on the status of how SME representative organisations are being involved in RIS3 development/SF programming in EU 27.

·        Furthermore there will be information about smart specialisation and the related conditionality for future Structural Funds investments in research and innovation

·        This is an event to mobilise the "SME community" to get involved in smart specialisation strategy development, with expected outcomes of:

o       an UEAPME paper/report on SME involvement in RIS3 development, based on a questionnaire to be filled in by participants

o       an action plan for SME representative organisations' involvement in the RIS3 development process ("entrepreneurial discovery process")

o       encouragement of national SME representative organisations to organise national / regional seminars for SME involvement in RIS3/SF programming


9.30 – 10.30 Session I: Introduction to the Structural Funds, Smart Specialisation and SMEs

1. Introduction to the Structural Funds – what is it, who decides what, and how can SMEs benefit?  How will smart specialisation drive economic transformation in the future SF? Presentation by Katja Reppel, DG REGIO

2. How can SMEs act as change agents and support smart specialisation? Presentation by Christian Saublens, EURADA

3. Discussion

10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 12.30 Session II: The governance of RIS3

1. RIS3 conditionality and SF programming 2014-2020: stakeholder involvement and European Code of Conduct on Partnership. Presentation by Katja Reppel, DG REGIO

2. How are SMEs/SME representative organisations currently involved in RIS3 development/Strategic Framework programming across EU 27? Presentation by Gerhard Huemer, UEAPME

3. Discussion led by Xabier Goenaga, JRC-IPTS

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 – 15.30 Session III: Parallel case studies and action plan workshops

Workshop 1 - Lower Austria: This session begins with a case study of processes of SME involvement in RIS3 work in Lower Austria by Irma Priedl from the Regional Government of Lower Austria, with extensive experience in support to companies, innovation, R&D and technology transfer and regional innovation strategy development involving the dialogue science - companies and politics / administration.

Workshop 2 – Puglia, Italy: This session begins with a case study of SME involvement in Smart Specialisation processes in Puglia. Presentation by Anna Maria Zonno, expert at Puglia EU Liaison Office

Workshop 3 – Värmland, Sweden: This session begins with experiences from cluster work in Region Värmland Sweden with a particular focus on collaborative cross sectoral innovation policy processes. Presentation by Mats Williams, researcher on clusters from Stockholm School of Economics and previous cluster manager at Paper Province, Värmland Sweden

15.30 – 16.30 Session IV: Charting out an SME action plan for smart specialisation

16.30 Closing remarks

Languages: EN, FR, DE

The target audience of the event are SME organisations and representatives from regional and national agencies in charge of SME involvement in RIS3; due to logistical constrains and to ensure your participation, please register early. Here is the link to the Online Registration Form


Please note that while participation in the event is free of charge, participants are responsible for their own expenses as the European Commission will not reimburse any travel and/or accommodation costs.

Attached to this invitation is a questionnaire prepared by the UEAPME Study Unit on the involvement of SME Associations in the preparation and implementation of Cohesion Policy Programmes. We would like all participants and receivers of this invitation to fill this out. The answers to the questionnaire should be sent to theUEAPME Study Unit (email: ) before the 16th of October 2012.

Should you have any questions in relation to the event please contact the following email address: .