The first period of the INTERREG VB Alpine Space project S3-4AlpClusters has been mainly concerned with the role of clusters in the implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategies (S3) of the 11 participating regions. The first activities of the project aimed at getting a deeper understanding of the regional S3 and related policymaking within the partner regions and initiating mutual policy learning. Led by the lead partner HES-SO//FR HEIA-FR, Fribourg and the work package leaders VDI/VDE GmbH, Berlin and Anteja ECG, Ljubljana, a StressTest report on the role of clusters in the implementation process of S3 was produced for each participating region based on an online survey of the regional stakeholders, consisting inter alia of regional clusters and policymakers concerned with regional development and innovation policy. Drawing on these results, the policy implications were summarized in an additional policy report. Furthermore, an ongoing series of Entrepreneurial Discovery Workshops was launched under the lead of Dominique Foray (EPFL), Gerd Meier zu Köcker (VDI/VDE GmbH) and Michael Keller (HES-SO//FR HEIA-FR), where new ideas for Smart Specialization are being discussed in the participating regions in a bottom-up approach involving participants from regional firms, clusters, policymakers and representatives of the regional research and innovation-system. The results of the first workshops nourished the further analysis of the opportunities represented by synergies in regional S3, which were summarized in a report on strategic Alpine Space topics for interregional cooperation. The achieved results can be downloaded from the project website and will be a keystone for the elaboration of a joint transnational cluster action plan and a fully synchronized scheme, scheduled to be published in autumn. In addition to the publication of these first reports, the project regularly updated its stakeholders and the public through press releases and short films on its Youtube channel.

First results: download here.