Abstract In the frame of the Stairway to Excellence project, complex country analysis was performed for the EU MS that joined the EU since 2004, with the objective to assess and corroborate all the qualitative and quantitative data in drawing national/regional FP7 participation patterns, understand the push–pull factors for FP7/H2020 participation and the factors affecting the capacity to absorb cohesion policy funds. This report articulates analysis on selected aspects and country-tailored policy suggestions aiming to tackle the weaknesses identified in the analysis. The report complements the complex qualitative/ quantitative analysis performed by the IPTS/KfG/S2E team. In order to avoid duplication and cover all the elements required for a sound analysis, the report builds on analytical framework developed by IPTS.
Smart specialization strategies (RIS3) have exploded in number across Europe over the past couple of years, among others due to the European Commission’s sustained effort – both conceptual and at the level of policy – to push this notion forward. What lies beneath the spate of recent RIS3s, in terms of specialization options as well as of the processes through which the latter were reached, is only now beginning to be examined in depth. Notably, the Commission did not offer a proper blueprint for RIS3-making, but opted instead to suggest a wide range of possible instruments. Based on our experience with the Romanian strategy-building process, in this article we outline a foresight-based toolkit for smart specialization and entrepreneurial discovery, though we too stop short of proposing a detailed full-fledged blueprint.