Vanguard Initiative – New growth by smart specialisation

As Scotland continues to seek out opportunities for EU engagement linked to innovation policy, 'Smart Specialisation Strategies' (or S3) are playing an increasingly important role. As part of this agenda, Scotland has joined a small group of EU regions in the "Vanguard Initiative", which brings together leading industrial regions in Europe to provide a positive impetus to interregional cooperation in order to shape the industry of the future.

The Initiative was launch at an event in Brussels on 8 November, entitled "Regions as motors of new growth through smart specialisation". The event was jointly hosted by Flanders and DG REGIO of the European Commission.

The ‘S3 Vanguard Regions’ initiative involves regions committed to promoting the value of the S3 agenda across the EU’s wider policy architecture for future growth. As a new initiative, its future role is still under development.

Roddy Macdonald, Head of Innovation, Investment and Industries at the Scottish Government, represented Scotland at the conference and noted:

"The Scottish Government is committed to working with other EU regions to ensure that Scotland plays a full part in shaping future European Union policies whilst at the same time grasping the existing opportunities that partnership working brings."

The attached brochure describes the initiative and the participating regions in more detail.