Developing synergies between Joint Undertakings and ESIF for optimising RIS3 implementation ǀ Brussels, Belgium

07 March 2018
European Committee of the Regions, Rue Belliard 99-101, Brussels

Joint Undertakings (JUs) were established for the efficient execution of EU research, technological development and demonstration programmes, as well as setting up, in particular, public-private partnership bodies to integrate industrial research in specific areas. JUs adopt their own research agendas and award funding mainly on the basis of open calls for proposals. The main actors and members of the JUs are typically industry, the European Commission and other bodies (e.g. regional governments). Most of the existing JUs were established under FP7, and will continue beyond 2020, as will as the new JUs set up under H2020, including Bio-based Industries (BBI).

Many regions started collaboration with the JUs not only through participation in their FP7 or H2020 calls but also by signing Memoranda of Understanding. Most of the regions signing these kinds of agreements have also indicated the specific priority areas in their research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) which correspond with the areas of operation of the specific JU (e.g. aerospace, aviation's, fuel cells, energy, bio-economy etc.). In theory such collaborations should bring benefits for the JU and the region. These include:

For the Joint Undertakings:
•    Contribution of national and regional programmes to the research agenda of the JUs
•    Increasing the critical mass and investment in the topic of the JU
•    Increasing the number of partners

For regions and their ESIF managing authorities:
•    Access to a European-wide network of excellent partners
•    Access to open calls
•    Using ESIF in a complementary way to the research agenda of JUs and for building local capacity with the aim of increasing the participation of certain regions in competitive calls
•    Focus local investments in areas that fit into international value chains

However, the modes of collaboration differ between JUs and there is a need to better understand the mechanisms employed to achieve such collaborations, the actual benefits and what can be learnt from the experience so far. To further such understanding, based on recent experience of collaborative activities, the DG JRC is organising a workshop with the European Committee of Regions, three JUs (Cleansky JU, FCH JU and BBI JU) and with a number of regional and national ESIF managing authorities to promote collaboration in support of RIS3 implementation. The organisation of this workshop is particularly pertinent, as JUs such as Cleansky are already at a more advanced stage of engagement with regions.

The principal objectives of the event are:
•    To bring together  JUs with relevant regional stakeholders from the EU28
•    Presentation of the methodology and implementation of the regions' engagement by 3 JUs to better understand their mechanisms and their way of working (particular focus will be put on creating the synergies between funds, stakeholder engagement, etc.
•    Presentation of good practices and specific challenges by regions from EU15 and EU13 (with a special emphasis on barriers, obstacles, opportunities, areas for improvement etc.), identifying common bottlenecks for such collaborations
•    Peer-learning (between regions, between JUs), identifying good practices for establishing and implementing such collaborations
•    Matchmaking – round tables / networking