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    The Southern Regional Assembly is the Irish Partner on COHES3ION, an interregional project which aims at improving the PERFORMANCE and IMPACT of SMART SPECIALISATION STRATEGY (S3) and linked ERDF Regional Operational Programmes, in terms of delivery of innovation by Research & Innovation (R&I) actors. This will be achieved through integration of the regional dimension into S3 governance and policy mix, contributing additionally to regional cohesion in terms of Growth and Jobs.

    The Regional Assembly is partnered with 9 other regions in Spain, Italy, Romania, Germany, Sweden, Poland and Wales. The project started in August 2019 and will run for 3 years with a total budget of €1,874,632.

    The partners have varying levels of S3 maturity, areas of concern, and solutions, in the S3 GOVERNANCE & POLICY MIX field and are joining forces in their shared common challenge of aligning S3 to all territorial levels with 2 aims:

    SMART PRIORITIES: Identification of complementarities and synergies between the different levels, in terms of priority or niche opportunities, allowing for the farther specialization of specific territories (region, county, city, metropolis level);

    GOVERNANCE: Coordination of innovation support players promoting the mobilization of stakeholders and delivering innovation support services all along the territory.


    • Development of 8 Smart Territorial Maps
    • Identification and exchange of 20 good practices in 3 focus areas
    • Holding of 41 policy learning events with more than 240 stakeholders
    • Engagement of 8 Stakeholders Groups throughout the exchange and strategic thinking process
    • 8 Regional Action Plans, aiming at the improvement of regional S3 Governance and/or the development of new sub-regional S3
    • Issue of Recommendations for the mainstreaming of the territorial dimension into ERDF OPs, S3 and other regional policies


    COHES3ION will run over two phases:

    • Phase 1: Aug 2019- Jul 2021: Sharing of knowledge and experience with local stakeholders and interregional partners to develop Regional Action Plans
    • Phase 2: Aug 2021-Jul 2022: Implementation and monitoring of Regional Action Plans

    The COHES3ION project is funded by the Interreg Europe Programme 2014-2020 through the European Regional Development Fund. 

    For further information please see contact Karen Coughlan