Nowadays, European regions can contribute to the industrial innovation, competitiveness and internationalization of the European Union, through new ways of industrial innovation based in inter-regional cooperation, while promoting their own industrial specialization.

In this context, the main goal of this project is to develop and improve existing instruments and pubic policies that contribute to the implementation of new ways of industrial innovation, through an inter-regional collaboration (meaning the promotion of co-creation activities, exchange of experiences and regional innovation policy learning) between the project partners, taking into consideration the smart specialization strategy of each region.

In operational terms, this goal will be accomplished if the project delivers the following results:
• Development of an innovative interregional methodology that supports the interregional, co-specialization approach to smart specialisation, that contributes to the introduction of improvements in the current NORTE 2020 programme;
• Raise awareness on policy makers on how to better incorporate inter-regional collaboration in the current and future innovation public policy and instruments, as well as on the smart specialization strategy;
• Raise awareness on clusters and other innovation actors on how to better use the new inter-regional collaboration policy and instruments, as well as on the better exploration of synergies and complementarities.

ANI’s main activities

Under the S34Growth project, and taking into consideration the NORTE 2020 programme (that integrates a set of priorities and funding instruments addressing the main challenges and opportunities of Portugal’s Norte region), ANI’s aim is to support the demonstration, in real productive conditions, of results from previously concluded regional R&D projects, taking into account the region’s positioning as only a moderate innovative region and the growing need to integrate, test and demonstrate results from R&D projects in the region’s key smart specialization areas.

In this context, the challenge is to:

• Understand the reality of the region’s industrial development and its bet on innovation in terms of “demonstration projects”, this way promoting its optimization;
• Support innovative companies with “demonstration projects”, in order for them to transform the result of their research into innovative products and services.
• Acting as a driving force of the implementation of new public policy instruments that promote innovation in the region, as a result of the contact with the other project partners.


More information about the S34Growth project at

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Project partners

S34GROWTH project partners are pioneer regions in the establishment of the Vanguard Initiative, a new approach to European industry based on inter-regional cooperation, created in 2013.

Under the project, each partner chose a regional public policy instrument what wished to have it discussed, improved and disseminated as good practice. The partners are as follows:

•  The Baltic Institute of Finland (FI) – Finland’s structural funds program, Priority axis 2: Producing and using the latest knowledge and skills (ERDF) Specific objective 4.1: Developing research, competence and innovation clusters that draw from regional strengths

The Council of Tampere Region (FI) – Finland’s structural funds program, Priority axis 2: Producing and using the latest knowledge and skills (ERDF) Specific objective 4.1: Developing research, competence and innovation clusters that draw from regional strengths

Basque Government (ES) – Basque Country ERDF Operational Programme 20142020

Catalan Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCIO)- Government of Catalonia (ES) – The Research and Innovation Strategy for the Smart Specialisation of Catalonia (RIS3CAT). ERDF Operational Program of Catalonia 20142020 (Thematic Objective 1)

Flemish Government, Department Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) (BE) – Transformation, Innovation and Acceleration Fund (short TINA)

National Innovation Agency (PT) – NORTE 2020 – Demonstration Projects

AFIL – Intelligent Factory Lombardy Cluster (IT) – “Innovation Voucher”

Scottish Enterprise (UK) – Scottish ERDF Operational Programme

Region Skåne (SE) – Regional Structural Fund for Skåne-Blekinge

Brainport Development (NL) – OP South Netherlands

Province of Zuid-Holland (NL) – Kansen voor West 20142020 Operational Programme (West Netherlands)

About INTERREG Europe


INTERREG Europe, under which the S34Growth project is funded, is a European programme financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), whose main goal is to contribute to the improvement of the implementation of regional development programmes and policies. INTERREG Europe is about supporting the cooperation among regions, through a learning process in terms of public policies and the capitalisation of good practices in innovation.

The idea is to exchange experiences and ideas and find solutions that impact society, in order to improve the results investing in public funding for innovation, this way promoting the regions’ integrated and sustainable development.

This programme falls under 4 main areas:

• Research and innovation
• SME competitiveness
• Low-carbon economy
• Environment and resource efficiency

The S34Growth project falls under the “Research and Innovation” area of the INTERREG Europe programme. It began on the 1st of April 2016 and is due to finish on the 30th of March 2020. It has a total funding of € 2.226.996


More information about Interreg Europe at