The BRIDGES project partners Regional Council of Kainuu (PP2/LP) and Regional Council of Helsinki-Uusimaa (PP4), have worked together to gain insights into the implications of interregional complementarities for their respective RIS3 and the place-based approach. The results of this effort are in an article, submitted to the forthcoming RSA event 2022 Regions in Recovery to the following conference/gateway theme: SS14. Top-down sectoral meets a bottom-up place-based perspective: love at first sight or a marriage of convenience? Organised by the Friends of Smart Specialisation (FoSS) (open session).  

This article argues that the place-based approach, one of the smart specialisation and regional innovation strategy (RIS3) concept pillars, requires re-interpretation to meet regional challenges relating, especially, to critical mass and innovation system potential. Such re-interpretation is facilitated by the systematic introduction, exploration, and integration of interregional complementarities into the RIS3 planning and delivery stages.

These arguments reflect the experience and lessons learnt so far from many initiatives, Interreg EU projects, networks, S3 partnerships, pilots and projects, in which the two partners have been /are involved either individually or jointly. After 2016, there is a densification of such initiatives. What is common to all of them is, on the one hand, the quest for improving the effectiveness of regional innovation systems & strategies either in relation to relevant forthcoming opportunities or challenged by regional barriers and gaps or weaknesses and, on the other hand, the acknowledgement of the importance of acting together with peer regions. This leads to question and look deeper into the place-based concept as a location-bounded approach, it’s re-interpretation and finally transformation.