The overall objective of the BRIDGES project is to significantly improve partner regions’ RIS3 implementation governance and the delivery of the structural funds; to benefit from policy learning and enhance industry-led Centres of Competence (CC) as RIS3 implementation units. The industry-led focus is Bioeconomy, an industry common to partners’ RIS3.  BRIDGES partnerships are from Finland, Greece, Spain, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. It combines RIS3 diversification and specialization in these regions, contributing to the achievement of the objectives in a complementary and synergetic way. BRIDGES regions face challenges deriving from the effectiveness of their RIS3 implementation. In some cases, challenges relate to the process of valorizing research results, while in other cases to the transformation and renewal of regional economies.

The overarching improvement need is for better RIS3 implementation governance, to deal with:

1) relatively weak impact of RIS3 on growth, jobs and regional economy renewal (linked to low upscale investments, research excellence absorptiveness, and exploitation of related variety potential),

2) mismatches between RIS3 productive and RDI bases,

3) distance from and better exploitation of research excellence as a path to further specialization,

4) restricted resources towards RIS3 impact.

BRIDGES wants to primarily break the vicious circle of regional lock-ins, dominant in less advanced regions, and restricting the RIS3 impact. By addressing knowledge asymmetries through networked solutions it also contributes to the uptake of commercially unexplored excellence results of the more advanced regions. Thus the RIS3 performance is improved in both types of regions. Furthermore, awareness, methodological and resource gaps between advanced and less advanced regions are bridged, concretely and for the long run. This creates upscaled sources of increasing returns for all the regions.