The Smart Specialisation Strategy, how Materahub gets into action!

The Smart Specialisation Strategy: how Materahub gets into action!

Raffaele Vitulli, co-founder and President of the Cluster Basilicata Creativa explains how Materahub works locally and supports the Region Basilicata in the construction of a creative-based innovation ecosystem.

In 2018, when the European Commission was stimulating the launch of new regional innovation clusters within the upcoming Cohesion Policy program (2021-2027), Materahub drove the foundation of Basilicata Creativa: one of the few European clusters gathering together Cultural and Creative Industries to stimulate territorial innovation.

As a non-political organization, Materahub has supported the Region Basilicata in such a journey by transferring locally the results of its experimentation and the European vision for an innovation ecosystem rooted in the Cultural and Creative Sector.

What is the Smart Specialization Strategy?

Conceived within the reformed Cohesion policy of the European Commission, the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) is a regional vision-driven economic agenda aimed at systemising research, policies and investments in order to develop productive areas of excellence. De facto, the drafting of the S3 trajectories calls upon Regions to make a choice of positioning and to define a pathway to connect the research with the productive and social system.

It is absolutely crucial to understand that the Smart Specialisation Strategy is a place-based approach, meaning that it builds on the assets and resources available to regions and Member States, but also on their specific socio-economic challenges in order to identify unique opportunities for development and growth.

To build relationships with other European regions and identify which of them invest in the sectors that interest you most, we recommend searching the official database called EYE@RIS3.

In this context, driven by the experience and investments made for Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, the Region Basilicata decided to continue to plunge into the cultural and creative sector as an innovation and development strategy.

Who is there in the S3 ecosystem?

The (S3) approach offers an environment for increasing interaction and cooperation between different players both at local, regional, national and international level. The European Commission, in agreement with the Member States, has fostered the emergence of different types of organisations to mediate between research and business centres, enabling smaller companies in particular to access larger projects and more advanced technologies in an ecosystemic approach.

On the basis of the regional peculiarities and S3 objectives, throughout Europe consortia and thematic clusters have sprung up to foster investments in innovation and research – this is exactly how and why the cluster Basilicata Creative was created.

What is the role of Materahub in this?

As already mentioned, in 2018, Materahub drove the foundation of Basilicata Creativa, the innovation cluster of cultural and creative industries of the Basilicata Region. The association includes the most important Italian research organisations, such as the CNR (National Research Council), ENEA (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), together with the University of Basilicata and more than 70 companies operating in the cultural and creative industries sectors (ITC, Communication, Gaming, Cultural Heritage Management and Recovery, Publishing, Cultural Services, Performing Arts and Entertainment, etc.).

Materahub and Basilicata Creativa are also supporting the Basilicata Region in defining the new S3 trajectories for the area Culture and Tourism.

We have proposed new development trajectories for the future S3 in Basilicata, which can foster the use of emerging technologies in the core sectors of heritage and culture, but which can also favour the experimentation of new media content thanks to artificial intelligence and mixed reality technologies, new social paradigms and new processes for involving local communities. Here is our proposal in detail, hoping it may be useful for common reflections

Trajectories 2021 - 2027

1.
Emerging technologies and innovative approaches for the protection, conservation and manamenget of tangible and intangible heritage (use of environmentally susitainable materialas and practices; integration of data and heritage monitoring systems, espiacially in regards to environmental casualties and risks.

Challenges

1.
Supporting territories in the recovery, diagnostics and planned maintenance of regional architectural and archaeological heritage, also through microclimate monitoring and other types of predictive models

2.
Supporting territories in smart monitoring, diagnostics and intelligent management of cultural sites and attractions, also with a view to energy saving

3.
Supporting territories in the smart management of visitor flows, to guarantee safety and a more effective quality of tourist and cultural services, also through emerging technologies

4.
Support private individuals and PA in the innovative and sustainable management of cultural events and initiatives

5.
Supporting the introduction of new tourist experiences in the territorial offer, also through the use of emerging technologies for fruition, increasing tourist/cultural services, also through the use of inovative technologies and human-centred approaches

6.
Supporting territories in the introduction of new processes and tools for the acquisition of three-dimensional models, mapping and information related to the environment, climate and context conditions, for digitisation and predictive monitoring models in order to build digital twins and make territories safer

7.
Supporting enterprises and PAs in experimenting new prototypes in order to build DATA LAKE of public utility, to stimulate new prototyping and new solutions through the use of OPEN data

Trajectories 2021 - 2027
2.
Technologies for the creation and production of creative contents (new medial VR/AR gaming).
Challenges

1.
Innovating access to knowledge for the younger generation and supporting innovation in the areas of formal and informal education

2.
Making knowledge accessible for all, implementing innovative solutions for the benefit of people with disabilities (both cognitive and physical)

3.
Innovating the cinema and audiovisual sectors, to explore new forms of storytelling and new platforms for shared content generation, for entertainment and knowledge dissemination, to generate new enterprises and new employment

4.
Encouraging the acquisition of digital skills in order to produce new multimedia content, especially for virtual and metaverse environments, promoting new models for the promotion of territories and tangible and intangible heritage

5.
Favouring the creation of virtual models, so-called "digital twins" and three-dimensional environments within the Metaverse, in order to make the monitoring of territories more efficient with a view to Smart Land and Smart City models

6.
Favouring the creation of innovative artistic/cultural content, also through forms of co-production, in order to grow the performing arts and live performance sectors, to enhance the territories and increase the use of spaces used for this purpose (theatres, nature areas, open spaces, etc.)

7.
Improving the promotion of territories and the tourism offer at several levels, from individual operators to regional tourism ecosystems and supply chains, promoting the offer in an innovative and more effective way thanks to quality content that can be used on various promotional and sales channels

8.
Enhancing and innovating the production, shared generation and fruition of content, both for educational and tourist uses, for entertainment and for sharing information, in order to attract new audiences and to enhance and share knowledge

Trajectories 2021 - 2027

3.
Spillover of tools and model based on the CCI processes to other sectors.

Challenges

1.
Accelerating innovation in traditional production sectors that lack the strength and capacity to build innovative models and solutions, which require new perspectives, new approaches and new models, improving the production capacity of micro-enterprises and SMEs, supporting them through creativity, new digital solutions, new content and new technological tools

2.
Increasing the operational capacity of enterprises in the key sectors of Basilicata, starting from Tourism, through joint ventures and B2B collaborations or interventions to support entire supply chains and consortia

3.
Building an accelerating pathway for innovation and the Twin Transition in support of the strategic productive sectors of Basilicata, through a strategic contamination with the cultural and creative industries, thanks to cross-sectoral collaborations and the presence of centres specialised in prototyping and the transfer of innovation and technologies (e.g. the House of Emerging Technologies in Matera, the European Digital Innovation Hub, etc.)

Trajectories 2021 - 2027

4.
Creative based innovation for social inclusion and territorial regeneration through the engagement of communities/public bodies/research institutes/third sector in co-creation processes for the preservation of fundamental human rights.

Challengess

1.
Supporting territories in the social and economic challenges related to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda goals, through culturally-based development models

2.
Supporting territories in strategic planning through the use of emerging technologies

3.
Supporting territories in the implementation of new socio-cultural and economic models, in order to reduce the gap between urban centres and suburbs and to build alternatives to the phenomena of youth migration, demographic decline and depopulation

4.
Supporting territories in the search for new models of welfare and entrepreneurial development, experimenting new forms of more sustainable tourism and new entrepreneurial trajectories linked to the cultural and creative sectors

5.
Supporting territories in experimenting new platforms for the management of basic services, supporting citizens and institutions in digital education and participatory governance processes, also through the use of emerging technologies

6.
Involving new generations in prototyping and business start-up activities, supporting them in the research and development of new initiatives linked to the culture and creativity sectors

7.
Supporting territories in experimenting with new models of governance, through innovative projects and investments in culture, creativity and technology.

TRAJECTORIES 2021 - 2027 CHALLENGES

1. Emerging technologies and innovative approaches for the protection, conservation and manamenget of tangible and intangible heritage (use of environmentally susitainable materialas and practices; integration of data and heritage monitoring systems, espiacially in regards to environmental casualties and risks.

1.
Supporting territories in the recovery, diagnostics and planned maintenance of regional architectural and archaeological heritage, also through microclimate monitoring and other types of predictive models

2.
Supporting territories in smart monitoring, diagnostics and intelligent management of cultural sites and attractions, also with a view to energy saving

3.
Supporting territories in the smart management of visitor flows, to guarantee safety and a more effective quality of tourist and cultural services, also through emerging technologies

4.
Support private individuals and PA in the innovative and sustainable management of cultural events and initiatives

5.
Supporting the introduction of new tourist experiences in the territorial offer, also through the use of emerging technologies for fruition, increasing tourist/cultural services, also through the use of inovative technologies and human-centred approaches

6.
Supporting territories in the introduction of new processes and tools for the acquisition of three-dimensional models, mapping and information related to the environment, climate and context conditions, for digitisation and predictive monitoring models in order to build digital twins and make territories safer

7.
Supporting enterprises and PAs in experimenting new prototypes in order to build DATA LAKE of public utility, to stimulate new prototyping and new solutions through the use of open data

2.
Technologies for the creation and production of creative contents (new medial VR/AR gaming)

1.
Innovating access to knowledge for the younger generation and supporting innovation in the areas of formal and informal education

2.
Making knowledge accessible for all, implementing innovative solutions for the benefit of people with disabilities (both cognitive and physical)

3.
Innovating the cinema and audiovisual sectors, to explore new forms of storytelling and new platforms for shared content generation, for entertainment and knowledge dissemination, to generate new enterprises and new employment

4.
Encouraging the acquisition of digital skills in order to produce new multimedia content, especially for virtual and metaverse environments, promoting new models for the promotion of territories and tangible and intangible heritage

5.
Favouring the creation of virtual models, so-called "digital twins" and three-dimensional environments within the Metaverse, in order to make the monitoring of territories more efficient with a view to Smart Land and Smart City models

6.
Favouring the creation of innovative artistic/cultural content, also through forms of co-production, in order to grow the performing arts and live performance sectors, to enhance the territories and increase the use of spaces used for this purpose (theatres, nature areas, open spaces, etc.)

7.
Improving the promotion of territories and the tourism offer at several levels, from individual operators to regional tourism ecosystems and supply chains, promoting the offer in an innovative and more effective way thanks to quality content that can be used on various promotional and sales channels

8.
Enhancing and innovating the production, shared generation and fruition of content, both for educational and tourist uses, for entertainment and for sharing information, in order to attract new audiences and to enhance and share knowledge

3.
Spillover of tools and model based on the CCI processes to other sectors

1.
Accelerating innovation in traditional production sectors that lack the strength and capacity to build innovative models and solutions, which require new perspectives, new approaches and new models, improving the production capacity of micro-enterprises and SMEs, supporting them through creativity, new digital solutions, new content and new technological tools

2.
Increasing the operational capacity of enterprises in the key sectors of Basilicata, starting from Tourism, through joint ventures and B2B collaborations or interventions to support entire supply chains and consortia

3.
Building an accelerating pathway for innovation and the Twin Transition in support of the strategic productive sectors of Basilicata, through a strategic contamination with the cultural and creative industries, thanks to cross-sectoral collaborations and the presence of centres specialised in prototyping and the transfer of innovation and technologies (e.g. the House of Emerging Technologies in Matera, the European Digital Innovation Hub, etc.)

4.
Creative based innovation for social inclusion and territorial regeneration through the engagement of communities/public bodies/research institutes/third sector in co-creation processes for the preservation of fundamental human rights.

1.
Supporting territories in the social and economic challenges related to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda goals, through culturally-based development models

2.
Supporting territories in strategic planning through the use of emerging technologies

3.
Supporting territories in the implementation of new socio-cultural and economic models, in order to reduce the gap between urban centres and suburbs and to build alternatives to the phenomena of youth migration, demographic decline and depopulation

4.
Supporting territories in the search for new models of welfare and entrepreneurial development, experimenting new forms of more sustainable tourism and new entrepreneurial trajectories linked to the cultural and creative sectors

5.
Supporting territories in experimenting new platforms for the management of basic services, supporting citizens and institutions in digital education and participatory governance processes, also through the use of emerging technologies

6.
Involving new generations in prototyping and business start-up activities, supporting them in the research and development of new initiatives linked to the culture and creativity sectors

7.
Supporting territories in experimenting with new models of governance, through innovative projects and investments in culture, creativity and technology.

Between 2019 and 2023, Materahub and Basilicata Creativa have developed some important initiatives and projects

  • the COSME funded project Cultourdata, which aims to enhance data-driven, accessible and transformative cultural tourism across Europe and has so far funded more than 180 companies and professionals to generate new models of data collection and use through collaboration with data experts, artists and creatives;
  • the CreaTHRIV-EU project, which brought together five European CCI clusters – Baltic Film and Creative Tech Cluster (Lithuania), Innoskart (Hungary), Twist (Belgium) and Corallia (Greece), to support international mobility, upskilling and reskilling and the development of new prototypes in the cultural and creative sectors, with direct funding to companies for over EUR 1 million;
  • finally Materahub and Basilicata Creativa worked together to open the regional Heritage Smart Lab, one of the 150 European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH), which will offer digital based services to cultural and creative SMEs and PAs in Southern Italy (Campania, Basilicata and Apulia) starting from 2023. The EDIH is a new networking instrument launched by the European Commission within the Digital Agenda (2021-2027). Half funded by DG CONNECT and half by the Member States, the EDIHs act as another meeting point between research and business centers aiming at supporting the digital transition providing specialised services or facilities in regions where the required expertise is not available locally.

Finally, Materahub is a partner in the new Culture and Creativity KIC, which is a further building block in our forward-looking vision to support innovation and experimentation in the use of technologies in the European cultural and creative sectors.