Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Winter School on Smart Specialisation for competitiveness, sustainability and resilient local development


 28 February - 2 March 2023 Trento, Italy

Organised by the OECD Trento Centre for Local Development in collaboration with the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) and Trentino Sviluppo, Italy

The project 

The Winter School provided capacity building for managers and officers working for Development Agencies in the OECD member countries and regions. At the end of the course participants acquired a deeper understanding of the trends and their possible effects on local development and get better understanding of research methods for evidence-based policy-making at local level. They also developed expertise in putting in place effective regional and local development strategies and policy frameworks for competitiveness and sustainability and became familiar with innovation ecosystem and practices in one of the most innovative regions in Europe – the Autonomous Province of Trento.


The Winter School sought to:

  • Raise awareness of global megatrends, competitiveness challenges, sustainability and resilience of local eco-systems linked to implementation of Smart Specialisation.
  • Shed a light on economic research methods for local development and innovation.
  • Define common analytical and policy tools for analysis of resilience, sustainability and economic development that can be instrumental in designing and implementing Smart Specialisation strategies.
  • Contribute to the discussion on the future of Smart Specialisation.
  • Stimulate sharing of knowledge and experience among participants, experts and professionals.
  • Foster networking as well as debate around relevant case studies and good practices from Trentino region (Italy), OECD, European Commission-Joint Research Centre and across OECD member countries.

2023 Focus: Smart Specialisation for competitiveness, sustainability and resilient local development

Smart Specialisation strategies if well designed, implemented and monitored, can help build resilience at local level, address societal challenges and contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals.

The three main themes of the Winter School were the following:

  • DAY 1. Innovation ecosystem in Trentino: entrepreneurship, start-ups and SME scaling ups.
  • DAY 2. Smart Specialisation in practice: sharing experience on implementation of S3 strategies and discussion on challenge-led innovation, green transition, resilience and skills.
  • DAY 3. Instruments and policies to boost local competitiveness: examples of teleworking in Trentino and skills for green and sustainable local economy.

The Winter School combined presentations with hands-on and practice oriented approach, which helped participants to comprehend better the challenges and opportunities for local development. Substantial time during each day was reserved for field visits, case pitches and peer-learning to promote exchange of practices.

The Winter School included interactive presentation sessions, discussions, group exercises and field visits in Trentino, Italy (onsite). The Winter School allowed participants to get a better understanding of local development challenges, meet and learn from their peers, as well as network and establish new working relationships.


Participants profile

The programme of the Winter School targeted officers working for national and regional Development Agencies.
Participants had to be strongly committed to local development, innovation and/or development and implementation of EU R&I and/or Cohesion policy. Ideally, they were employed by national or regional development agencies or technological agencies.




Material & information

Course outline & Agenda

Course outline & Agenda



How to apply

The application process is close.


Fee, logistics and costs

A tuition fee of 250.00 EUR for EURADA members (290.00 EUR for non EURADA members) was foreseen for the Winter School. The organisers covered transportation costs in Trento as well as lunches and a dinner during the Winter School, whereas accommodation, travel to Trento expenses, medical insurance, entry visa application charges (if required for the specific home country), dinners and other personal expenses not specified in the Winter School agenda, were borne by selected participants. 

How to get to Trento and where to stay



Working language



OECD Trento Centre
[email protected]  

[email protected]




EURADA ‌  Trentino Sviluppo

Previous OECD related work 

Webinar | 28 June 2021


The Internationalisation of Smart Specialisation Strategies

The OECD Trento Centre for Local Development and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, developed a project on local development and internationalisation of the innovation system in Friuli Venezia Giulia. The project devotes specific attention to the regional S3 and its future evolution, in view of the 2021-2027 EU programming cycle.

This international webinar focused on the opportunities and challenges posed by S3 internationalisation. Building on the Friuli Venezia Giulia case study, the webinar offered an opportunity to compare national, regional and international methodologies, practices and experiences.


Report | 30 November 2021

Internationalisation of the next Smart Specialisation Strategy
Opportunities and barriers in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region


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