RSES Implementation Advisory Group
The inaugural meeting of the RSES Implementation Advisory Group (IAG) was held on 25th November 2020. This group includes senior representatives of stakeholders who are responsible for the implementation of some key aspects of the RSES and who can ensure alignment of development and investment priorities in order to drive the delivery of the RSES.
Denis Kelly, Assistant Director NWRA gave a briefing on the RSES and set out how it will deliver a smarter, greener, more specialised and connected region, with a stronger and more compact urban network. This was followed with a briefing by Tadhg O’Mahoney (EPA) on the ‘State of the Environment (Integrated Assessment) Report for 2020.
John Daly, Economist for the 3 Regional Assemblies of Ireland, then provided insight into the profile of the region and strategic research undertaken that identified the continual decline in the regions economy, legacy underinvestment in the region, impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the region and highlighted how the findings in the ‘Regional Co-Working Analysis’ publication identified regional opportunities. He offered that the downgrading of the region by the European Commission from a “More Developed Region” to a “Transition Region” post-2020 opens opportunities for more attractive levels of co-financed EU Structural Funds in the 2021-2027 period.
Alison Hunter – Director, Economic and Public Policy Consultancy (EPPC) – gave an insightful presentation on Smart Specialisation, setting out stylised facts and characteristics concerning the region and why adopting a Smart Specialisation approach could ensure a stronger place-based relevance to innovation across the region, addressing both strengths and challenges. She offered insights into implications for the future approach to Smart Specialisation and outlined recommendations and ideas to guide a consultation process with stakeholders regarding how the region might engage with Smart Specialisation.