S3 priorities of the region

The three priorities of the current Smart Specialisation Strategy in the Brussels-Capital Region are:

HEALTH – personalised medicine and well-being: personalized medicine and care, improving the hospital’s care chain (e-health), prevention (improving environmental and nutritional quality).

ENVIRONMENT – green economy: energy efficiency, sustainable chemistry, circular economy, mobility.

ICT – digital economy: big data, IoT, information security, image processing.

Strategic objectives

In addition, the current S3 includes four transversal objectives:

 improving innovation chain, 
 new forms of innovation and new R&D&I actors,
 communication and awareness about RDI,
 broad, participatory and efficient governance of the PRI (Plan Régional d’Innovation).



Personalised medicine and well-being.


Green Economy


Digital Economy

The participatory approach implemented

For its pilot activities, the Brussels-Capital Region cluster will carry out a process of design thinking for social innovation focused on circular economy. The design thinking methodology enables the cluster to better understand the regional context and to implement research and observation methodologies ensuring a deep understanding of user needs and engagement of the local community. Beside one core pilot activity, the Brussels-Capital Region will also focus on capacity building towards strengthening core RRI elements in the implementation of S3 strategies within the context of R&I.


The process of the Brussels-Capital Region cluster’ pilot of TRANSFORM is running in different phases. In the first phase, the cluster is running the assessment of community needs and resources. Exploring the broad topic of circular economy, the cluster selects specific community needs and challenges to address, paying particular attention to sustainability and inclusiveness of the entire participatory process.

In a fully participatory approach, BE participation, in collaboration with other local CSOs and charities, will be engaging citizens belonging to different demographic groups in design-thinking participatory workshops. These events aim at (re)defining the problem, mapping user needs, and benchmarking for the Brussels-Capital Region cluster’ pilot of TRANSFORM and are facilitated by BE participation professionals.

In a second phase, the cluster plans to facilitate the co-creation of social innovation solutions with two axes:

  1. INSTILL Responsible Research and Innovation components into existing projects and programmes funded by the Regional Government of Brussels-Capital, through Innoviris.
  2. INSPIRE, providing examples for the uptake of Responsible Research and Innovation components into regional S3. Concretely, the plan is to award cascade grants to implement innovative ideas addressing the selected collective challenges.

In a third phase, the INSPIRE axis of the pilot will carry-out rapid prototyping of solutions and their testing “in situ” with users in the community to enable the cluster to understand what works and iterate new prototypes until optimal solutions are found. The involvement of business incubators is planned to contribute to developing business models. The INSTILL axis of the pilot will propose flexible add-ons activities to existing R&I projects in different domains. These will include capacity building for R&I actors, multi-stakeholder sessions and counselling to increase responsibility and link with society in R&I.


January to August 2020:

  • Mapping existing RRI programmes and activities from the Brussels-Capital region
  • Reflection process with the cluster members exploring the broad topic of circular economy, the cluster selects specific community needs and challenges to address

September to December 2020:

  • Definition of the local action plan
  • Engagement of Think Tank members (local experts) to support the co-creation process and the impact assessment of the cluster experimental activities
  • A detailed description of specificities of Brussels cluster local context, methodological approach and concrete action plan
  • First round of capacity building activities

January to March 2021:

  • Ideation of the co-creation process through participatory workshops to (re)define the problem, map user needs, and benchmark
  • Multi-stakeholder engagement through Think Tank activities
  • Second round of capacity building activities

April to July 2021:

  • Co-design of community needs, resources, expectations and perceptions with project partners, citizens, decision-makers and industries

July to January 2022:

  • Unfolding of the co-creation through participatory workshops
  • Third round of capacity building activities

January 2022 to December 2022:

  • Implementation of co-created innovative solutions
  • Involvement of business incubators to contribute to developing business models.
  • Engagement of policy makers to ensure solutions respond to public policy priorities and approaches, so that the design thinking processes and/or proposed solutions may be integrated into policy measures in the future.
    Dissemination of outcomes at local and international events


Aspect image
Aspect image
Aspect image
Aspect image

Think Tank members

Coming soon

EU flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 972687.
Project Coordinator: Angela Simone Fondazione Giannino Bassetti angela.simone@fondazionebassetti.org
contact: info@transfrom-project.eu