The Brussels-Capital Region has developed its new Regional Innovation Plan, which also includes the new RIS3 (Regional Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation), for the period 2021-2027.

The RIS3 is an integrated and territorially anchored economic transformation strategy, based on the strengths, competitive advantages and potential of each region. It defines the efforts and orientations of the Region's regional innovation policy throughout the 2021-2027 programming period. The development and implementation of this strategy is a requirement (ex ante condition) of the European Commission in the new ERDF programming for the period 2021-2027. The RIS3 also provides a framework for the deployment of other European funds. Thus, the Commission considers that the RIS3 has a central role in the industrial transition by taking into account aspects such as skills, digitalization and green transition.

For the CBR, the RIS3 is also the basis for the new Regional Innovation Plan (RIP) for the next seven years, the period corresponding to the new European multiannual financial framework. On the basis of its RIS3, the Region's priority is to improve the resilience and prosperity of the Brussels economy (sustainability, quality jobs, well-being of citizens), by contributing to social and ecological transitions through the deployment of innovative solutions in response to priority societal challenges.

Six societal challenges for the Brussels-Capital Region

By combining the global generic issues and challenges with the current political priorities and strategies in the CBR, we arrive at six societal challenges that are particularly relevant for Brussels:

  • Climate & Energy
  • Resource optimization
  • Mobility
  • Healthy & sustainable food
  • Health & well-being
  • Participative & inclusive society

Strategic Innovation Domains

The intersection of societal challenges and the strengths of the Brussels RDI ecosystem leads to the identification of Strategic Innovation Domains (SIDs).

To focus Brussels' strengths towards more prosperity, resilience, sustainability and well-being, the Brussels RIS3 will be structured according to 1 transversal SID and 5 thematic SID.

The transversal SID should be considered as a key factor of this IRP, critical to the thematic SID. It has its own place in the RIS3:

  • Advanced digital technologies & services

The 5 thematic SID identified all represent innovation opportunities for the economic development of the CBR, with a concrete potential to contribute to the answers to societal challenges.

They have been defined in such a way as to present a maximum of coherence within them in terms of the innovative activities they should stimulate, while maximizing cross-fertilization between fields, technologies, disciplines and actors.

  • Climate: Resilient Buildings & Infrastructures;
  • Optimal Resource Use;
  • Efficient and sustainable urban flows for inclusive urban space management;
  • Health & Personalized and Integrated Care;
  • Social innovation, public innovation and social inclusion.


The full version of the Regional Innovation Plan is only available in French and Dutch

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