Trento Winter School on local development
March 2023

Trento hosted from 28 February to 2 March the first Winter School on smart specialisation strategies for the competitiveness of territories, organised by Trentino Sviluppo and OECD Trento in cooperation with EURADA, the European association of local development agencies. Three days of seminars, debates, presentations of case studies and guided tours in the symbolic centres of innovation in Trentino. The aim of the event was to focus attention on global brands and the challenges of competitiveness, contributing to the exchange of good practices between European local development agencies and the various OECD member countries and stimulating the debate on the future of the European strategy of smart specialisation.

Winter School: the project

The 'Winter School on Smart Specialisation for competitiveness, sustainability and resilient local development' offers training for managers and officials of development agencies from OECD member countries and regions. 

The Winter School seeks 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

Winter School: an international event

The 25 participants in the Winter School came from various OECD countries - including Germany, Lithuania, Malta, the Czech Republic and Croatia - and were policy makers, representatives of local governments, managers of development agencies, EU officials and sustainability professionals. A variety of backgrounds, sensitivities and competences that animated the debate on three pivotal topics:

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

Trentino's centres of excellence

The Winter School also included visits to some centres of excellence of the Trentino research and innovation system. In particular, the participants visited:

Progetto Manifattura

It is one of Europe's largest green economy incubators and a center for industrial innovation in the fields of green building, renewable energy, circular economy, sport-tech, and biotechnology. It offers companies a production platform consisting of physical spaces (including the new Be Factory compendium), infrastructure, services, expertise and specialized knowledge.

Trentino Sviluppo

It is the system company of the Autonomous Province of Trento dedicated to fostering economic development in the area. It supports innovation and the growth of entrepreneurship, assists companies interested in locating in Trentino, and offers space, productive real estate and advisory and accompanying services.

Bruno Kessler Foundation

The Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK) is the top research center in Italy, ranked No. 1 for scientific excellence in the fields of Engineering and Information Sciences, Historical, Political and Social Sciences, and in employment impact and number of spin-offs acquired from the market, according to the results of the ANVUR (Italian Agency for the Evaluation of University and Research Systems) assessment of research quality.


It is the interdepartmental laboratory of the University of Trento, managed in strategic partnership with the Fondazione Hub Innovazione Trentino. It offers various training courses where students and innovators are supported not only by professors, but also by entrepreneurs, startuppers, managers, innovation experts and consultants.