The Research and Innovation Strategy for the Smart Specialisation of Catalonia (RIS3CAT) combines firmly established R&D&I tools with new mechanisms to promote collaborative initiatives in order to advance in processes of achieving the smart specialisation of Catalonia and foster the participation of all stakeholders (companies, research and innovation centres, the public administration and citizens).

The emergence of ICTs and, particularly, Internet, has led to a democratisation of innovation and has opened up innovation processes (open innovation). Linear models of innovation are giving way to systemic and collaborative models that enable the inclusion of users from the very start of the innovation process and increase the effectiveness of the impact generated by investment in R&D&I.

This new model enables the emergence of new, open and collaborative innovation structures (living labs, fab labs, social innovation networks, open data labs, etc.), new types of work, and new economic forms (co-working sites, the circular economy and the collaborative economy, among others).

In this context, the Catlabs program promotes a Catalan network of digital, social and collaborative innovation, implicating the country’s entire economic and social fabric.

Within the Catlabs program, the Catalan Government will seek to form alliances with local authorities in order to promote joint actions and generate synergies to foster the emergence and consolidation of these new structures for open and collaborative innovation. In this context, Territorial Specialisation and Competiveness Projects (PECTs) are key tools to enable this cooperation.


  • To promote new formulae for digital, social and collaborative innovation aimed at providing better responses to the challenges faced by the economy and society.
  • To enable and promote the participation of the quadruple helix in the research and innovation system, RIS3CAT, and new European models of innovation.
  • To connect, reinforce and promote the Catlabs network of social, digital and collaborative innovation facilities.
  • To develop and apply methodologies for training in innovation as a mechanism for integration into the labour market for groups with high unemployment rates, especially young people.

Expected results

  • An increase in the number of stakeholders participating in innovation and, particularly, in RIS3CAT.
  • An increase in the number of users of social, digital and collaborative innovation facilities.
  • The generation of more innovation initiatives that provide responses to the challenges facing society (by cities, companies, groups of people, etc.).
  • Closer links and increased involvement of universities, schools, technology centres and companies with their environments and with citizens.
  • An increase in the number of people trained and participating in innovation.
  • Increased employability of people taking part in innovation training programmes.
  • Increased internationalisation of network member organisations, and consolidation of Catalonia as a reference for social, digital and collaborative innovation in Europe through the involvement of Catllabs in European and international networks.