The EU Smart specialisation strategy includes the national or regional innovation strategies which set priorities to build a competitive advantage by developing and matching the strengths of research and innovation to business needs in order to address emerging opportunities and market developments in a coherent manner while avoiding duplication and fragmentation of efforts. (The Regulation (EU) 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013).

MendTheGap is a MIT disciplinary common effort of the CrEAMA Initiative and the two EU partners (University of Cambridge and University of Pisa) with a primary goal to develop cooperation across different scientific disciplines in the Eastern Adriatic (Croatia). The secondary goal is to bring the concept of the MIT disciplinary approach to a wider audience (scientific and public community, including tourists visiting the area) as well as to stimulate the local economy. The Eastern Adriatic is an area of rich cultural and natural heritage and consequently contains a great number of valuable archaeological sites which we see as a great scientific and economic opportunity.

These characteristics and assets of the Eastern Adriatic serve as a competitive advantage in the future development and integration of the area into the EU. The MendTheGap project offers an innovative approach, maximising knowledge flows between and across scientific disciplines and spreading the benefits of innovation throughout the regional economy.

In the context of the macro-regional strategy of the EU, Croatia follows the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR; whose aim is to strengthen cooperation in terms of maritime economy, marine environment conservation, transport and energy infrastructure and sustainable tourism. The goal of Smart specialisation is to boost regional innovation in order to achieve economic growth and prosperity by enabling regions to focus on their strengths.

MendTheGap aims to fill the spatial, scientific and economic gap in the Eastern Adriatic by boosting capacities in the Sciences of the past utilising the unique location-specific characteristics and advantages and thus becoming a positive example of Smart specialisation across the EU.