Project Region:

Silesia, Poland


The challenge

Silesia is the largest remaining hard coal mining region in the EU with well-developed competences in its emission-intensive industrial activities. Even though the region is already engaged in innovative projects that promote re-industrialisation measures and a diversification of the local economy, the carbon intensive industry is still the backbone of the regional economy. Time is pressing so that Silesia can catch up with the most developed, greener European regions. To this end, viable options are needed to shift the emission-intensive parts of its industrial base towards new, sustainable and a more diversified development.

The goal of the project

Accordingly, from September to December 2018 a Pathfinder project for the Re-Industrialise programme was developed. The aim of the project was to improve regional innovation policies to trigger a smart diversification of the industrial base in Silesia. The process of how the policies were designed and implemented was primarily under scrutiny. The project therefore addressed in a systemic way how to leverage the existing regional capabilities of carbon-intensive industries and turn them into low-emission market opportunities. The goal of the project was to develop a decision-supporting tool for policymakers to spur innovation and regional development. It combined an existing evidence base with data analysis methods to identify opportunities for moving from current to new areas of regional specialisation.

What are the lessons learnt?

In the course of the project a methodology was developed which had been underexplored so far. In the foreseeable future this toolkit will be able to support decision making for a smart diversification. Due to the analytical tool industrial and innovation policies can effectively embrace new, low-carbon opportunities. The project thus serves authorities and regions that need a support tool for their decision making to diversify the industrial base. Apart from Silesia, other regions that find themselves in such a transitory situation can profit from this toolkit and identify opportunities to promote a low-emission industrial diversification.


WiseEuropa, Climate Strategies