The peculiarity of RNA is that it does not consist of a single geographical area but it is a multidivided island complex. There is a strong differentiation between large and small islands, but diversification trends are even occurring within the islands themselves. These differences on each island create a completely different frame of reference compared to that of the mainland. In this island area it is difficult to achieve economies of scale (due to the limited resources available) and large markets and businesses (due to small population size and isolation).
Hence, RNA should develop a special strategy based mainly on exploiting the special and comparative advantages of its islands (e.g. unique and rich natural environment, locally produced products, touristic exploitation of the natural and cultural environment of the islands). Regional Operational Program North Aegean refers to the Strategy for Smart Innovation. This strategy is further developed within RIS3 document, where the aim is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, within the context of the following priority sectors: 1. Agrofood2. Tourism @ Culture 3. E-economy.
The Regional Authority of North Aegean, is responsible for the planning and Management of the Regional Development Programme of North Aegean. It is also responsible for the planning, specialization and implementation of the Regional RIS3 policies. The Regional Fund has participated to a number of Interreg, FP and CIP projects mainly on sustainable development.