The concept of endogenous development assumes the use of specifi c resources of the region, difficult to copy, to its development, and even to gain a competitive advantage in a wider dimension. This concept has been used in the provisions of the Regional Innovation Strategy of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship for 2014-2020 for smart specialization (RIS3), especially in relation to leading smart specialization the quality of life, in the areas of: production and processing of ecological, regional and traditional food; renewable energy and distributed energy; agrotourism and ecotourism. It was targeted at the development of the entire region, not only the leading urban centers. The special role of the food economy lies in the need to guarantee food security and food sovereignty in the region. This issue is of strategic importance.
Recent works of the authors, concerning the future of urban regions, are synthesised in the paper. Three methodological paths – focused on exploring and creating the future of urban regions – are the backbone of the presented work. Within the fi rst path, creation of regional future by applying the concept of intellectual and strategic challenges is recommended. Second path introduces a new perspective for the future, based upon vehicles. A new philosophy of urban and regional growth emerges here. Third path is a new approach towards creation of regional specialisations in a contemporary notion of technological and creative economy.
Despite significant changes of a political, legal and economic nature, despite clearly expressed intentions, the natural environment of most areas of Europe is further degraded. Therefore, it is necessary to adopt effective solutions, and one of the possibilities of determining the directions of support is the pro-ecological nature of the regional innovation strategy, which will allow transfer of much larger funds to support eco-innovation. The work is a case study. The aim of the research presented in this work is to show the relationship between the provisions of the Regional Innovation Strategy of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship for 2014-2020 for intelligent specialization (RIS3), and the assumptions of the five-helix concept, and the justifi cation for its use in future, in the form of a developed regional eco-innovation strategy.