Smart specialisation is an innovation policy concept designed to identify the unique economic characteristics and assets of an area (usually a region, or a country) to address emerging opportunities and market developments in a coherent manner….Basically? It means developing and matching the research and innovation strengths of a geographical area to the business needs Rather than being a strategy imposed from above, smart specialisation involves businesses, research centres and universities working together.
Smart specialisation is not new, it is in the continuity of the previous funding period (2007-2013). What is new is that the European Commission makes such strategies a pre-condition for ERDF funding. It will be the basis for European Structural and Investment Fund (ESIF) interventions in R&I, as part of the Cohesion Policy’s contribution to the Europe 2020 jobs and growth agenda (see Regulation (EU) 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013).
A Smart Specialisation Strategie (S3) has been developed at a national level, but has to be informed locally by the LEP ESIF strategies which need to focus on specific actions in support of innovation. The Government also asked LEPs to consider the development of a specific strategy of Smart Specialisation and particularly encouraged the use the Joint Research Centre’s (JRC) RIS3 guide, available on the Smart Specialisation Platform: http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/wikis3pguide
on 12 February, speaking at a conference in Riga (Latvia), Charlina Vitcheva, Director of smart and sustainable growth at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional Policy, said that 59 of the 110 plans failed to meet monitoring and evaluation criteria, and lacked a “real vision for transformation”. Most Regions must prepare for failure as well as success, to allow them to take more risks in drafting their plans, and to simply avoid old and repackaged innovation strategies. See more at: https://www.researchprofessional.com/0/rr/news/europe/innovation/2015/2/Smart-specialisation-stalled-by-insufficient-plans.html#sthash.tOhL07id.dpuf
The role of Universities and Research Organisations as drivers for Smart Specialisation at regional level: http://ec.europa.eu/research/regions/documents/publications/ExpertReport-Universities_and_Smart_Spec-WebPublication-A4.pdf