Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SMARTSPEC — Result In Brief

Project ID: 320131
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: United Kingdom
Domain: Fundamental Research , Industry

Better strategies for regional innovation

Innovation forms the backbone of economic advancement in the EU, contributing as well to the well-being of society. New strategies based on smart specialisation could further regional innovation significantly.
Better strategies for regional innovation
In recent years, the European Commission has encouraged innovation on a regional scale, supported by EU policies for smart specialisation, homing in on specific sectors or technologies. The Commission actually requires Member States to have a national or regional smart specialisation strategy to qualify for EU funding.

With this in mind, the EU-funded SMARTSPEC (Smart specialisation for regional innovation) project investigated gaps in the EU’s Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3). It sought to develop ways to support the implementation of smart specialisation practices on a national and regional scale across Europe.

Based on its research, the project team found that governance plays a crucial role in advancing RIS3, highlighting the roles of various organisations in building innovation strategies and furthering entrepreneurial discovery. It also noted the challenges of Member States and regions with underdeveloped research and innovation capabilities in designing smart specialisation strategies.

While SMARTSPEC noted a weak relationship between smart specialisation and social innovation, it found opportunities for notable growth in the field. Better metrics and assessments of smart specialisation strategies could help in this respect, as could well-developed peer-review assessment procedures.

Another key project recommendation to further RIS3 is the need to develop asset-based multi-sector policy mixes for different regions. In addition, identifying bottlenecks (e.g. institutional or system-based) that hamper smart specialisation and outlining possible corrective measures can also advance regional innovation in the long run.

Overall, the correct design, implementation and assessment of smart specialisation strategies based on the project’s results and findings promise many positive impacts on innovation. SMARTSPEC results have the potential to positively influence public policy approaches at the regional, national and EU levels. This could eventually filter down to society through the many benefits that smart specialisation could bring to regional innovation.

Related information


Regional innovation, smart specialisation, SMARTSPEC, research and innovation, RIS3
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