Workshop: Smart Specialisation: The processes and institutions that drive the concept

OPEN DAYS 2012: European Week of Cities and Regions - Brussels, Belgium

10th October 2012, 09:00- 10:45


Joint Research Centre – Institute for Prospective Technological studies (JRC – IPTS) - S3 Platform and the Regional Studies Association (RSA)

Chair/Jury members

Mr. Xabier GOENAGA BELDARRAIN , JRC Seville, Spain


Professor Elias Carayannis, Professor of Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of George Washington, USA

Twenty-first Century Democracy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship for Development
The challenges within the 21st century mean that we live in a world that offers opportunities for entrepreneurship as within a world full of rules of guidelines, the individuals are still served by the markets. A balance between empowerment and rigidity means an uphill battle where the need to continue to innovate is essential to get to the top. The model of quadruple helix was presented as a theoretical framework through which government, academia, industry and civil society are seen as key actors in promoting a democratic approach to innovation and strategy development.

Professor John Goddard, Emeritus Professor of Regional Development Studies, University of Newcastle, UK

The Role of Universities in Shaping and Implementing Smart Specialisation Strategies
The aim was to present the importance of improving collaboration between universities, private sector companies and local governments via the theory of the Smart Specialisation where universities would be directly connected to regional growth where a potential collaboration would mean bringing users and producers together in order to build capacity led by a robust governance model. It was also argued that universities, as global players should have a more important role in the decision making process of regional innovation strategies.

Mr. Age Olav Mariussen, Institute leader, University of Vasa, Norway

“Europe needs to get back on track. Then it must stay on track” Is Smart Specialization Able To Get Us Back On Track?
The idea of Smart Specialization strategy was initiated by the productivity gap between USA and Europe and a focus was put on closing the gap in productivity and innovation between north and south in Europe where Smart Specialization plays an important role. Different models for innovation were presented as they work differently according to regions (North/South – periphery/core) and it was demonstrated that Nordic technological systems of innovation must be understood in the broader understanding of innovation systems. It was also argued that Smart Specialisation was a dynamic concept needed to regional development. 

Professor Markku Sotarauta, Dean, University of Tampere, Finland 

Leadership Relay for Innovation Systems
This presentation investigated the networked nature of smart strategies, the role of leadership in innovation systems and what roles the key actors have when they are not the obvious players. 
It also presented the need to move away from the ‘one size fits all’ approach and ensure that leaderships are customised to different needs to maximise innovativeness. Strategy awareness is essential for regional development and it was argued that leadership was not just a relationship between leaders and those led but a process of influencing and teaching that included the willingness to learn from others

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