EUA policy position on smart specialisation

3rd Apr 2018

The European University Association (EUA), representing 850 universities and rectors’ conferences across Europe, has published a policy position on Smart Specialisation (RIS3), developed in collaboration with its Expert Group on Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation. The document presents key messages from the university sector for maximising the effectiveness of smart specialisation strategies for regional development, with a view to defining the priorities for the post-2020 period. It provides recommendations for further actions relevant to policy-makers at regional, national and European levels.

There is clear evidence that RIS3 strategies have been a useful tool in developing innovation ecosystems in many regions in Europe. This is a crucial moment for the EU to fully unlock the potential of all regions by building on the positive effects of this approach. Universities have an essential role to play in this process as they educate and supply highly-skilled graduates to all sectors of the regional economy and perform ground-breaking research that promises or leads to disruptive innovation. To maximise the effectiveness of RIS3 strategies in developing regional innovation ecosystems, it is important to fully capitalise on tangible and intangible assets that universities offer for the benefit of culture, society and the economy of their regions.

The policy position develops the following key success factors:

  1. investing in human talent and skills to ensure enduring innovation;
  2. enhancing the strategic involvement of universities in regional innovation ecosystems;
  3. promoting the engagement of all EU regions without compromising excellence;
  4. strengthening collaboration to induce innovation at the regional level;
  5. reinforcing synergies and multi-level governance (local/regional/national/European levels).

These key factors emerge from successful RIS3 strategies across Europe showcased by a number of universities and other R&I stakeholders at the EUA workshops on smart specialisation in Poland (2016), hosted by University of Warsaw, and Estonia (2017), hosted by University of Tartu. In addition, this document builds on EUA funding paper, published in May 2017, and EUA recommendations for the next Framework Programme, published in November 2017.

SAVE THE DATE: EUA workshop on smart specialisation on 13 November 2018, Graz, Austria

The next EUA annual workshop on smart specialisation will take place in Graz, Austria on 13 November 2018.

The event will be organised in collaboration with Universities Austria (UNIKO) and the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) in the framework of the activities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU.