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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

21 Feb 2018

EUA publishes policy position on Smart Specialisation

The European University Association (EUA) has published a policy position on Smart Specialisation (RIS3). The position was approved by the EUA’s Council on 26 January 2018 and was developed in collaboration with the EUA's 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.

According to the position paper, there is clear evidence that RIS3 strategies have been a useful tool in developing innovation ecosystems in many regions in Europe, and now is a crucial time for the EU to fully unlock the potential of all regions by building on the positive effects of this approach. The EUA stresses that 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 and multi-level governance to induce innovation at the regional level;

  5. reinforcing synergies and multi-level governance

Amongst other sources, the policy paper builds on the EUA’s recommendations for the next Framework Programme, published in November 2017.
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