What is SMARTSPEC
The aim of SmartSpec was to provide substance, guidance and practical support to the EU Smart Specialisation Platform, based on the combination of leading academic and practical expertise present in the consortium.
The goal was directed at operationalising the concept of smart specialisation in a manner which would have been useful to actors in different regional contexts.
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.
Within the SmartSpec Project ERRIN supported 10 of its member regions on a ‘Learning Journey’ which looked to assess the implementation of Smart specialisation Strategies across Europe.