SmartEIZ Conference: “Smart Specialization Strategies: Contemporary Challenges of its Design and Implementation”

Event date
September 25-26, 2018
Short description

The aim of the SmartEIZ conference is to address contemporary challenges of designing and implementing the Smart Specialization Strategy across Europe. Even though S3 is a promising approach, which in the EU is supported by the Structural Funds, there is not a lot of evidence on neither how S3 is being implemented nor on its effects. In addition, the issue of adequacy of priorities, chosen by different countries, may in itself lead them to suboptimal outcomes.



The global financial crisis was a trigger that had an influence on the economic policy on a national level all over the globe. EU sent a unique message to national economies emphasizing the strengthening of the industry. Smart Specialization Strategy (S3), as a new industrial and innovation policy approach, tries to boost innovation performance and systems so that they are better equipped to respond to competitive pressures or societal challenges. This message is especially important for EU and neighboring countries, such as the South Eastern European countries, where a weak manufacturing sector exists, mainly outside the European production and technology networks, which are only partly integrated into the global economy through buyer-driven value chains.

The conference will be partly based on knowledge accumulated during the SmartEIZ project Strengthening scientific and research capacity of the Institute of Economics, Zagreb as a cornerstone for Croatian socioeconomic growth through the implementation of Smart Specialization Strategy. What is certain from this project is that the success of S3 depends on the recognition of the relevance of the context of a national economy where S3 is implemented, as it also depends on the strength of institutional frameworks in these economies, which are able to properly analyze its implications.

The conference will explore the influence of an institutional framework on the implementation of S3, the influence of S3 on the development of industry 4.0., as well as the influence on future industry. What does an analysis of the implementation of programs within the S3 framework in Europe tell us? Even more, the conference will explore topics that emerge from the S3 framework and which are important in the context of functioning of industrial policy and innovation policy in national economies. These are: the importance of innovation and technological change and its influence on the general level of well-being and distribution of income; how does the innovation system work in terms of interactions between different categories of actors, and how does globalization and international interactions affect the working of the innovation system?

By bringing together distinguished academics together with senior policy makers and young researchers from the partner institutions on SmartEIZ project―University Bocconi, UNU MERIT and UCL―the conference will explore contributions which emerged during the implementation of this project. Also, conference planning will bring contributions which reflect new findings related to the Smart Specialization Strategy, as well as findings relevant for future industrial and innovation policy.

List of topics

1. Design and implementation of the Smart Specialization Strategy

  • Assessing R&D/innovation programs in the Smart Specialization Strategy
  • Governing in the Smart Specialization Strategy and its effects
  • Fostering strategic alliances for the Research and Innovation Strategy
  • Smart skills.

2. Topics relevant for the Smart Specialization Strategy

  • Technology, growth and productivity, including KET
  • Skills and technological change: Policy issue
  • Technology, skills, and employment
  • Companies’ innovation and productivity
  • Pattern of deindustrialization and its effects on national/regional competitiveness.

3. Innovation system and its interaction with different categories of actors

  • Clusters and their interaction with the national/regional innovation system
  • Science-industry link
  • Facilitating key enabling technology in the national/regional innovation system
  • Entrepreneurship and knowledge-based economy
  • Evaluation of individual R&D, innovation policy instruments.

4. Globalization, internationalization, and innovation systems

  • Global Value Chains (GVCs)
  • Various aspects of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)
  • Public policies in the attraction of FDI
  • Global industry 4.0.
  • Internationalization of innovation/industrial policy.

For more information also on the related call for papers, please visit the event website

Geographical focus
  • Danube Macroregion
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General
Event type
  • Conference in EU/international

Entry created by Admin on April 26, 2018
Modified on April 26, 2018