News archive - [Event Review by Danube-INCO.NET] Smart Specialisation (S3) Debate at the Open Evaluation 2016 conference

Danube-INCO.NET concretely supported the Open Evaluation 2016 conference having interest to help undestanding and improving framework conditions for the development of smart specialisation strategies and policies. On 25th November, Danube-INCO.NET organised first a workshop on evaluation of S3 and regional innovation and then a policy roundtable to debate on the role of science in smart specialisation.

Participation at both events was good as well as involvement of participants in the discussions held. Both events were chaired by Alexander Kleinbrik (JRC, EC).

The morning workshop started with a presentation on R&D collaboration policies. The question was if these policies are suitable to promote networking. It was demonstrated by Marco Mariani (Regional Institute of Economic Planning of the Tuscany Region - IT) that R&D collaboration policies are crucial and without them relevant networking opportunities would not exist or would not be long-lasting. Alexander Kleinbrick offered evidence from Innovation Policies in Europe as to the Informational Basis of Collaborative Governance spotting the light on the fact that "wealth of information creates a poverty of attention". His presentation led to following conclusions: 1) governments use large variety of information in STI policy design with relatively high degree of collaborative search but 2) different patterns of information and search have resulted from the same legal EU requirement to adopt participatory and “evidence-based” STI policy strategies. Alwin L. Gerritsen, finally spoke about monitoring and evaluation of RTI policies underlining how these are well-established and recognised but, at the same time, the way these practices feed the policy-making process is still an open challenge especially with a place-based approach as in the case of the EU Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3).

In the afternoon a policy roundtable on the role of science in S3 was organised and included speeches by Philippe Laredo (Universite Paris-est, IFRIS) who invited to think about the need of having science for policy or policy for science. Mr Laredo main points were: 1)  the difference between Research and Innovation and the need for having different policies for research and policies for innovation, 2) the need to improve capabilities for innovations to happen and not simply the need for innovating, 3) the need that research in S3 finally lead actors to change towards new sectors.
Sergiu Porcescu,  from the Centre for International projects of the Academy of Science in Moldova, stressed the fact that there are already many (maybe too many?) strategies developed in Moldova. The main point is the implementation of strategies and not strategies themselves that are put froward by different actors. As to S3, Mr Porcescu underlined the importance of the process behind strategies for S3 and the involvement of stakeholders from the very beginning was remarked. In Moldova diaspora actors went back to the country and created a young community of start ups; these should also be engaged in the S3 changing process as main drivers for the change together with SMEs, research institutes better if connected with international networks.

The lack of political will linked with the lack of coordination of state agencies with overlapping functions of Ministries were the main challenges in Ukraine as to S3 process that were presented by Mr. Igor Yegorov from the Institute of Economy & Forecasting, Ukrainian National Academy of Science. He also added that despite such challenges there is understanding that political attitude needs to change and powers and needs to be decentralised. 
Djuro Kutlaca from the Mihajlo Pupin Institute of Belgrade remarked the fact that strategies if existing need to be implemented and there is the need to clearly identify who will launch strategies and who will use them. Policy Advice should coherently be organised to allow strategies to finally work especially because they only work if actors are directly interested and actually get benefits from them.

The discussion continued to understand who/what are the driving forces for S3 in the countries. The first need that was put forward is to launch an entrepreneurial discovery process in countries where no S3 process has started, while understanding country's opportunities, strengths, finding prioirty activities and mobilising networks on purpose. This without considering partners from the State who will anyway follow. The need to reconstruct trust between research and business sectors (in Moldova) was morever reminded and the entrepreneurial discovery process could allow this step.

A publication summarising the main results of the event is being prepared and will be available on this portal as well.


Geographical focus
  • Danube Region
  • WBC
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Ines Marinkovic on December 6, 2016
Modified on December 6, 2016