This S3 Platform Policy Brief (S3 Policy Brief 03/2013) analyses the potential role of universities in the development and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3). These strategies are a central part of the new Cohesion Policy framework, being an ‘ex-ante conditionality’ designed to ensure effective spending of the large amount of EU funds that will be available for research and innovation.
Universites are often crucial institutions in regional innovation systems, especially in those with an absence of a dynamic, research led private sector, and there is rich history of academic and policy analysis in this area. However, with the new smart specialisation agenda, which differs in emphasis and design from previous regional innovation policies, universities have a potentially pivotal role to play in its delivery. Yet there are a number of challenges and obstacles which must be considered, in addition to the numerous opportunities.
This Policy Brief makes concrete suggestions on how universities can be integrated into S3 to deliver their desired economic and social outcomes.