[PRESENTATION PA CONF. SEPT. 2023] Smart Specialisation Strategy – Opportunities with Partnerships for Regional Innovation

Nikola Radovanovic, Team Leader, Smart Specialisation and Innovation Ecosystems in the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission presented the topic above as part of the “Key Highlights and Insights on Instruments and Opportunities for Aligning Priorities” block of the first Plenary Session of the POLICY ANSWERS conference on “Policy Dialogue on Aligning Priorities in the Western Balkans”.

When it comes to fostering innovation and regional development, the European Union has consistently strived to set the gold standard. A key element of this drive is the Smart Specialisation strategy, which aims to channel the unique strengths and potential of each region to spur innovation and growth.

Smart Specialisation and EU Enlargement: A New Horizon

The Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region is a dynamic arena with immense potential for synergy between regional innovation and Smart Specialisation.

Regional Innovation and Partnerships: Synergies that Spark Progress

The beauty of the Smart Specialisation strategy is that it allows for the tailoring of innovation to each region’s specific strengths and needs. When applied to the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region, this strategy offers an opportunity for collaboration, not just within the region but also with the EU member states.

Exploring Synergies: Smart Specialisation provides a platform for creating partnerships that extend beyond borders. By recognizing the complementary strengths and innovation capacities of neighboring regions, there is potential for cross-border initiatives that enhance innovation and economic development for all involved.

Seizing Opportunities: The Smart Specialisation approach, when applied to the Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region, opens doors to opportunities in key areas such as technology, research, and sustainable development. This strategy helps create a shared vision for progress, strengthening the bonds between regions and fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose.

The Road Ahead: As the EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Region continues to evolve and integrate, Smart Specialisation becomes a pivotal tool for regional innovation. The framework offers a structured approach to identifying the core areas of competence and competitive advantage within each region, fostering a culture of innovation, and ensuring efficient resource allocation.

In this journey, the Smart Specialisation strategy becomes a beacon of hope, guiding regions towards a brighter and more prosperous future. It’s not just about innovation; it’s about forging lasting partnerships, maximizing synergies, and capitalizing on the unique potential that each region brings to the table.