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The Role of Universities in the context of Smart Specialisation -


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Workshop on HEInnovate - Sofia Bulgaria

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The Role of Universities in the context of Smart Specialisation -

  1. 1. The Role of Universities in the context of Smart Specialisation Dr Ruslan Rakhmatullin European Commission DG JRC, IPTS Smart Specialisation Platform 25-26 September 2014 Sofia, Bulgaria
  2. 2. What is Smart Specialisation? ‘Knowledge for Growth’ expert group (DG Research) launched concept in the framework of ERA; Problem: fragmentation and duplication of public R&D investments; Stresses role for all regions in the knowledge economy, if they can identify competitive advantages in specific R&I domains/clusters (not just ‘winning’ sectors); Challenges: Smart specialisation has to embrace the concept of open innovation, not only investment in (basic) research.
  3. 3. What is RIS3? (National/Regional) Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation that are: - integrated, - place-based, - economic transformation agendas; These are multi-annual strategies defining a policy-mix and budgetary frameworks focusing on a limited number of priorities to stimulate smart growth.
  4. 4. Thematic ex-ante conditionalities (1) Thematic objectives Ex ante conditionality Criteria for fulfilment 1.Strengthening research, technological development and innovation (R&D target) (referred to in Article 9(1) ) 1.1. Research and innovation: The existence of a national or regional research and innovation (strategy) (strategic policy framework(s)) for smart specialisation in line with the National Reform Programme, to leverage private research and innovation expenditure, [which complies with the features of well- performing national or regional research and innovation systems.] For research infrastructures only: 1.2 The existence of a multi-annual plan for budgeting and prioritisation of investments. –is based on a SWOT analysis to concentrate resources on a limited set of research and innovation priorities; –outlines measures to stimulate private RTD investment; –contains a monitoring [and review] system. A framework outlining available budgetary resources for research and innovation; A [indicative] multi-annual plan for budgeting and prioritisation of investments linked to EU priorities [and, where appropriate, the] European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures -ESFRI).
  5. 5. S3 Platform Members (September 2014) 153 EU regions + 15 EU countries + 2 non-EU regions 5 The S3 Platform was established by the European Commission to provide professional advice to EU countries and regions for the design of their research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3).
  6. 6. Peer Review workshops & trans- national learning RIS3 assessment and support to REGIO desks Country- and Macro-region events and targeted seminars at IPTS Interactive tools, S3 Newsletter and Website Methodological Guidance Thematic workshops & working groups Research and analysis Transnational Cooperaion Benchmarking and targeted support NEW! Extra support for digital agenda and ICT sections of RIS3
  7. 7. RIS3 is a process Step 1 – Analysis of regional context/potential Step 2 – Governance Step 3 – Vision for the future Step 4 – Selection of priorities Step 5 – Policy mix Step 6 – Monitoring and evaluation Monitoring Policy mix Priorities Vision Process Analysis RIS3
  8. 8. The RIS3 Guide The latest version is available from the S3 Platform website: PART I: THE POLICY CONTEXT PART II: THE RATIONALE PART III: RIS3 DESIGN IN A NUTSHELL Annex I – A step-by-step approach to RIS3 design Annex II – Delivery instruments and horizontal approaches Annex III – Guidance for expert assessment
  9. 9. Step 1 – Analysis of national/regional context and potential for innovation (I) A broader definition of innovation, not just RTD- oriented; Assess existing national/regional assets; Identify national/regional competitive advantage(s); Detect emerging niches for smart specialisation; Combine methods (e.g. national/regional profiling, SWOT approach, surveys);
  10. 10. Step 1 – Analysis of national/regional context – looking out – and potential for innovation (II) Assess country’s/region’s positioning within the EU Keep in mind global companies and value chains Flows of knowledge and skills Avoid ‘blind’ duplication, discover possibilities for collaboration Combine methods (e.g. studies, interviews, interregional work groups) Outward-looking Analysis:
  11. 11. Step 1 – Analysis of regional context and potential for innovation (III) Different types of actors Spirit of the entrepreneurial environment Involvement of entrepreneurial actors in the regional economy Firms, but also Universities, Technology Centers, Venture Capitalists, Regional Development Agencies.. Identify economic differentiation potential Combine methods consultation with firms, clusters; technological audits; foresight studies Analysis of entrepreneurial dynamics and identification of future opportunities:
  12. 12. Step 2 – Governance: Ensuring participation and ownership Include the demand-side perspective  Quadruple Helix; Collaborative leadership Boundary spanning individuals and organisations; Dedicated Steering Group/ Knowledge Leadership Group, Management Team, Working groups; Wider engagement of stakeholders:
  13. 13. Step 3 – Developing an overall vision of the region’s future Formulate different scenarios based on analyses and debate where your region wants to go; Produce a positive tension towards the future; Guarantee long-term engagement of stakeholders; Mobilising power; Shared vision of the region’s potential and main directions for its international positioning:
  14. 14. Step 4 – Identification of priorities Focus on a limited number of areas with potential for smart specialisation as emerged from entrepreneurial discovery; Areas where the region hopes to excel; Pay attention to horizontal priorities (Key Enabling Technologies, social innovation, etc.); Avoid capture by interest groups Decision-making step where top-down meets bottom-up:
  15. 15. Step 5 – Definition of a coherent policy mix, roadmaps and action plan Roadmap will include: Action plan  target groups, objectives, timeframes, indicators, sources of funding and budget allocations Pilot projects  experiment with unprecedented policy mixes, obtain inputs for updating RIS3 strategies Organising and detailing rules and tools:
  16. 16. Step 6 – Integration of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms Monitoring  to verify the correct and efficient implementation of activities; Evaluation  to verify whether and how strategic goals are met; Importance of ex ante setting of measurable targets and output/outcome indicators; Mechanisms integrated in the strategy:
  17. 17. In a nutshell: Smart Specialisation is based on 4 Cs Competitive advantage: match R&I with business and develop links (related variety); adoption of (generic/new) technologies for diversification/modernisation of sectors + explore emerging areas Policy Choices (tough ones): select a limited number of priorities based on specialisation & integration in international value chains Critical mass of resources & talent: cooperation between regions by avoiding duplication and fragmentation Collaborative Leadership: involve stakeholders from academia, businesses, public administrations and civil society (i.e. quadruple helix) & synergies between funding instruments (EU, national, regional)
  18. 18. Quadruple Helix and Smart Specialisation •- Engaging a wide range of actors has long been fundamental to Cohesion Policy since these different actors have skills and knowledge that is potentially able to support both planning and implementation. •- The RIS3 Guide recognises the significance of and the need for the Quadruple Helix approach by proposing to add a fourth group (civil society as innovation users) to a classical Triple Helix model. •- This Quadruple Helix model puts innovation users at its heart and encourages the development of innovations that are pertinent for users (civil society). Users or citizens here own and drive the innovation processes. •- Civil society and the public are users and appliers of knowledge and are thereby thought to contribute with a region-specific context and experiences. •- In line with this perspective, new innovative products, services and solutions are developed with the involvement of users in their role as lead users, co- developers and co-creators.
  19. 19. Quadruple helix and Smart Specialisation (II) •- Citizens would be involved in the development work, and would also have the power to propose new types of innovations, which then connect users with their stakeholders across industry, academia or government (Arnkil et al. 2010). •- In turn, the role of actors in the other three helices would be supporting citizens in such innovation activities (e.g. to provide tools, information, development forums and skills needed by users in their innovation activities). •- This user-centred approach requires a further development of collective management and implementation of the RIS3 process. •- RIS3 strategies should not only target science and technology (S&T) innovation but should also foster innovation in non-S&T fields (i.e. social, public sector and service innovation). It should also ensure a more effective and complementary use of EU investments in the regions and help channel private capital into regional smart specialisation niches.
  20. 20. An Agenda for Modernisation of Europe’s Higher Education System (COM (2011) 567) •‘In assessing the role of HEIs in the region it is useful to identify the steps needed to create a ‘connected region’ in which the institutions are key players. Through this connection process institutions become key partners for regional authorities in formulating and implementing their smart specialisation strategies’ •‘They can contribute to a region’s assessment of its knowledge assets, capabilities and competencies, including those embedded in the institution’s own departments as well as local businesses, with a view to identifying the most promising areas of specialisation for the region, but also the weaknesses that hamper innovation’
  21. 21. RIS3 How to use entrepreneurial discovery process towards more synergies Detect potential boundary-spanners between different stakeholder / interest groups, new innovative entrepreneurs, hidden champions, or persons with a potential for this and with an international outlook. Horizon2020: related actors should be involved in the creative strategy development process. See new annex III of RIS3 Guide: Business manufacturing and services, primary sectors, financial sector, creative industries, social sector, large firms, SMEs, young entrepreneurs, students with business ideas, cluster and business organisations, Research public and private research bodies, universities, science and technology parks, NCPs, Technology transfer offices, Horizon2020 committee members, regional ESFRI roadmaps etc. Different departments, if relevant at different government levels, agencies e.g. for regional development, business advice, public procurement offices, incubators, etc. Public administration NGOs and citizens’ initiatives related to societal challenges for which innovative solutions would be helpful, consumers associations, Talents! etc. Civil society / Users Entrepreneurial in: -Composition and -Spirit: (risk-taking, demand and supply side, view beyond boundaries, creativity …)
  22. 22. Why should universities care about smart specialisation? •Universities are a vital partner for regions in the process of design and implementation of smart specialisation strategies •Increasing concern about social and economic impact of publicly funded universities •Large amount of European Structural and Investment Funds linked to smart specialisation •Universities can benefit from structural funds, but only if they understand and address the needs of the region •Synergies between support for R&I through the structural funds and European / national competitive financing will determine the overall funding structure •Opportunity to build partnerships with local and regional authorities for mutual benefit
  23. 23. Contribution of universities to S3 Source: Based on Kempton et al (2013) Universities and Smart Specialisation, JRC S3 Policy Brief #3, European Commission Generative Research related (but not limited) to regional priorities Multi- and cross- disciplinary Connectivity – knowledge nodes Support regional analysis Collaborative Neutral regional brokers Reach Out – need 'boundary spanners Reach In – Co-production of knowledge Absorptive Help build capacity to ensure local firms absorb knowledge Provide demand through teaching and learning activities Nurture social ties that drive RIS Leadership Support regional vision and partnership Propose joint activities Place marketing
  24. 24. Further S3P Publications to consider (I) Report on joint EUA- REGIO/JRC Smart Specialisation Platform expert workshop: 'The role of universities in Smart Specialisation Strategies' (2014), link Joint statement EUA and DG JRC after the High level Conference in Brussels June 2014, link Booklet with case studies prepared for the Conference in June (based on expression of interest): 'University-Regional Partnerships: case studies (2014): Mobilising Universities for Smart Specialisation', Edited by John Edwards, Fatime Barbara Hegyi and Susana Elena-Pérez (2014), link 24
  25. 25. Further S3P Publications to consider (II) General information on High level Conference joint organised by EUA and S3 Platform (Brussels, June 2014), link Louise Kempton, John Goddard, John Edwards, Fatime Barbara Hegyi and Susana Elena-Pérez (2013), 'Universities and Smart Specialisation', S3 Policy Brief Series, No. 03/2013, link The latest report on the Danube macro-region: Ales Gnamus, Fatime Barbara Hegyi and Susana Elena Perez (2014), 'Developing Danube R&I Projects across Borders – How to Make the Joint Use of EU-Funds a Reality?', S3 Policy Brief Series, No. 10/2014, link 25
  26. 26. A launching event of the Stairway to Excellence Project (S2E) •The 'Stairway to Excellence' European Pilot Project is centred on providing assistance to countries that joined the European Union since 2004 with the aim of closing the innovation gap, promoting excellence in all regions and EU countries; Stimulating the early and effective implementation of national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies. • •The principal objectives of this conference are: •To launch the project and explain its rationale, objectives and roadmap. •To raise awareness of the actions needed to enable synergies between different EU funding programmes for research and innovation •To share experiences in combining Structural Funds and Framework Programme to improve excellence in R&I systems •Draw lessons for the future •Date: 2-3 October 2014 •Venue: Prague, Czech Republic •Info & Registration: 27
  27. 27. 28 Thank you!