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S3: Enhancing Research and Innovation Capacities

Summary of the European Alliance Against Coronavirus Daily Webinar on 7 September 2020

As the regional dimension will play an important role in the economic recovery in Europe, the European Alliance Against Coronavirus dedicates a week of our daily morning sessions to the smart specialisation strategies.

Ulla Engelmann from DG GROW pointed out that the important role of clusters in smart specialisation has always been recognised. They integrate all communities in the ecosystem (business, research, public administration, civil society/users) and are well positioned to effectively accelerate an uptake of advanced technologies for a greener, more digital, and more resilient economy.

Peter Berkowitz from DG REGIO presented key policy issues to increase the impact of smart specialisation in the future and to better increase stakeholders. In the new S3 period, there will be a broader approach to smart specialisation. The strategy will not only cover research and innovation, but also digitalisation, SME growth and competitiveness, skills, and entrepreneurship. The Commission will invest in the competencies needed to deliver smart specialisation – in people. The Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) will play an important role and needs to be strengthened. Further changes include:

  • Reinforce the length of the R&I system
  • Greater focus on international cooperation
  • Address innovation and fusion
  • Reinforce monitoring and evaluation
  • Address broader issues of industrial transition

He underlined that the biggest task for the next period is to ensure that the actors of the quadruple helix are really involved. To encourage the development of ecosystems at European level and integrate less developed European regions, the new tool for interregional innovation investments will support the development on new value chains in key sectors across Europe.

Peter Berkowitz concluded that:

  • Clusters will continue to play a central role in the implementation of smart specialisation, of which some authorities need to make the other stakeholders aware of
  • Clusters can be catalysers for the digital and green transition
  • Clusters need to think about how to adapt to the demands of the new framework, particularly the reinforced governance
  • EDP will be an ongoing process and requires clusters to strengthen their relationships, especially with regional authorities
  • Clusters will need to increase their efforts in interregional cooperation

Krzysztof Krystowski from the European Clusters Alliance highlighted that the S3 implementation through clusters has also challenges. Some regional leaders started to consider S3 as a competitive tool to cluster policies – which they should not be. They should be complementary. Therefore, it needs a better communication of the roles when launching the new S3 period.

Carmen Sillero from the innovation agency IDEA gave an example of regional collaboration. Their action lines include emergency measures to keep companies alive in this time of crisis, sanitary R&D and solutions for disruptions in their sectors, and working on regional S4 to build European industrial ecosystems.

Murial Attané from EARTO encouraged clusters to be more connected with RTOS, especially when working on technologies. Regions that are successful with smart specialisation have RTOs and clusters behind them. RTOs are important as they make the translation between research and business and offer technological infrastructure needed by the companies. Therefore, clusters need to make sure that they are connected to the right platforms.

 

 

A recording of the session is available here.  

These are the presentations shown during the meeting: 

 

 

 

 

 

Find information and recordings of previous meetings on the Role of Clusters in Accelerating the European Recovery (since September 2020) here. For European Alliance Against Coronavirus webinar summaries of March - July 2020, please follow this link.

Finally, please find information on the upcoming agenda here.

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