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Smart Specialisation: A Look Further

Ramojus Reimeris

The article aims to reflect the experience gathered in the recent years working with Smart Specialisation strategies, which gained a substantial amount of attention across Eastern European regions during the last several years. The article summarises some thoughts and conclusions, based on various meetings and discussions about the further development of the smart specialisation concept, its perspectives, risks and possibilities. It is too early to measure the results of smart specialisation for European innovation systems and its overall impact, but it is already possible to discuss how the process will unfold and what trajectories of development should get more attention. Changes in innovation policy practice and the overall innovation system cannot happen quickly, and Smart Specialisation is only a start, especially for Eastern European regions. The process of prioritisation seems to be well-discussed and bottom-up, pushing less advanced regions from an “Everything is a priority” state to a “Broad themes” state. The Interim evaluation, set to take place in 2018, will provide the first possibility to observe what impact has occurred already. The article does not present the full review of Smart Specialisation strategies and is based on empirical observations rather than well-planned academic research. Nevertheless, it can lend insight to further discussions on Smart Specialisation.

Ramojus Reimeris, Head of Innovation Policy Analysis Unit in MOSTA (Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre), Vilnius, Lithuania. The state budgetary institution MOSTA is an analytical and advisory body that provides recommendations on the development of the national higher education, research and innovation systems, performs monitoring functions and participates in the development and implementation of higher education, research and innovation policies.


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