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Recent EUA activities on Smart Specialisation

22 March 2018

On 7 March 2018, the EUA Expert Group on Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) met in Brussels to discuss recent developments in this policy area. A joint workshop between EUA and Science|Business on the topic of synergies between EU framework and cohesion funding also took place on the same day.


The meeting of the Expert Group on RIS3 followed the recent publication of five EUA key messages on Smart Specialisation for the period post-2020, Coherent policies for Europe beyond 2020: maximising the effectiveness of smart specialisation strategies for regional development. In this document, EUA outlined five main success factors for smart specialisation, namely: investing in human talent and skills to ensure enduring innovation; enhancing the strategic involvement of universities in regional innovation ecosystems; promoting the engagement of all EU regions without compromising excellence; strengthening collaboration among stakeholders to induce innovation at the regional level; and reinforcing synergies and multi-level governance (at local, regional, national and European levels).

At its 7 March meeting, the EUA Expert Group on RIS3 focused its discussions on developments in the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9) and on the role of structural funds for research. Members also discussed the recent EC Joint Research Centre discussion paper, A Regional Innovation Impact Assessment Framework for universities and initiated the preparations for the next EUA activities in the area of RIS3.

The Expert Group meeting was followed by a joint workshop between EUA and Science|Business entitled “Breaking the silos: Getting framework and cohesion policies working together”. In this session, EUA and Science|Business representatives were joined by several high-level speakers from the European Parliament and the European Commission, namely Lambert van Nistelrooij (MEP), Magda De Carli (DG Research), Katja Reppel (DG Regio), Koen Jonkers (JRC) and Marina Ranga (JRC). Discussions revolved around the topics of synergies and the role of universities in regional innovation and development.

In the framework of future EUA activities on RIS3, the next workshop on smart specialisation will be jointly organised by EUA and the National Rectors’ Conferences of Austria and Italy. This event will take place in Graz, Austria on 13 November 2018, and will one of the events organised during the Austrian EU Presidency.

European University Association (EUA)

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