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The role of universities in Smart Specialisation

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1 The role of universities in Smart Specialisation
John Edwards JRC IPTS - S3 Platform Berlin, 27 November 2013

2 Context of 2014-2020 funding cycle
Europe's challenges: Lack of economic growth following economic and financial crisis Increasing imbalances across the continent (and within many countries) High social costs of austerity and declining public confidence Increased competition from other parts of the world

3 Context of 2014-2020 funding cycle
Europe's responses: Sound public finances Structural reforms – restoring competitiveness (e.g. more flexible labour markets, completing of the single market) Smart consolidation – protect pro-growth budgets Innovation to compete globally and tackle social and environmental challenges (Europe 2020)

4 Investment in R&D is part of the solution to exit from the economic crises

5 Is there a link between innovation and regional growth
Is there a link between innovation and regional growth? “The general consensus…is that the driving force behind long-term economic growth is science, technology and innovation in its different forms and facets” (OECD 2011: Regions and Innovation Policy) Este gráfico permite apreciar la posición que, con respecto a los indicadores compuestos de output económico e innovador presentan las diferentes CCAA españolas, en el conjunto de NUTS2 de la UE-27. En general, las CCAA españolas están mejor posicionadas en output económico (por ejemplo, en output económico el PV es la 71 de 262 NUTS2, mientras que en output innovador es la 146). Para corregir el hecho de que eso se pueda deber a la especialización sectorial y tecnológica del PV, he identificado dentro de las NUTS2 europeas aquellas cuya estructura sectorial y de patentes se encuentra más próxima de la del PV, y tales regiones las destaco con un rombo amarillo; pues bien, veo que el PV se sitúa muy bien en términos de output económico frente a tales regiones, mientras que en output innovador es superado por bastantes de ellas. En el PV (como en la mayoría de las CCAA españolas) parecería existir una cierta paradoja de la innovación: un desempeño económico que no se explica por su output innovador. Source: Mikel Navarro et al, Basque Competitiveness Institute 2010. "Until the 1980s, technology and innovation were under recognised influences in the explanation of differences in the rates of economic growth between regions in advanced industrial nations..." (Townroe) 5 5

6 Innovation Union for Europe
One of seven flagship initiatives of Europe 2020 Aim is to create the best conditions ('ecosystem') for researchers and entrepreneurs to innovate A broad approach to innovation (not just high tech, also product, service, social, public sector, eco) 34 commitments – 24 & 25 concern structural funds and smart specialisation

7 What is Smart Specialisation ?
"Smart Specialisation is a strategic approach to economic development through targeted support to Research and Innovation" What is Smart Specialisation ? = evidence-based: all assets = no top-down decision, but dynamic/entrepreneurial discovery process inv. key stakeholders = global perspective on potential competitive advantage & potential for cooperation = source-in knowledge and technologies etc. rather than re-inventing the wheel = priority setting in times of scarce resources = getting better / excel with something specific = focus investments on regional comparative advantage = accumulation of critical mass = not necessarily focus on a single sector, but cross-fertilisations Smart = - evidence-based: SWOT analysis & foresight, taking all assets of a region into account, in particular industrial structures, science, technology and training capacities, skills, environment, market access, but also "difficult assets" (aging population, remote position, rough climate …), - no top-down decision, but: self-discovery process (Hausmann and Rodrik 2004) with stakeholders to identify potential, actors, cross-fertilisation potential, etc. - possibly using creative problem solving / brainstorming tools (= "help them discover what they know themselves") and developing the smart specialisation concept - look beyond borders: global perspective to be able to assess potential of competitive advantage compared to other specialised regions & potential for cooperation - source in knowledge, technologies etc. rather than re-inventing the wheel. Specialisation = - priority setting (not "coffee for all") - getting better (than others) with something concrete, rather than doing a little bit of everything, but without becoming a master in it - accumulation of critical mass (be it internal to the region or via external insourcing & cooperation) not necessarily focus on a single industrial / service sector (or individual company), but cross-sectoral When looking at potential new activities analyse if they are technologically related to existing strengths, as evidence from evolutionary economic geography, especially the concept of 'related variety' shows that this creates the best for success (combination of embededness + relatedness) Canary island example on how to go about this by specializing through the adaptation of a generic technology – ICT in the tourism sector: a recently internationally awarded ERDF island project in the Balearics which is a new on-line booking system called Avanthotel. Avanthotel is an enterprising public-private partnership supported by the ERDF, within the framework of the Balearic Islands first innovation strategy promoted by the EU Commission, enabled local businesses, mainly small hotels, to align on customer demand, embrace ICTs and reconnect with a new generation of holidaymakers. In 2007 it involved over 450 companies with a total turnover of over 6m € and annual growth rates above 100%. 7

8 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 few priorities on basis of 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 ("quadruple helix") & synergies between funding instruments (EU, national, regional)

9 The evolution of Smart Specialisation
Expert workshop in Barcelona, June 2008, organised by JRC-IPTS JRC Scientific and Technical Reports, 2009: « The question of R&D specialisation – Perspectives and policy implications » “Knowledge for Growth expert group” launched the concept in the framework of ERA (2009) The concept is incorporated in the Europe 2020 agenda as part of the Innovation Union flagship initiative (2010) EC Communication « Regional policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020 » - smart specialisation as a key concept for the EU regional and cohesion policy EC proposes S3 as a 'thematic ex-ante conditionality' for R&I spending under ERDF S3 Platform is established at JRC-IPTS (2011)

10 How to develop a S3?

11 Why should universities care about smart specialisation?
Increasing concern about social and economic impact of publicly funded universities (e.g. ranking and funding; U-multi rank, UK REF, Austira Leistungsvereinbarungen, Spain – Aneca) Large amount of European Structural and Investment Funds linked to smart specialisation Opportunity to build partnerships with local and regional authorities for mutual benefit Synergies between support for R&I through the structural funds and European / national competitive financing will determine the overall funding structure Universities are increasingly being asked to justify their role: Research Excellence Framework (UK): 20% Impact rating Leistungsvereinbarungen (Austria): Includes RIS3! Aneca (ES): Intend to integrate impact into evaluation U-Multirank: Pilot EU ranking system (U-Multirank will rate universities according to their research reputation, teaching quality, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer and regional engagement. Each area will be assessed with scores on up to ten indicators, such as, for teaching, student graduation and employment rates, and, for knowledge transfer, the number of patents registered and companies started) There is a common purpose in the Commission among the different DGs to not only have centres of innovation excellence within the EU, but in the spirit of the Treaty's territorial cohesion objective, to enable all regions to achieve a knowledge-based transformation of their economies building on their existing strengths and assets and shaping competitive advantage. There are aspects of both the structural funds and Horizon 2020 that support each other and engagement in one area will smooth the process to be a beneficiary in another e.g. the ERA chairs pilot actions from in the 7th FP, the Twinning and Teaming actions, mobility schemes to create more connectivity. Likewise, projects in the structural funds will allow universities to create capacity for benefiting more from the competitive funds.

12 Cohesion Policy funding for R&I
Cohesion Policy innovation support over total aid: 4% in 89’-93’ 7% in 94’-99’ 11% in 00’-06’ 25% in 07’-13’

13 Cohesion policy - planned investment by major investment fields - 2007-2013 (in € billions)

14 ERDF 2014-20: Concentration on R&I, ICTs and SMEs to maximise impact
* At least two of four themes must be selected Research and Innovation Energy efficiency and renewable energy (compulsory) SMEs competitiveness Access and use of ICTs Developed regions Transition regions Less developed regions (plus island and outermost regions) Cohesion Policy 14

15 TOTAL 325.1 Billion EUR Less developed regions 164.3
Transition regions 31.7 More developed regions 49.5 Cohesion Fund 66.4 European territorial cooperation 8.9 Of which Cross border cooperation 6.6 Transnational cooperation 1.8 Interregional cooperation 0.5 Outermost regions and northern sparsely populated regions 1.4 Youth Employment initiative 3.0 TOTAL 325.1 New Youth employment initiative EUR 6 billion Available to all regions in EU-28 with levels of youth unemployment > 25 % (2012 data) EUR 3 bn from targeted investments from the ESF + EUR 3 bn of match funding from a dedicated YEI budget line Maximum EU co-financing rate 80-85 % in less developed and outermost regions; 60-80 % in new category of transition region; 50 % in more developed regions. Enhanced financial engineering provisions

16 Investment Priority 1 Council modifications
(1) strengthening research, technological development and innovation: (a) enhancing research and innovation (R&I) infrastructure […] and capacities to develop R&I excellence and promoting centres of competence, in particular those of European interest; (b) promoting business […] investment in innovation and research, and developing links and synergies between enterprises, R&D centres and higher education, in particular product and service development, technology transfer, social innovation and public service applications, demand stimulation, networking, clusters and open innovation through smart specialisation […] supporting technological and applied research, pilot lines, early product validation actions, advanced manufacturing capabilities and first production in Key Enabling Technologies and diffusion of general purpose technologies;* *) ICT, photonics, nano-electonics, nano- and bio-technologies, advanced materials, etc.. Cohesion Policy

17 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’


19 Contribution of universities to S3
Generative Research related (but not limited) to regional priorities Multi- and cross- disciplinary Connectivity – knowledge nodes Support regional analysis Absorptive Help build capacity to ensure local firms absorb knowledge Provide demand through teaching and learning activities Nurture social ties that drive RIS Collaborative Neutral regional brokers Reach Out – need 'boundary spanners' Reach In – Co-production of knowledge Leadership Support regional vision and partnership Propose joint activities Place marketing GENERATIVE Opportunities should be sought to align current or future industrial capabilities of a region with the research profile of local universities BUT knowledge may be better to be sourced from outside the region and should be careful to avoid regional lock-in. Establishing how a diverse research base (that cannot be emulated by the private sector) can contribute to ‘slack’ in the regional innovation system in order to underpin innovation (e.g .knowledge spillovers , facilitating related variety amongst sectors, supporting the uptake of platform technologies) Finding a place in the European and national innovation ecosystem where some universities and some regions focus on different stages in the innovation process (e.g late stage knowledge application as distinct from early stage generation of new knowledge) Source: Based on Kempton et al (2013) Universities and Smart Specialisation, JRC S3 Policy Brief #3, European Commission

20 The ‘disconnected’ region
No boundary spanners Focus on supply side, transactional interventions Ineffective or non existent partnership Lack of a shared understanding about the challenges Entrepreneurs ‘locked out’ of regional planning PUBLIC SECTOR Lack of coherence between national and regional/local policies Lack of political leadership Lack of a shared voice and vision at the regional/local level PRIVATE SECTOR No coordination or representative voice with which to engage Motivated by narrow self interest and short term goals Dominated by firms with low demand or absorptive capacity for innovation HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR Seen as ‘in’ the region but not ‘of’ the region Policies and practices discourage engagement Focus on rewards for academic research and teaching Source: Goddard, J and Kempton, L (2011) Connecting Universities to Regional Growth, European Commission

21 The ‘connected’ region
Strong partnerships based on shared understanding of the barriers and how to overcome them Generating intellectual and human capital assets for the region HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR Developing coherent policies that link territorial development to innovation and higher education PUBLIC SECTOR Investing in people and ideas that will create growth PRIVATE SECTOR Evidence based policies that support ‘smart’ innovation and growth Analysis of evidence and intelligence for planning Building the infrastructure for growth Skills development, commercialisation of research Source: Goddard, J and Kempton, L (2011) Connecting Universities to Regional Growth, European Commission

22 How to start entrepreneurial discovery process Public administration
Kick-start with consultation in quadruple helix: Detect potential boundary-spanners between different stakeholder / interest groups, new innovative entrepreneurs, hidden champions, or persons with a potential for this is one of the aims of this first step. … 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 & education public and private research bodies, universities, education and training, science and technology parks, Technology transfer offices, etc. 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 22

23 Avoid equating research excellence with the ability of a regional economy to generate innovation

24 EU R&D and Innovation Policy – Synergies and Complementarities
Horizon 2020 and Cohesion Policy: Differences and complementary objectives EU R&D and Innovation Policy – future Horizon 2020 EU Cohesion Policy Differences Based largely on individual R&D and innovation projects of a pre-competitive nature aiming at advancing knowledge and fostering innovation for growth and jobs, including but not exclusively frontier research (also co-funding national and regional programmes) Based on multiannual programmes aiming at increased to reduce regional disparities, including through close to the market competitive R&D and innovation efforts Awarded directly to final beneficiaries (firms, public and private R&D centres and Universities, including national and regional governments in certain cases – Art. 185, ERA-NET etc.) Awarded through shared management exclusively to national and regional public intermediaries Through transnational competitive calls addressed to international groupings through peer review based on excellence criteria Non competitive attribution addressed to regional players based on strategic planning negotiation (however calls possible at national or regional level) Synergies and Complementarities Horizon 2020 will focus on tackling major societal challenges, maximising the competitiveness impact of research and innovation (Industrial leadership) and raising and spreading levels of excellence in the research base Cohesion policy will focus on galvanising smart specialisation that will act as a capacity building instrument, based on learning mechanisms and the creation of critical skills in regions and Member States. Cohesion Policy looks at the regional assets and potential. However, so far many of the priority areas identified by consultants appointed by DG Regio to assess RIS3 are very similar to the grand societal challenges, including Energy, Life Science, ICT, Environment, New materials

25 134 EU regions + 11 EU countries + 2 non-EU regions

26 NEW! Transantional Cooperaion Benchmarking and targeted support
Methodological Guidance Interactive tools, S3 Newsletter and Website Country- and Macro-region events and targeted seminars at IPTS Research and analysis Peer Review workshops & trans-national learning S3 Platform has expanded its activities over time and we will be continuing to support Member States and regions in the coming months and years as the strategies are finalised and we move into the implementation phase. We have already been active in many areas, including methodological guidance, peer reviews and thematic workshops, specific activities related to ICTs and the digital agenda, as well as research projects that analyse the process of RIS3 formation. Extra support for digital agenda and ICT sections of RIS3 Thematic workshops & working groups RIS3 assessment and support to REGIO desks

27 Universities and the S3 Platform
Working with the European University Association Two day workshop in Seville, February 2013 Open Days workshop in October 2013 together with DG Education and Culture More activities in 2014, including high level conference in Brussels (June tbc) Find out more:

28 Thank you!

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