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Smart specialisation as a driver for strategic cluster policies

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1 Smart specialisation as a driver for strategic cluster policies
RIS3 ECA Workshop: “Clusters new trends and their challenges for implementing RIS3” 22 June, Brussels Jan Larosse, Department Economy-Science-Innovation, Flemish Government

2 Overview An argument in three steps:
The OECD Project on smart specialisation: a new policy approach Main features: clusters are key components in S3 First conclusions The evolution of cluster policies in Flanders: a new strategy Recent changes: cluster policy becomes core of new industrial policy The role of OECD ‘action studies’ in our policy development Cluster policies in times of structural change: a paradigm shift? S3 in the context of the financial-economic crisis New challenges for cluster policies Cluster policies and cluster management need to develop new strategic capacities to play their role in the governance of transformation of the present growth model

3 1. OECD Project: ‘Smart specialisation for innovation-driven growth’
The OECD started June 2011 the first integrated policy learning project to support design and assessment of strategies for smart specialisation (in cooperation with DG Regio & IPTS) Basic structure: ‘Base-line’: develop evidence-based strategic intelligence to assess present specialisations and priorities (measurement) ‘Beyond the base-line’: design discovery driven strategy processes to enable future choices (case-studies) Objectives Manageable and consistent policy tool box for policy makers (OECD Innovation Policy Platform) Policy recommendations to use smart specialisation for leveraging smart growth Key Concepts Smart specialisation is largely about the policy process to select and prioritise fields or areas where a cluster of activities should be developed: let entrepreneurs discover the right domains of future specialisations (‘an entrepreneurial discovery process’) ‘Regional development’ holds a central place, but takes an international viewpoint of discovering comparative advantages (= ‘open’ regional innovation system) What is smart? A knowledge-based, interactive and pro-active strategy development

4 Structure and Expected results
PART 1: What is the Baseline ? PART 2: Beyond the Baseline ? Workshop 1 22-24 Nov. 2011 INDICATORS-BASED TEMPLATE GOVERNANCE Workshop 2 10-11 May, Paris CASE-STUDIES (‘Action learning’) Workshop 3 Brussels, end-2012 FINAL REPORT Indicator-based Specialisation Profiles for strategic monitoring of international comparitive advantage (in science, technology, employment, export) Governance Templates for (self)-assessiment of capacities in priority setting, participatory processes, strategic intelligence. Case-studies for comparative policy learning on smart/interactive strategy development as an ‘entrepreneurial discovery process‘ Policy synthesis on the role of smart specialisation as a new policy approach for co-creation of ‘direction’ in the transformation of the economy

5 Participants : 13C – 16 regions -17 CS
Austria Regional policy mixes Multi-governance Finland Cross-cutting competences and lead markets Germany Inter-regional innovation strategy Belgium Nano for Health Sustainable Chemistry Poland Low-tech manufacturing sectors The Netherlands Multi-level governance South Korea Photonics Industry Spain Aerospace Regional industrial policy Turkey Automotive sector UK Low Carbon Vehicles Australia Rural research and Development activity Czech Republic Estonia Lead countries (Case-studies + final report) Case-studies Joined later: Slovenia, Tcheque Republic

6 Example of an economic specialisation profile: mature industries in Flanders
Source: OECD project Smart specialisation in global value chains (ECOOM) Even these simple spider graphs can trigger other ‘stories’ and inspire new strategic decion frameworks

7 Preliminary findings OECD has a role in setting ‘standards’ to accelerate conceptual and policy development and support policy makers with a ‘toolbox’ of indicators en guidelines: Smart specialisation is a policy approach for prioritisation of (public) RD&I investments in times of hard budget constraint and structural change. = 4-Cs CHOICES COLLABORATION / CONNECTIVITY / CROSS-FERTILISATION COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE, capitalising on COMPLEMENTARITY in value chains CHALLENGES Smart Specialisation Strategies are developed in a multi-actor and multi-level policy environment = Clusters (as nodes in global value-chains) are the engine Strategic governance has to be adapted to the climate of uncertainty in decentralised decision environments = Discovery process, aided by shared strategic intelligence & supporting methodologies for co-creation of shared visions, road maps,

8 S3 are co-created at different decision levels

9 SMART SPECIALISATIONS: where to ‘discover’ them?
Smart Specialisation is focussing local competences on gobal challenges

10 SMART SPECIALISATION STRATEGY: focus on lead-clusters
…Therefore smart specialisation is embodied by innovation clusters as unique local eco-systems in global value chains.

11 Catalysing role of strategic intelligence
Shared visions Common Road Maps Specialisation profiles to help identify comparative advantages (evidence-based) Promote clusters with unique eco-systems that exploit the positive sum game of open innovation Giving a role to all regions

12 2. Recent evolutions in Flanders cluster policies
Flanders has a tradition of strong bottom-up S&T policy: selection only on quality standards (‘excellence’ and ‘ROI’), but no clear thematic or sectoral priorities But history has created specialisation patterns! Often institutionalised (strong strategic research centres) or evolved from FDI (decided by multinationals). Smart specialisation approach can catalyse change process: recognise the entrenched priorities (historic strengths that are not always strengths anymore) It is a process approach, not a mechanism for top-down choice policy. The bottleneck = strategic capacity (strategic cluster platforms!) S3 in Flanders = no strong ex ante choices but a commitment to travel the road of transformation by targeted innovation

13 ‘Innovation Crossroads’: challenge driven innovation policy
‘Innovation Centre Flanders’, concept note adopted by Flemish Government on May 27th 2011 Societal challenges recognised as driver of a new innovation strategy Departure from a purely bottom-up research and innovation policy Six ‘innovation crossroads’ are identified for the development of specific innovation strategies Eco-innovation Green energy Sustainable mobbility and logistics Innovation in care Social Innovation Industrial transformation (specified for core sectors) ‘Innovation crossroads’ are a space where interdisciplinary research and open innovation can contribute to societal and economic value creation. ‘Innovation Direction Groups’ are assigned by the Minister to advise on such strategies (ongoing)

14 Transformation processes: core of New Industrial Policy
‘White Paper New Industrial Policy’, adopted by Flemish Government on May 27th 2011: Action Plan with 50 Actions in economy-innovation-work policy for a ‘new productivity offensive’, ‘Factory of the Future’ and ‘system innovation’ Round Tables are organised to elaborate a ‘Strategic Action Plan’ for transformation in (ready) sectors. ‘Transformation strategies’ are based on value chains, clusters and grand projects (cross-sectoral) New arrangements for policy coordination are gradually put in place A targeted cluster policy will be developed (advised by an Industry Council). ‘Smart specialisation’ is adopted as a reference. This is a ‘discovery process’! Strong bottom-up drive. Frontrunner: FISCH (Flanders Initiative for Sustainable Chemistry) From 2007 onwards the sector federation developed a transformation strategy, supported by a broad mobilisation (more than 700 participants), in 3 parts: a strategic research programme on renewable materials and process intensification; open innovation infrastructures; new business models (e.g. chemical leasing) and sustainability criteria. Recent establishment of Transformation and Innovation Platform as cluster organisation (€5mln/y) that elaborates the road maps further.

15 A three steps entrepreneurial discovery process
Visioning: with focus on societal challenges (transition management / starting experiments) in Transition Arenas / Flanders in Action Strategy development: with focus on transformation by innovation (strategies within the 6 innovation hubs) in Innovation Direction Groups Action plan: with focus on investment projects in consortia driven by frontrunners (promoted in Round Tables and Transformation and Innovation Platforms)

16 Smart Specialistion case-studies Flanders (OECD-TIP project on smart specialisation in global value chains) Action Learning= simultanious policy learning and policy development Two transformation cases that benefit from a smart specialisation approach: Case 1: Sustainable Chemistry Largest petro-chemical cluster in Europe in Flanders; strong links with food, building e.o. sectors; cross-border links with NL and DE Transition towards bio-based economy, but incomplete science base! How to become a world-class cluster in sustainable chemistry? Focus on strategic road mapping for a transition (also cross-border!) Case 2: Nano-for-Health IMEC: largest independent nano-electronics research institute in Europe; technology platform for open innovation, but weak industrial cluster. Health: transition towards ‘personalised therapy’ How to leverage this technology platform for these new application areas? Focus on the management of an emerging eco-system (cross-border!)

17 3. Conclusions for cluster policy
Clusters are change agents! No lobby organisations or disguised sector organisations Locus for choice processes linked with innovation & entrepreneurship! = smart specialisation Pitfalls of ‘steady-state’ cluster policies Lock-in! / The ‘average’ member as a reference Dispersion: small-scale; fragmentation and duplication Focus on cooperation between cluster organisations is not enough Transition towards a strategic approach towards regional strengths Frontrunners in the drivers’ seat for a pro-active & interactive strategy New methods and personnel in cluster management (road mapping) Need for competition in cluster models (Spitzen cluster competition?) Smart specialisation is a policy approach for a new generation of cluster policies

18 Three stage cluster development
GENERIC CLUSTER POLICIES TARGETED CLUSTER POLICIES Clustering Co-location / agglomeration Value chains Occasional collaboration Cluster platforms Organised Triple helix Systematic use of synergies Lead Clusters Strategic Smart specialisation System innovation ‘Two-stage gate keeping’ policies for cluster development?

19 Impact of S3 on cluster management
Take smart specialisation as an opportunity to enhance change management in cluster strategies. Transformation pressure is not the same for all. Different smart specialisation strategies: modernisation, diversification, transition, radical foundation. Consider what is the appropriate governance. Smart specialisation introduces the international positioning as a selective environment for own priorities, to challenge present distribution of priorities. Outward looking strategy Align these strategies with common road maps at EU-level. Use cross-border linkages to complete/complement the regional clusters and gain critical mass. Focus on lead-clusters. Network clusters in GVC and in European knowledge base for common challenges (see Nano for Health network) S3 = ‘specialisation’ (focus on strengths), enhanced by strategic capacity and intelligence to facilitate future choices in cluster organisations

20 Further questions? Please contact me! Thank you
Department of Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) Koning Albert II-laan 35 box 10, 1030 Brussels | / tel

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