The Vanguard Initiative New Growth through Smart Specialisation is an initiative that is driven by a political commitment of regions to use smart specialisation strategy for boosting new growth through bottom-up entrepreneurial innovation and industrial renewal in European priority areas.
Our proposals are shaped as a ‘Vanguard Initiative’ because we are convinced that leadership and strong partnerships are needed to achieve this ambition. Our political engagement to position the smart specialisation agenda at the centre of the EU’s drive for new growth is based on a firm belief that entrepreneurship and common policy goals, that respond to societal challenges, will provide the impetus for revitalised European industrial growth.
This Vanguard Initiative has its foundations at the regional level. EU regions are the closest policy link to the bottom-up growth dynamics necessary for the renewal of our industrial fabric through their proximity to place-based innovative partnerships and clusters. Such partnerships and clusters form eco-systems that are the catalyst for new fast-growing innovative SMEs. They can re-shape industrial structures which are vital for new growth. Regional innovation ecosystems can and do develop solutions for the grand societal challenges while delivering on the EU’s ambitions for improved international competitiveness.
The smart specialisation Vanguard Initiative seeks to lead by example in developing interregional cooperation and multi-level governance for supporting clusters and regional eco-systems to focus on smart specialisations in these priority areas for transforming and emerging industries. These regions wish to build the synergies and complementarities in smart specialisation strategies to boost world-class clusters and cluster networks, in particular through pilots and large scale demonstrators. These investments will bolster the competitive capacity of Europe to lead in new industries for the future and develop lead-markets that offer solutions for our common challenges. To this end, the political leaders of the smart specialisation Vanguard Initiative commit themselves and call upon all political leaders to join and support this initiative for new growth.