EU Science Hub

Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth

Conference: Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth
May 03 2018
May 04 2018

Smart specialisation, technology transfer and digital economy – investments in research, innovation and human capital are key priority areas for boosting jobs and growth.

Opportunities and challenges of innovation and Europe's response to them were the topics of this conference, with a focus on South-East Europe, including the Western Balkans, and for constructive dialogue between institutions and businesses.


The report summarises the conference:

  • plenary sessions;
  • parallel sessions; and
  • accompanying reports.

/jrc/en/file/document/175856Summary report


The presentations of the conference are available as download package:

/jrc/en/file/archive/175324Conference presentations download pack (63MB)

Video recordings

Video recordings of sessions of the Smart Specialisation and Technology Transfer as Innovation Drivers for Regional Growth conference:

/jrc/en/video/video-streaming-sessions-smart-specialisation-and-technology-transfer-innovation-drivers-regionalThe Innovation Landscape in the EU - Main Actors, Initiatives, Tools and Outcomes



The programme offered sessions around the key themes:

  • Smart specialisation
  • Technology transfer
  • Digital Economy
  • Watify: "Boosting technological transformation in Europe"


  • Opening statements: Innovation, a response to Europe's challengesPanel discussion: The innovation landscape in the EU - Main actors, initiatives, tools and outcomes
  • Sharing experiences I: Innovation in places - Making smart specialisation a success story
  • Sharing experiences II: Success factors in R&D and innovation – How businesses cooperate with academia
  • Final Plenary Panel discussion: Coordinating processes and synergies – Bringing multiple initiatives together

Keynote speakers:

  • Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister, Bulgaria
  • Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society
  • Markku Markkula, Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions
  • Vladimir Šucha, Director-General, Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), European Commission
  • Sasha Bezuhanova, founder and board chairperson of MOVE.BG

JRC exhibition: Putting science at the heart of European policymaking

The conference reception (3 May, 18:00) marked the opening of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) science exhbition.

The exhibition showcased the work done by the European Commission's science and knowledge service from 03 to 18 May.


This high-level conference is organised under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

The conference will bring together

  • policymakers,
  • scientists,
  • businesses,
  • regional authorities and
  • universities.

The conference aims to explore the opportunities and challenges for Europe, in

  • skills creation,
  • knowledge and technology,
  • research,
  • development,
  • education,
  • employment and
  • innovation.


For more information please email: