We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
At the opening of a JRC conference on smart specialisation today, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu said that research areas must be coupled with the economic exploitation of new ideas and permanent questioning on how to do new, better and different things. "This is innovation" she said.
The Commissioner has also pointed out that diversification is one of the pillars of tomorrow's growth and that the diversity of European regions offers an enormous range of options, in terms of sectors and activities to prioritise. She also acknowledged that efforts already made by regions and stakeholders resulted in dozens of programmes with sound research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation. The Commissioner has encouraged policy makers to join efforts and to keep translating the objectives set in smart specialisation strategies into concrete actions.
Organised by JRC-IPTS, the conference was opened by Commissioner Creţu, the President of the Committee of the Regions Markku Markkula, MEP Lambert Van Nistelrooij, JRC Director-General, Vladimír Šucha, the Spanish Secretary of State for Research, development and innovation, Carmen Vela, the Regional minister for economy, innovation, science and employment, Jose Sanchez Maldonado and the chair of the JRC Board of Governors, Walter Moenig. It brought together more than 200 experts and policy makers.
In the new programming period 2014-2020, regions and countries are required to develop research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation as an ex-ante conditionality for the attribution of EU Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).
The JRC manages the smart specialisation platform, which supports regional and national authorities in the development and implementation of their research and innovation strategies in this area in order to increase their impact on economic growth and employment.
The Smart Specialisation platform (S3 Platform) is a joint project from the Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and the JRC was established in 2011 to support regional and national authorities in the development and implementation of their research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation, in order to increase their impact on economic growth and employment.
Since then, more than 150 EU Regions and 15 Member States registered within the platform and have networked to obtain information, methodologies, expertise and advice. Challenges to shift from the preparation to the implementation of the research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation, identified by the S3 platform together with regional policy makers, include the operationalisation of the entrepreneurial discovery process and the setting up of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. Inter-regional and trans-national collaboration are also key components of the activity fostered by the S3 Platform which has become the main tool to support regional and national authorities in (co)designing their research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation.
The conference video, and a summary of the interventions will be available at the event's website.