The Goals of Smart Specialisation

The Goals of Smart Specialisation


In the work by Foray and Goenaga (2013), smart specialisation is defined as an innovative policy concept that highlights the prioritisation principle in using vertical logic to facilitate the operations and processes of technologies, sectors and companies. It describes a methodology to support regions within an intervention of innovation policy. The rationale of smart specialisation requires the presence of the logic behind specialisation, especially for regional economies in Europe. Thus, the identification task is rather difficult, and it is thus necessary to have a sophisticated policy design.


To be clear, smart specialisation is not a planning principle for regions to specialise in one type of industry. It does search for robust and clear measures for suggesting new actions at a regional level, with the goal of exploring and finding new technological and market opportunities. Thus, smart specialisation opens new domains that facilitate regional competitive advantages. Instead of providing a methodology that defines if a hypothetical region has potential for one specific action, for example, tourism and fisheries, the vital question in smart specialisation is whether the region could have an advantage and could specialise in Research and Development (R&D) and innovation projects that have some main focuses, for instance, tourism and fisheries.



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Foray, D., and Goenaga, X. (2013). The goals of smart specialisation. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

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