Smart Specialization Policy in the European Union: Past-Present-Future



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on European Integration 2022
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Keywords cohesion policy; European Union; innovation policy; smart specialization
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Description The Smart specialization (SS) policy is a concept incorporated as a key feature of the European 2020 innovation strategy. Since then, it has become a highly relevant element of regional and industrial policies in the European Union (EU). It has also changed the paradigm design of cohesion policy from its redistributive logic to a development focus advocating a new strategic orientation. The objective of this article is to discuss the process of the evolvement of SS policy in the EU. Firstly, this article compares the SS concept with other emerging approaches to industrial and innovation policy. The main goal is to analyze key features of the SS concept and its novel principles that broke with traditional policy approaches and practices. On the other hand, the article also identifies the uptakes and downs of implementing the SS concept in different European regions. Finally, the article looks at the sustainability of this concept with the relevance of changes in European cohesion policy and the emerging rise of missionoriented innovation policy focusing on tackling societal changes such as climate crisis.
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