Smart Spec: the benefits for HEIs

Earlier this month, we looked at the contribution of universities to Smart Specialisation strategies. This included the skills, connectivity, and research outputs at the heart of regional innovation activities. In this blog post, we outline the benefits for HEIs of participating.

The benefits for HEIs

A few of these benefits are outlined below, all of which will help influence the wider local area:

  • Increasing the value of the local economy: evidence-driven prioritisation of strong and growing sectors boosts a region’s economic diversity and resilience.
  • An opportunity to actively influence strategy, at local and national level, and help to define and deliver the priority sectors of the future
  • The opportunity to diversify funding sources and take part in complementary projects, including through exploration of synergies between funds, and
  • The chance to influence other actors, and forge new collaborations through a mutually understood framework.

Skillsets and collaboration

A university’s active engagement in Smart Specialisation will help that institution gain the skills to support their development as more agile institutions. This strategy should not operate only through provision of data and analysis, but also as a collaborative anchor for their region.

Higher education institutions will then be better able to act across different sectors, better able to network more diversely and better placed to engage between academics and business at local, national and global level.

Contact us

The Smart Specialisation Hub is in the process of engaging with universities to explore opportunities to support their activity. If you’d like to get in touch and arrange a more in-depth discussion, please contact us on

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