August’s theme on the Smart Specialisation Hub will focus on the European view of Smart Specialisation, including pieces from the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P) in Seville.
A post-referendum world
As we mentioned in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result, the work of the Hub has always been driven by a sense of place.
In the context of increasingly devolved powers and responsibilities, a clear articulation of strengths and priorities at local level is more important than ever. Assembling the data, analysis and intelligence required for places to convincingly make their case is fundamental to the work of the Hub.
The referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU may yet have implications for structural and other funds; however, the trend towards devolution seems likely to continue. This means that, more than ever, it will be vital for localities to be able to clearly articulate their strengths in an increasingly competitive funding landscape. Smart Specialisation is a core tool in facilitating this articulation, and has been endorsed as such by Government.
Devolution and Smart Specialisation
Greater devolution also requires closer collaboration if innovation ambitions are to be achieved. The Hub’s mission has always been to foster partnerships at local level, and to help bring the research base, innovation-active businesses and actors across the ecosystem together behind a common purpose.
We will continue in this vein, facilitating collaborative working within and across local areas, and encourage clarity of purpose amongst partners.
Smart Specialisation, the Smart Specialisation Platform, and the EU
Innovation co-operation with Europe and specifically the EU will certainly continue. The Hub has worked closely with colleagues at European level on matters of collaboration, funding and access; this will not change in the short term.
Therefore, we will be posting European Smart Specialisation thought pieces throughout this month, as the Smart Specialisation Platform currently remains an integral part of what the Hub plans to do.