Successful Smart Specialisation conferences organized by the university

Posted on 13/06/13.

University of Vaasa and Botnia-Atlantica Institute organised two seminars connected to the first Smart Specialization peer review workshop in a Nordic country. The seminars were open to everyone and participants were regional policymakers, planners, experts, researchers, students as well as other interested.

– The growth strategy of the EU Commission is a combination of two initiatives: a program for technological research, called Horizon 2020, and an attempt to enable European regions to use research and science based knowledge to start growing, called Smart Specialization. A core component of Smart Specialization is to improve connections between universities, industry and political administration at the regional level, the triple helix. This program raises two challenges, first, to develop indicators to measure triple helix connectivity, and secondly, to transfer successful experiences between regions in different countries. In this respect, Ostrobothnia is a leading region, through a project initiated by the regional council, and carried out by a partnership of universities in the region, explains Research manager Åge Mariussen.

During the first Measuring Quadruple Helix Connectivity: Towards a Strategy for Smart Regional Governance conference, the triple helix project was presented, and experiences and analysis from other regions were discussed. During the second day, the relevance of the Nordic model for regions elsewhere was discussed.

The first day discussion aimed to identify a framework of analysis, rather than a fixed method. It was emphasized that method triangulation, with a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches may be combined with a structuring of questions in a way which opens up for both transnational comparison and time series data.

The Nordic model is deeply embedded in Nordic institutional complementarities. A core element is the significance of the welfare state for Nordic competitiveness. This is based on agreements between central partners on core elements of the national strategy.

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