Towards the next generation of S3 approach

Towards the next generation of S3 approach

As father of European Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) Professor Dominique Foray states: “There are a few OCTs specific conditions that should require fine-tuning and imply therefore the conceptualization and development of the next generation of S3 approach.

There are three key issues to consider:

  • The relationships between inequality and innovation. This relationships is bi-directional. On one side, it involves the problem of inequality as a factor deterring innovation since inequality means that a significant fraction of human capital is poorly trained and has not acquired the necessary capabilities for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. On the other side, it involves the problem of what kind of innovation – and therefore what kind of S3 – is likely to help filling inequality gap.
  • The commitment to sustainability. The S3 as a central policy aiming at generating favourable conditions for innovation, creativity and R&D needs to recognize the centrality of sustainability and green growth as a major direction of structural transformations in regional economies. Green growth is a trajectory of technological development that will fully internalize environment costs, including most critically those related to climate change and is based on the sustainable use of non-renewable resources. Green growth requires green technologies: production techniques that economise on exhaustible resources and emit fewer greenhouse gases. The problem of accelerating innovation in the concerned sectors is, thus, a key objective for S3.
  • S3 cannot be viewed as an isolated process – S3 cannot be designed and implemented as if all social basic needs were fully satisfied. This is not the case and it is therefore crucial to consider policy complementariness between S3 and the critical policies, which are about water supply, food security, waste management, poverty or urban development. The crucial challenge would be to find mechanisms so that the innovations and transformative activities promoted and supported within S3 can also address such basic needs gaps.”

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