SMARTER 2020 Conference Webinar series: Connecting grand societal challenges with local goals in place-based innovation policy

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SMARTER 2020 Conference Webinar series: Connecting grand societal challenges with local goals in place-based innovation policy

The SMARTER 2020 Conference Webinar series is co-organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and RSA Europe (the Regional Studies Association European Foundation). Open to all, the SMARTER 2020 Conference Webinar series is a forum for debating the most relevant issue affecting today’s society, such as the European Green Deal, growth policies, the Covid-19 pandemic, and other connected themes. 

Smart Specialisation provides a unique entry point for such debates. Smart Specialisation is a place-based EU policy promoting economic transformation by designing targeted investment in research and innovation. Building on a growing interest in this policy, the main principles and mechanisms of Smart Specialisation are travelling fast, attracting attention outside the European Union. At the same time, the Smart Specialisation approach is evolving, incorporating evidence on what worked and what did not, embracing a larger policy scope than just research and innovation and enriching its policy toolbox. 

The webinars will also offer an opportunity to discuss and compare different territorial development approaches, exploring how they engage with the European Commission’s priorities for 2019-2024 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SMARTER 2020 Webinar series will provide a comprehensive picture of the Smart Specialisation policy experience, including an evaluation of its results and an account of its recent developments both conceptually and empirically. 

It seeks to foster a dialogue between practitioners, policy-makers and researchers. 

Each of its six webinars will follow the same format: 

  • Science-based policy debate bringing together practitioners and academic perspective on policy issues and opportunities; 
  • Two-hour webinar. 

The six webinars are: 

  • 17 September: Place-based responses to the COVID-19 economic crisis. 
  • 6 October: Smart Specialisation Strategies for Sustainability: opportunities for economic recovery and competitiveness. 
  • 10 November: Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • 19 November: Quality of life in European cities: are cities in Europe inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable? 
  • 24 November: Smart Specialisation: evidence, lessons, challenges and opportunities. 
  • 3 December: Urban strategies and Smart Specialisation. 

The first webinar will take place on Thursday the 17th of September 2020 from 10:00 to 12:00 noon and the topic is “Place-based responses to the COVID-19 economic crisis”. The chair of this event will be Mikel Landabaso, Director Growth and Innovation at the Joint Research Centre. Among the speakers are Dominique Foray of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of the Territorial Development Unit (B3) at the Joint Research Centre. More information on the webinar can be found here.  

The second webinar, “Smart Specialisation Strategies for Sustainability – opportunities for economic recovery and competitiveness”will take place on the 6th of October 2020, from 9:30 to 11:30 CET. Its chair will be Alessandro Rainoldi.  More information on the second webinar can be found here

The third webinar, focused on “Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals”, is foreseen for the 10th of November 2020 from 11:00 to 12:00 CET. More information on this third webinar is to be found here

The fourth will analyse “Quality of life in (European) cities: are cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable?“. It will take place on the 19th of November 2020, from 10:00 to 12:00 CET. 

The fifth webinar will take place on the 24th of November 2020 and talk about “Smart Specialisation: evidence, lessons, challenges and opportunities”, while the sixth is dedicated to “Urban strategies and Smart Specialisation” and is foreseen for 3rd December 2020. For the final 2 webinars, the agenda is not yet finalised.  

Themes of interest to the conference include: 

  • Smart Specialisation: evidence, lessons, challenges and opportunities 
  • Smart Specialisation on the move: the evolution of a policy approach 
  • Science, technology and innovation policy for Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Smart Specialisation and Cohesion Policy: Aligning Policy for ‘left behind’ places 
  • The COVID-19 crisis: socio-economic impacts and the role of territorial policies for recovery 
  • Innovation policy for sustainable and inclusive growth 
  • Tools and methodologies for territorial analyses in support of development policies 
  • Evaluation of territorial innovation policies 
  • Global value chains, innovation and local development 
  • Urban challenges and strategies for innovation-led development 
  • Models of regional and multi-level governance and stakeholder involvement. 
  • Actors of territorial development: research organisations, businesses, public actors, civil society groups 
  • Regional Governance, capacities and resources for place-based policy 

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