3LE Presentation - Third Life Economics

Smart specialisation at the crossroads:
Process or impact? Transferrable
lessons from England
Presentation to 2nd EU Cohesion Policy
Name: Kevin Richardson/David Marlow
Date 6 February 2015
Innovation Context: England
Very high absolute levels of R&D;
but low (overall) relative to
EU2020 target of 3% of GDP
Very strong universities but
weaker in commercialisation, with
relatively lower levels of
investment by businesses
Government maintains cash
investment in science, and
significant fiscal incentives;
despite tough pending cuts
R & D concentrated in limited
number of sectors; dominated by
large firms
Very significant and regional
disparities in investment in
Complex Policy Context
National Innovation &
Research Strategy and
national Industrial Strategy
National Industrial Strategy
focus on 11 Sectors and 8
Great Technologies
Significant horizontal tax
measures (R & D Tax Credits,
Patent Box)
Independent Review of
Universities and Growth by Sir
Andrew Witty, CEX of GSK
‘Localism’ – a view that
government had become too
centralised, ‘bottom-up’
decisions to be taken by local
(functional economic) level
Local Strategic Economic
Plans; & local proposals for
ESIF upon which Operational
Programmes to be aggregated
No explicit mandate for local
areas to develop innovation
policy, but obvious
expectation from partners
(including mandatory thematic
concentration of ESIF)
Complex Institutional Context
Department of Business,
Innovation & Skills as policy
lead and main funder
Research Councils – explicitly
based on excellence
Innovate UK as single national
innovation agency and funding
programmes (largely aspatial)
Catapult Centres, located
around UK with mandate to
provide a national service
(loosely based on Fraunhofer)
Dept. of Communities & Local
Government as Managing
Authority for ESIF
Abolition of RDAs (inc. Science
and Industry Councils and targeted
investment budgets)
39 Local Enterprise Partnerships,
often with limited executive
Strong university sector; a varied
mix of research intensives and
many locally embedded institutions
Capacity issues in some regions in
local business leadership
Capacity of many local
municipalities impacted by major
budget cuts
Smart Specialisation in England
A single national strategy for
Based on 10 sectors and 8
Great Technologies in
Industrial Strategy
Presented as a smart
specialisation compliant
‘menu’ form which local
partnerships can prioritise
Locally niche specialisms only
with sound evidence and
sufficient scale/impact
Peer Reviewed in Riga (‘14)
Mixed evidence…………. (positive)
Guidance / encouragement
to local partnerships
‘Bottom up’ approaches,
especially in areas with
higher ESIF allocations e.g.
Manchester, North East etc
National Smart Specialisation
Sub Committee of PMC
Commitment in national
Innovation Strategy for Smart
Specialisation Advisory Hub
Pivotal in (re)engaging
universities in ESIF
Mixed evidence…………. (a critique)
Approx. €120m ESIF pa
compared to €35 billion gross
expenditure on R&D
General lack availability of
quality data
Issues of collaboration across
boundaries to build scale and
Impact on aspatial policies
and funding agencies (EU and
Local motivations unclear and
some local resistance
Issues of capacity at all levels
Recommendation #1
Continue development and testing new
and wider S3 tools and techniques
Why? Current tools tend to be simplistic
and qualitative (e.g. SWOT). Very
difficult to assess whether innovation
strategies are ‘smart’ or not
What Next? Commission programmes (at EU,
national and local levels) to develop new,
accessible tools for innovation-led growth
strategy formulation and delivery
Recommendation # 2
Invest in capacity-building and
deliberative exchange between EU,
national and local innovation leadership
Why? Many innovation leadership teams lack
capacity and capability to plan and mange change
effectively. Many have a breadth of world views
and perspectives, with limited mechanisms for
building shared understandings and agreements on
What Next? Support for Seville S3 ‘platform’
programmes, e.g. the England Advisory Hub with
resources (including ESIF co-financing) to encourage
collaborative capacity building and knowledge
Recommendation # 3
Strengthen the evidence base and
modelling of performance of local
innovation eco-systems
Why? No strong consensus on ‘what good looks
like’, and how local innovation systems are currently
performing. New innovation economies are not
well-captured by existing Eurostat and national
data sets
What Next? Update understandings of the KPIs
and data requirements for measuring and
analysing innovation systems. Test and pilot new
data collection and analysis techniques through the
2014-2020 EU (and national) programmes
Recommendation #4 and #5
Broaden the scope of any S3
conditionality across all major EU
programmes (and ideally national public
Why? One ERDF thematic objective is a small % of
overall investment in RD&I. Investments need to be
aligned with skills, infrastructure and other
investments. There is limited scope to reinforce S3
practice if conditionality is approved ‘ex-ante.’
What Next? EU Commission, MS and regional
partners to determine future application of S3
conditionalities across EU investment programmes.
Strengthen incentives for aligning funds (ESIF, H2020
etc.) along broadly-S3-based principles. Monitor and
evaluate increased synergy ‘pilots.’
Two observations..
What do we think S3 really is?
...a way of thinking
...a strategic processbased approach
...a ‘model’ or set of
...an ESIF assurance
...something else and/or
a hybrid of many things
How transferrable is the England
A ‘sui generis’ outcome of
specific political and
institutional contexts...
An exemplar of tensions
inherent in more successful
innovation economies, and
relationships between regions
in that economy
A more general set of
transferrable experiences and
Thank you for accepting
our paper and our
presentation in English
[email protected]

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