Empowering cities as key actors in smart specialisation
Smart specialisation is the most widespread approach regarding innovation in Europe nowadays. In a nutshell, it can be seen as an innovation-oriented policy-mix on economic development with a focus on a short range of priority areas, which is governed in a collaborative (and entrepreneurial) way. However, this concept still means little for many cities. Over the past few years, TASO has been at the frontline examining how the policy concept of smart specialisation applies to cities, as well as trying to give the local economic agenda a more transforming purpose.
Besides a number of projects, some events have given us the opportunity to spread the word on this matter, such as the URBACT City Festival in Lisbon, a major event aimed to celebrate the influence of cities as leading actors of change. Over there, we organize the breakout session on Empowering Cities as Key Actors in Smart Specialisation, featuring the S3 Platform, Bilbao Ekintza and Ricardo Valente, Councillor for Economy at Porto City Hall. Shortly afterwards, in a more academic context, we were invited to contribute at the SMARTER Conference on Smart Specialisation and Territorial Development, organized in Seville by the JRC-European Commission along with the Regional Studies Association.