Over the past 20 years, European policy-makers have become increasingly conscious of the place-based dimension of regional & urban development, & have explored different policy approaches to distribute and share the learnings across a wide variety of regions in Europe. The impact of the GFC Financial Crisis added some urgency to this question, as the EU's Structural Funds constitutes the largest concerted effort aimed at economic development & achieving territorial cohesion.
Bringing together European innovation, urban & regional policy led to the development of a new emphasis on ‘smart specialisation strategies’, as a key element of Cohesion Policy design & implementation, commanding a budget of some 80 billion euros over 2014-20. Approximately 160 regions have adopted smart specialisation strategies, with a view to strengthen their regional innovation systems, build competitive advantage and to test & trial policy experimentation aimed at future-proofing the region’s future prosperity, environmental sustainability & social wellbeing.
This Symposium offers the opportunity to hear from two leading European experts on smart specialisation, & the effectiveness of its design and implementation as a policy intervention. It offers an opportunity to understand the background to this initiative, & to explore its implications for innovation, urban & regional policy in Australia.
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer