Emma Shortis, Research Officer, EU Centre
On the 13th of August, the EU Centre was delighted to host the launch of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in Smart Specialisation and Regional Policy.
Jointly funded by a Jean Monnet Activities grant and RMIT University, the Centre of Excellence provides a focal point for research, teaching and outreach activities with the EU, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It promotes cooperation between researchers and policy makers working on initiatives to support innovative economic and social development within regions.
Over forty people attended the launch, which included three presentations and discussion about the Centre and its capabilities.
Professor Lars Coenen, Chair of Resilient Communities at The University of Melbourne, began proceedings with a history and explanation of regional policy in the European Union, with a particular focus on the development of the ‘Smart Specialisation’ (S3) process.
Karen Cain, CEO of Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) then discussed the LVA’s approach to regional development in Gippsland, in the aftermath of the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station. Karen dicussed the LVA’s parternship with the EU Centre at RMIT and The University of Melbourne in developing a Smart Specialisation strategy for the Gippsland.
Associate Professor Lauren Rickards, Chair of the Regional Futures Network at RMIT University, a member of the Centre for Urban Research and Centre for People, Organisation and Work, then discussed the region-relevant research happening at RMIT. Lauren’s presentation made it clear that RMIT is indeed the national leader in regional research.
Finally, Professor Bruce Wilson closed proceedings to officially launch the Centre of Excellence and to welcome comments and feedback.
The leaders of the Centre of Excellence are:
Professor Peter Fairbrother, CPOW and School of Management
Associate Professor Lauren Rickards, CUR
Dr Meagan Tyler, CPOW and School of Management
Professor Bruce Wilson, Director, EU Centre
Mr Todd Williams, former director of Regional Development Australia (RDA), Hunter
Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association International (ANZRSAI)
Regional Australia Institute (RAI)
Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA)
Regional Studies Association (RSA)
Analysis and Policy Observatory (APO)
For more information about the Centre’s activities, please contact Bruce Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: CoE Launch Image (creative commons)