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Universities and Smart Specialisation: challenges, tensions and opportunities for the innovation strategies of european regions

A paper written by leading researchers on universities and regional development, published in the Basque Economic Review.
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This paper suggests that the core principles contained in the Smart Specialisation concept represent a set of challenges, tensions and opportunities for the position of universities in regional innovation strategies. These potential issues are discussed focusing on three particular elements of Smart Specialisation: the collective ‘entrepreneurial process of discovery’; the increased focus on specific areas of R&D and innovation specialisation within a regional economy that can generate distinctive competitive advantage; and the greater interest in trans-regional links and the relationship between territories in the European Union with different specialisations in the development and application of new technologies. The paper also identifies possible future barriers to the engagement of universities with regional Smart Specialisation Strategies.