Higher Education for S3 in Centre Val de Loire

The existing S3 policy mix has successfully involved the main universities, especially in partnerships with industry for knowledge transfer, named Ambition Rercheche Development. However, these partnerships are mainly focused on knowledge transfer based on research and could involve students and graduates to a much greater extent, ensuring that the S3 priorities can count on highly skilled human capital.

Centre-Val de Loire has been the only region in France to integrate human capital as a S3 measure. The region has considered that the financial tools in place to support innovation can have an impact if accompanied by human capital measures that ensure that those innovations are implemented in the region's economic fabric, increasing their overall competitiveness. 

Universities’ contribution to S3 from the education mission it is understood to be closely  linked  to  the  existing  research  capacities,  and  therefore being  difficult  to influence  from  the managerial  level.  However,  if  the  S3  priorities  have  carefully considered the existing HEIs research capacities, a more coordinated response of research  and  education missions could  largely  benefit  S3  implementation in  the region.

The strong institutional capacity for knowledge based territorial development provided by the Dev'Up agency, combining the responsibilities of two formerly separate bodies covering research and innovation, and economic development, is an important regional asset. 

Main conclusions and recommendations

  • LE STUDIUM agency experience attracting highly skilled international researchers to strengthen international scientific exchanges and attractiveness of the region is highly successful. The integration of the initiative in the S3 to reinforce the international partnership of the Ambition Recherche Development (ARD 2020) program, is an excellent example for other regions on ways to stimulate S3 priority areas.
  • The valuable knowledge generated by the different observatories and agencies working on matching labour market needs with the offered skills and competencies should be shared and further used for policy decision-making processes. 
  • Doctoral studies within universities have an important potential to contribute to the regional economic fabric, reinforcing the entrepreneurial and innovation.
  • The ´COMUE- Communauté d'universités et établissements´ can become a key governance mechanism to coordinate the higher education efforts in the region and strengthening their contribution to smart specialisation.

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