Smart specialisation reaches out to new audiences at the European Distance Education Network - EDEN conference

  • 21 Jun 2022

Smart specialisation reaches out to new audiences in higher education in the EDEN Conference last 21 June. Their annual conference brought together researchers and practitioners from all over Europe. This year the conference focus has been on “Shaping the Digital Transformation of the Education Ecosystem in Europe”.

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21 Jun 2022


The Smart Specialisation Platform, presents at the EDEN Conference on June 21st, in Tallin, Estonia.

Under the presentation titled That’s the way the cookie crumbles. And this is how open educational practices become essential ingredients, Andreia Inamorato, senior researcher of the smart specialisation team of the JRC, prompted the audience to reflect upon the role of universities in the design of regional policies, and how they can drive transformative change. She also called for a reflection on how universities can play a key partner role within their region. Tapping into the latest European Commission’s Communication "A European Strategy for Universities" (2022), she showed that universities are positioned at the center of social innovation, thus being called upon their third mission with increasing accountability.

The Higher Education for Smart Specialisation (HESS) Project of the European Commission's JRC and DG EAC explores how universities can take an important role in policy design via contributing to Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) and research and innovation for S3 (RIS3). In addition, open educational practices (OEP) take up an increasingly important role in social transformative innovation linked to S3 and RIS3. She explored these concepts and processes, and shows examples from Europe and beyond, tapping into some of the HESS project case studies.

How and why open educational practices become essential components in regional innovation?

Helping build a strengthened ecosystem for an empowered entrepreneurial discovery process and continuous human capital development, the discussion focused on the importance of the digital competence of academics, including open education practices competencies. In this context, the recently launched PRI Initiative of the European Commission (Partnerships for Regional Innovation) shows how open science and open education are part of the mix of tools proposed to promote transformative social innovation in the PRI Playbook (fiche 59, pg. 156).

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