COVID-19 and the smart specialisation strategy: Policy actions and organisational policy capacities

Publication article | | Perianez-Forte, Inmaculada ; Navarro, Clemente J

This report aims to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the implementation of smart specialisation strategies in the last part of the 2014-2020 period.


The report focuses on organisational policy capacities and governance processes required to deal with the consequences of COVID-19. A survey was launched in 2020 to collect information about how the health crisis had affected implementation of smart specialisation strategies and how the entities in charge had managed the situation. The main results show the contrast between the adequacy of smart specialisation strategies portfolio contents and administrative challenges in managing and implementing the strategies in times of crisis and during the recovery period. Almost all entities consider priorities included in their smart specialisation strategies portfolio are adequate to cope with the consequences of COVID19. However, most highlight actions needed to enhance organisational structures and processes to increase actors' coordination, especially governmental ones. In sum, the entities in charge of the smart specialisation strategies need to improve their operational and political capacities more than smart specialisation policy contents.

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COVID-19 and the smart specialisation strategy