The purpose if this paper is to contribute to a new transformative narrative aligning Smart Specialisation with the UN 2030 Agenda and the European Green Deal by offering directionality towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and combining different levels of policy to achieve the needed sustainability transformations. It is part of a broader effort summarizing different practical and theoretical aspects of this change and contributes to the ongoing debate and methodological underpinning of place-based innovation strategies for sustainability (S4).
This report proposes a new transformative narrative to help guide the next phase of Smart Specialisation activities. The narrative helps align Smart Specialisation with the European Green Deal and the UN 2030 Agenda by offering directionality and combining different levels of policy to achieve the needed sustainability transformations. The report highlights the role of policy coherence and coordination for the transformation. It presents approaches to increase policy coherence to harness synergies and alleviate trade-offs across different objectives with a focus on environmental issues. Throughout this report a number of selected cases is used to illustrate the conceptual discussion developed in a more theoretical part of the report. These cases presented in the report cover countries and regions from within and outside the European Union. EU countries and outside the EU and present lessons learnt on the different topics linked to Smart Specialisation, sustainability and environmental commons. The report concludes by a discussion on how to orient existing S3 approaches towards sustainability.