SMARTER 2020 Conference: 1st Webinar - “Place-based responses to the COVID-19 economic crisis”
17 Sep 2020 to 17 Sep 2020
Online Webinars open to all
“Place-based responses to the Covid-19 economic crisis” on 17 September 2020 (10:00 - 12:00 CEST)
The Covid-19 pandemic affects different places in different ways. Effective responses are likely therefore not only to be global but also local. Different places can benefit from designing customised solutions through the identification of local innovation opportunities. Sustainable Smart Specialisation Strategies (S4), as a governance model based on a place-based approach of regional innovation policy, could play a key role in the recovery process. The development of a shared vision of a territorial ecosystem combines with a multi-level governance approach linking bottom-up solutions to top-down directions. This webinar will focus on short-term responses to Covid-19 related to S3/S4 governance, as well as the medium/long-term role of S3/S4 in the post-recovery period, and related policy implications.
Context of the webinar
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation. First identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei, this infectious disease quickly spread round the world within weeks. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a pandemic. Even if all countries and regions are affected, the magnitude of the effect depends on the number of confirmed cases/death and the sectoral characteristics. The solution is therefore not only likely to be global but also mainly local, as each region is differently affected by Covid-19, and different places can benefit from designing customised solutions through the identification of local innovation opportunities. (Sustainable) Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), as a governance model based on a place-based approach of regional innovation policy, could play a key role in the recovery process, not only because it aims at developing a shared vision of a place’s ecosystem, but also because its proven capability to a implement multi-level governance approach required to link bottom-up solutions to top-down directions. Actions are required in the short, medium and long-term.
This webinar focused first on the immediate and short-term reactions of regional actors to the health and economic crisis, and their efforts to mitigate its negative effects. Acceleration of the digital adoption was one of the main strategies used by companies to continue operating, managing workforce and contacting with customers and partners. However, IT tools could also continue to help to improve and to ensure the governance model of the EU territories in, as well as beyond, times of social distance, lockdown and confinement. For instance, they allow the involvement of stakeholders dispersed in remote places or territories (e.g. islands or areas far away from the region's capital) in the design of policy interventions. Re-thinking the EDP process and adopting a digital approach can ensure not only the continuity of the policy in difficult times but can also be a way to improve the participation in the governance model in the post-corona crisis.
However, not all the sectors have been able to find alternatives to maintain their economic activities during the lockdown. The tourism sector has been greatly affected by the imposed closure of restaurants and hotels. In addition to a situation characterised by almost no income during several weeks, the tourism sector needs also to face changes in consumer behaviour and preferences, which hold both challenges and opportunities for recovery. To help in the recovery of the tourism eco-system, medium and long-term actions are also required. On example is helping regions highly dependent on tourism related-activities to become more resilient to exogenous shocks. By way of showcasing examples related to the above pathways to move forward from the crisis, this webinar presents a mix of shorter and medium/longer term approaches, and discusses policy implications at different governance levels.
Science-based policy debate bringing together practitioners and academic perspective on policy issues and opportunities
2 hours webinar
The webinar focused on short-term reactions to COVID-19 related to S3/S4 governance, on the medium/long-term role of S3/S4 in the post-recovery period, and related policy implications.