SMARTER 2020 Conference - 3d webinar - Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals

  • 10 Nov 2020 to 10 Nov 2020
  • Online event open to all

The objective of the webinar is to discuss how to design and implement smart specialisation strategies to achieve sustainable transformation and meet the objectives of the 2030 UN Agenda at national, regional and local levels.

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Agenda and Presentations

10:30 – 10:40  Welcome and opening speech

Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of Unit, Joint Research Centre, European Commission


  • 10:40 – 10:55  Michal Miedzinski, Institute for Sustainable Resources, University College London, UK

Presentation: Smart Specialisation emphasizes place-based development: what does this mean for the global scale and seemingly universal ambitions of Agenda 2030?

  • 10:55 – 11:10  Anna Wieczorek, Technology, Innovation and Society Department, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Presentation: Sustainability Transitions: challenges in making them happen

  • 11:10 – 11:25  Lars Coenen, The Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Presentation: Smart specialisation, policy experimentation and place-based sustainability transitions: insights from Gippsland, Australia



  • 11:30 – 11:45  Katerina Ciampi Stancova, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Presentation: Science Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals: Smart Specialisation and transnational partnerships

  • 11:45 – 12:00  Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Technical University of Vienna & IIASA, Austria

Presentation: Innovation for a safe and just future on a stable and resilient planet

  • 12:00 – 12:15  Monika Matusiak, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Presentation: SDG-oriented by design – results from the Global Pilot Programme on Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmaps for Sustainable Development Goals

12:15-12:25     Discussion

12:25-12:30     Conclusion remarks

Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of Unit, Joint Research Centre, European Commission



Albane Demblans, Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Practical Information

10 Nov 2020 to 10 Nov 2020

Online event open to all





Smart Specialisation as a place-based innovation policy has started before the adoption of Agenda 2030. However, the analysis of the priorities chosen at local, regional and national level shows that they contribute to Sustainable Development Goals, as a ‘side effect’ of bottom up processes and identification of key challenges. The urgency to deliver Agenda 2030, as announced in  the Decade of Delivery and Action by UN Secretary General and in the European Green Deal calls for the development of new strategies, instruments and approaches ensuring coherence of policy actions. In this context, bottom up approach is also necessary to mobilise actors and translate the Global Agenda 2030 into place-specific transformative activities. Local communities are more agile, responsive and flexible than national authorities in addressing socio-economic, developmental and environmental challenges.

Smart Specialisation is an approach well suited for authorities at different level of governance to deliver desirable changes: it is a policy concept that promotes sustainable and inclusive growth by supporting economic, societal and environmental activities with high transformative potential. The new generation of Smart Specialisation Strategies should be place-based, territory-relevant, innovation-led transformation agendas for growth and sustainability. The Smart Specialisation Strategies should put even more emphasis on existing assets and local specificities while mobilising stakeholders as main players of socio-economic sustainable growth in complex innovation systems.

Clearly, the key aspects of Smart Specialisation are well aligned with the international discourse on the implementation of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. They include innovation, mobilisation, co-creation, localisation, prioritisation, co-investments and cooperation, which are relevant for both agendas. Evidence shows that more and more countries worldwide as well as international institutions show interest in the European experience with the Smart Specialisation. Specifically, Smart Specialisation is increasingly acknowledged as a suitable method for the development of STI for Sustainable Development Goals Roadmaps with a particular emphasis on the territorial and local needs. 


The objective of the webinar is to discuss how to design and implement smart specialisation strategies to achieve sustainable transformation and meet the objectives of the 2030 UN Agenda at national, regional and local levels.


During the session, scientists will present conceptual work and evidence on Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals. The presentations will be followed by a discussion on the issues such as existing scientific evidence, specific policy actions and instruments in support of Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Smart Specialisation.


Webinar recording



SMARTER 2020 Conference Webinar Series full programme