Smart Specialisation and the Entrepreneurial State

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Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 20142:00PM - 4:00PM108N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
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Frontiers of Research in Global Innovation


Abstract: The European Union unveiled the most ambitious regional innovation strategy in its history earlier this year when it launched the Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) program. Although it builds on the past, the RIS3 program also aims to break with the past by privileging the “process of entrepreneurial discovery”, a process in which firms, governments, universities and civil society organisations are enjoined to collaborate to fashion more regionally distinctive models of innovation and development. The birth of RIS3 was influenced by a number of recent theories, like the advent of evolutionary economic geography and the social learning approach in innovation studies. The pertinent point , however, is that the RIS3 program makes enormous demands on each of the regional stakeholders, not least the regional state, which is expected to act in more entrepreneurial and experimental ways than ever before. This seminar explores the theory, policy and practice of the RIS3 program and poses the question: are old industrial regions are up to the challenge?

Bio: Kevin Morgan is professor of governance and development in the School of Planning and Geography and dean of engagement at Cardiff University. His research interests include the interplay of governance and development; place-based innovation systems and strategies; sustainable food systems; and ethical social enterprise. Professor Morgan is the principal investigator on the European Union FP7 Project on Smart Specialisation, which is the new generation of regional innovation policies in the EU for the period 2014-2020.


Essyn Emurla


Kevin Morgan
Professor of Governance and Development, Cardiff School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff University

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