This paper addresses a growing gap between the policy practice of “Smart Specialization strategies” and its theoretical base. The concept of Smart specialization has attracted a high level of policy interest and has been adopted widely in policy circles in Europe. However, Smart Specialization lacks an empirical and theoretical foundation that can help guide its application in practice. This paper develops a framework based on two strings of literature, namely the fields of evolutionary economic geography and innovation systems. Subsequently the framework is applied on a regional mapping exercise conducted in an EU funded ‘Regions of Knowledge’-project that focuses on the Offshore Wind Service sector in four regions around the North Sea. The purpose is to illustrate how a strategy-making process can be guided by a few theory based principles in pursuing the goals of smart specialization. The findings support that regions differ in terms of knowledge assets, capabilities and capacity in different parts of the value chain and consequently build on different starting points for Smart Specialization strategies.
Proceedings of 25th Ispim Conference – Innovation for Sustainable Economy and Society, 2014
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25th ISPIM Conference, 2014
International Society for Professional Innovation Management