Smart Specialization as a New Strategic Framework: Innovative and Competitive Capacity in European Context

  • Ewa KopczynskaEmail author
  • Joao J. Ferreira


The smart specialization framework is an addition to the European policy agenda aiming to foster innovation and smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. The framework is expected to boost innovativeness and competitiveness of the European Union. However, it raises a number of doubts and concerns, especially due to the currently limited state of knowledge about the concept and its possible implications. To contribute to the need for further analysis of the issue, the paper examines the current smart specialization framework, its basic assumptions, conceptual basis, and current developments in the field. The policy analysis aims to identify the strengths of the framework, as well as its weaknesses that will require attention and corrective measures. Basing on existing literature and declared by regions smart specializations, the authors provide a list of conclusions regarding the current shape of the smart specialization framework in the context of European Union strategic objectives and their implications for policy makers. Provided recommendations suggest improvements of the approach to smart specializations required for the realization of the EU strategic objectives.


Smart specialization Innovation policies European Union policy Knowledge-oriented strategies RIS 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NECE – Research Unit in Business Sciences and PhD Candidate in ManagementUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  2. 2.Management and Economics Department and NECE – Research Unit in Business SciencesUniversity of Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal

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