On 24 March 2017, EUA issued its response to a European Commission public consultation on Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).
The EUA Expert Group on RIS3 and the Research Policy Working Group (RPWG) worked in collaboration on response. The Expert Group met on 8 March in Brussels to formulate the Association’s input to the consultation aimed at finding a fresh approach to European growth and jobs through regional innovation strategies. EUA’s response addresses the importance of political support, transparency and convergence of innovation policies and the need for more synergies between EU instruments and programmes. It also underlines that human talent acts as a fundamental driver of innovation and proposes to provide greater flexibility of cohesion fund use in order to further improve the responsiveness of regions to new emergent areas of research and innovation.
The meeting was also an occasion to discuss recent developments in the field. Peter Haring-Bolívar, the chair of the group, welcomed Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), as a guest speaker. Markkula discussed a number of topics including the importance of human capital, innovation ecosystems and further cooperation between universities and the CoR.
The Expert Group also discussed the future of the new Framework Programme (FP9) and its relation to the post-2020 cohesion policy funds. This input will inform EUA’s position on the next Multiannual Financial Framework. In addition, the Expert Group started to prepare the next workshop on Smart Specialisation, which will be jointly organised by EUA, and the National Rectors’ Conferences of Estonia and Finland. This event will take place in Tartu, Estonia on 17 October 2017, and it will be part of the activities of the Estonian Presidency of the EU.