The new strategic documents (both the Regional Development Strategy for the Lodzkie Region 2020 and the Regional Innovation Strategy for the Lodzkie Region 2030) updated and drafted by the regional authorities have been highly praised and recommended as presenting an innovative and territorial approach to development. This was possible because of wide consultations and close cooperation between various parties involved in drafting the documents. Above all, close cooperation with representatives of leading academics from the universities (including the Lodz University of Technology), helped to shape and tailor the documents to fit the needs of the region. The incorporation in the texts of the strategies of mechanisms and best practices helped to address the concept of innovation more effectively. The continuation of works on the development of the concept adapted in Regional Strategy of Innovation was the performance of the project titled “Development of Sector Policies for Lodzkie Region in the scope of resources granted from Technical Aid of Regional Operational Program for Łódź Voivodship 2007-2013“ by the Marshal of Lodzkie Region. It enabled to create six strategical Documents that include the vision and aims of each key industry, functioning as a Regional Intelligent Specialisation. When developing them, all innovative methods of creating economy management strategies were employed. In particular, those based on cooperation and partnership of entities operating in the regional market, which Lodzkie Region a national pioneer in this respect.
The representatives of the Lodz University of Technology that actively participated in the development of the ‘Strategy of Development of the Lodz Region 2020’ were the two vice-rectors: Prof. Ireneusz Zbicinski and prof. Krzysztof Jozwik. In case of the second document ‘The Regional Innovation Strategy for the Lodz Region – LORIS 2030’ the Lodz University of Technology representatives that took part in its development were: vice rector for innovations Prof. Piotr Kula and the director of one of the Departments at the Faculty of Management and Organisation – Prof. Andrzej Pomykalski. The development of these two documents was the initial stage for developing the regional S3 strategy in the region of Lodz.
The regional smart specialisations are based on the leading industrial and service sectors of the Lodz region. Since those sectors are constantly evolving and developing, the Lodz University of Technology had to adjust its educational offer, by for example offering new types of studies (e.g. Textiles Design, Commodity Science, etc.), because it had to prepare graduates for new types of jobs offered by companies in the region. Respective units of the University (departments/institutes) take part in projects connected with the S3 areas, because it is a necessity in order to get for example financial support for their realisation. If a project is not connected with S3 then it is much harder to get grants for it.
As far as the authors of the case study are concerned there has been no adjustment in the policy of the Lodz University of Technology to the S3 thematic areas, yet. It can be caused by the fact that the S3 strategy for the Lodz region was developed not so long ago (in 2015), and to change the structure takes a lot of time, as it has to be accepted by the proper decisive units of the University. The fact that in 2016 there were elections of the new Rector and vice-Rectors also has much influence on the lack of policy changes.
One of the persons interviewed for the needs of preparation of this case study was the vice-director of the International Faculty of Engineering, an organisational structure that provides studies only in foreign languages (English and French), and the second questionnaire was completed by the office of the Vice-Rector for Science.