SMARTER 2020 Conference Webinar series - Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals

10 November 2020

Date and time

10 November 2020, 10:30
10 November 2020, 12:30


Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals

10.30 -12.30 CET, 09.30 - 11.30 GMT

Smart Specialisation as a place-based innovation policy has started before the adoption of Agenda 2030. However, the analysis of the priorities chosen at local, regional and national level shows that they contribute to Sustainable Development Goals, as a ‘side effect’ of bottom up processes and identification of key challenges. The urgency to deliver Agenda 2030, as announced in the Decade of Delivery and Action by UN Secretary General and in the European Green Deal calls for the development of new strategies, instruments and approaches ensuring coherence of policy actions. In this context, bottom-up approach is also necessary to mobilise actors and translate the Global Agenda 2030 into place-specific transformative activities. Local communities are more agile, responsive and flexible than national authorities in addressing socio-economic, developmental and environmental challenges.

Smart Specialisation is an approach well suited for authorities at different level of governance to deliver desirable changes: it is a policy concept that promotes sustainable and inclusive growth by supporting economic, societal and environmental activities with high transformative potential. The new generation of Smart Specialisation Strategies should be place-based, territory-relevant, innovation-led transformation agendas for growth and sustainability. The Smart Specialisation Strategies should put even more emphasis on existing assets and local specificities while mobilising stakeholders as main players of socio-economic sustainable growth in complex innovation systems.

Clearly, the key aspects of Smart Specialisation are well aligned with the international discourse on the implementation of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. They include innovation, mobilisation, co-creation, localisation, prioritisation, co-investments and cooperation, which are relevant for both agendas. Evidence shows that more and more countries worldwide as well as international institutions show interest in the European experience with the Smart Specialisation. Specifically, Smart Specialisation is increasingly acknowledged as a suitable method for the development of STI for Sustainable Development Goals Roadmaps with a particular emphasis on the territorial and local needs.


The objective of the webinar is to discuss how to design and implement smart specialisation strategies to achieve sustainable transformation and meet the objectives of the 2030 UN Agenda at national, regional and local levels.

Agenda and Presentations

Presentations from 10.30 to 12:00,  followed by the discussion from 12:00 to 12:30 (CET)

10:30 to 10:40 - Welcome and opening speech

Alessandro Rainoldi, Head of the Territorial Development Unit (B3), Joint Research Centre, Spain

10:40 to 11:25 - Session 1: Concept, methods and approaches


10:40-10:55 Michal Miedzinski, Insitute for Sustainable Resources, University College London, UK

10:55-11:10 Anna Wieczorek, Technology, Innovation and Society Department, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

11:10-11:25 Lars Coenen, The Mohn Centre for Innovation and Regional Development, Western Norway University of Applied  Sciences, Norway

11:30 to 12:15 - Session 2: Practice and evidence


11:30-11:45 Katerina Ciampi Stancova, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Spain

11:45-12:00 Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Technical University of Vienna & IIASA, Austria

12:00-12:15 Monika Matusiak, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Spain

12:15 to 12:25 - Session 3: Discussion

12:25 to 12:30 - Concluding remarks


Albane Demblans, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Spain


Lesa Reynolds
Event Organiser (for RSA Europe)
Sally Hardy

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