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Smart Specialisation Strategies: The Case of the Basque Country


  • Edurne Magro Montero

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)

  • Mari Jose Aranguren

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)

  • Mikel Navarro

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)


There is a clear acknowledgment in the literature of the importance of developing regional innovation strategies to build competitive advantages. However, the concept remains fuzzy in terms of its limits and contents applied to the territorial field. This paper analyses one concrete type of territorial strategy that is currently being disseminated by the European Commission for regional development: the smart specialisation strategy (S3). Specifically, this paper analyses the aspects that remain under discussion and are opened to greater development and precision under the smart specialisation concept. The focus is on two dimensions: the content of the strategy and the process of the strategy (the “what” and the “how and who” of the strategy). By analysing the evolution of S3 since the 1980s and three cases of S3 based on research and development (R & D) in the Basque Country, the paper emphasises the convenience of adopting a broad definition of S3 and the different roles of the government depending on the existing capabilities in the region. Moreover, the paper indicates that it is preferable to simultaneously and not consequentially develop the necessary scientific and technological capabilities and the generation of a shared vision of the S3 strategy in an entrepreneurial process.

Suggested Citation

  • Edurne Magro Montero & Mari Jose Aranguren & Mikel Navarro, 2011. "Smart Specialisation Strategies: The Case of the Basque Country," Working Papers 2011R07, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:ivc:wpaper:2011r07

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    2. Gil Avnimelech & Morris Teubal, 2008. "Evolutionary targeting," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 151-166, April.
    3. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090,
    4. Ron Boschma & Asier Minondo & Mikel Navarro, 2012. "Related variety and regional growth in Spain," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(2), pages 241-256, June.
    5. Wintjes, Rene & Hollanders, Hugo, 2011. "Innovation pathways and policy challenges at the regional level: smart specialisation," MERIT Working Papers 027, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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    Cited by:

    1. María José Aranguren Querejeta & James R. Wilson, 2013. "What can experience with clusters teach us about fostering regional smart specialisation?," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 83(02), pages 127-174.
    2. Dorota Czyzewska & Anna Golejewska, 2014. "Advancement of Polish and French regions in the process of smart specialisation," ERSA conference papers ersa14p430, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Kevin Morgan, 2016. "Collective entrepreneurship: the Basque model of innovation," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(8), pages 1544-1560, August.
    4. Kevin Morgan, 2013. "The regional state in the era of Smart Specialisation," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 83(02), pages 103-126.
    5. Jérémie Faham & Maxime Daniel & Benjamin Tyl & Iban Lizarralde & Iñaki Garagorri & Jérémy Legardeur, 2016. "A Dialogical Approach to increase " Matching " Efficiency before Collaborative Business Model Processes," Post-Print hal-01332579, HAL.
    6. Krzysztof Mieszkowski & Marcin Kardas, 2015. "Facilitating an Entrepreneurial Discovery Process for Smart Specialisation. The Case of Poland," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(2), pages 357-384, June.
    7. Dominique Foray & Xabier Goenaga, 2013. "The goals of Smart Specialisation," JRC Working Papers JRC82213, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    8. Monica Coffano & Dominique Foray, 2014. "The Centrality of Entrepreneurial Discovery in Building and Implementing a Smart Specialisation Strategy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(1), pages 33-50.

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