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From Plan to Process: Exploring the Leadership Implications of RIS3


  • James R. Wilson

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)

  • Mari Jose Aranguren

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)

  • Mikel Navarro

    () (Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness)


Regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) are currently receiving much attention in the face of the European Commission’s requirement that all regions develop smart specialisation strategies in order to receive structural funds linked to innovation. Yet the entrepreneurial discovery process that is at the core of the smart specialisation concept remains a black box. The paper looks inside this black box through an exploration of leadership requirements. A review of literature on place leadership and territorial strategy identifies three key considerations for leadership if RIS3 are to result in coherent and successful place-based strategies for STI investment: a dualism in reference frame; a mix and rotation of leaderships; and the likely different sources of leaders. These are brought together with analysis of the distinct RIS3 processes in two neighbouring Spanish regions – the Basque Country and Navarre – to highlight a series of implications in terms of the context in which RIS3 develop, the required shift from plans to processes, and the required leadership mix.

Suggested Citation

  • James R. Wilson & Mari Jose Aranguren & Mikel Navarro, 2015. "From Plan to Process: Exploring the Leadership Implications of RIS3," Working Papers 2015R01, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.
  • Handle: RePEc:ivc:wpaper:2015r01

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Roberto Camagni & Roberta Capello, 2013. "Regional Innovation Patterns and the EU Regional Policy Reform: Toward Smart Innovation Policies," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 355-389, June.
    2. Edurne Magro & Mikel Navarro & Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia, 2014. "Coordination-Mix: The Hidden Face of STI Policy," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 31(5), pages 367-389, September.
    3. David Bailey & Lisa De Propris & Roger Sugden & James Wilson, 2006. "Public Policy for Economic Competitiveness: An Analytical Framework and a Research Agenda," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(5), pages 555-572.
    4. Roger Sugden & James R. Wilson, 2002. "Economic Development in the Shadow of the Consensus: A Strategic Decision-Making Approach," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 111-134, December.
    5. Mikel Navarro & Juan José Gibaja & Susana Franco & Asier Murciego & Carlo Gianelle & Alexander Kleibrink & Fatime Barbara Hegyi, 2014. "Regional benchmarking in the smart specialisation process: Identification of reference regions based on structural similarity," JRC Working Papers JRC89819, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. Diego Martínez-López & Manuel Palazuelos-Martínez, 2014. "Breaking with the past in smart specialisation: A new model of selection of business stakeholders within the entrepreneurial process of discovery," Working Papers. Collection B: Regional and sectoral economics 1401, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    7. Magro, Edurne & Wilson, James R., 2013. "Complex innovation policy systems: Towards an evaluation mix," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1647-1656.
    8. John Goddard & Louise Kempton & Paul Vallance, 2013. "Universities and Smart Specialisation: challenges, tensions and opportunities for the innovation strategies of european regions," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 83(02), pages 83-102.
    9. 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.
    10. Dominique Foray, 2013. "The economic fundamentals of smart specialisation," EKONOMIAZ. Revista vasca de Economía, Gobierno Vasco / Eusko Jaurlaritza / Basque Government, vol. 83(02), pages 55-82.
    11. Dietmar Braun, 2008. "Organising the political coordination of knowledge and innovation policies," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 227-239, May.
    12. Mari Jose Aranguren Querejeta & Cristina Iturrioz Landart & James R. Wilson, 2008. "Networks, Governance and Economic Development: An Introduction," Chapters,in: Networks, Governance and Economic Development, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Mari José Aranguren & Xabier de la Maza & Mario Davide Parrilli & Ferran Vendrell-Herrero & James R. Wilson, 2014. "Nested Methodological Approaches for Cluster Policy Evaluation: An Application to the Basque Country," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(9), pages 1547-1562, September.
    14. Roger Sugden & Ping Wei & James R. Wilson, 2006. "Clusters, governance and the development of local economies: a framework for case studies," Chapters,in: Clusters and Globalisation, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ainhoa Arrona, 2017. "Can interpretive policy analysis contribute to a critical scholarship on regional innovation policy studies?," Working Papers 2017R01, Orkestra - Basque Institute of Competitiveness.

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