The intellectual and practical bases of the application of RIS3 within EU cohesion policy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The original smart specialisation idea emerged from a knowledge-systems way of thinking about entrepreneurship, innovation and growth (Foray 2015). Moreover, many of the ideas and elements in the smart specialisation approach already existed in the literature, but were rather scattered across many different fields and lacking any framework for integration (OECD 2013). Smart specialisation provided a framework for thinking about these different insights from various fields in a consistent manner which was also well-suited to the prioritisation challenges faced by policy making. Therefore, in order to situate RIS3 within the broader conceptual arena it is first necessary to consider what we mean by a knowledge-systems way of thinking. The systems approach to innovation and entrepreneurship is based on the understanding that innovation is a result of complex linkages between different elements, and the strength of the system as a whole is only as strong as the weakest link between key elements (REDI 2013). Innovation-systems frameworks come in various types, including national innovation systems, sectoral innovation-systems, technological innovation-systems and regional innovation-systems approaches (Iammarino and McCann 2013). These approaches are neither strictly exclusive of each other, and nor are they contradictory to each other. Rather, different frameworks are used for different purposes, depending on the issues at hand and the specific questions being examined. For regional development matters, the regional innovation-system perspective is the most appropriate framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Empirical and Institutional Dimensions of Smart Specialisation
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781315526218
ISBN (Print)9781315526201, 9781138695757
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2016

Publication series

NameRegions and Cities


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