The paper “Smart Specialisation 2.0: Driving Public Funds Towards Platforms and Ecosystems’ by Christina Kakderi, Nicos Komninos, Anastasia Panori and Artemis Psaltoglou, negotiates two main questions of the methodology of Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) in Smart Specialisation. The authors question EDP in terms of the granularity level of detail in the analysis and the assessment of dynamism of economic activities, and the collective nature of interventions and investments developed through it. They analyse existing literature and a case study in the context of Greece, as regions have to initiate a stage 2.0 of smart specialisation focusing more on interregional cooperation and good governance. The research is part of the TREnD project (Transition with Resilience for Evolutionary Development).
In terms of granularity, NACE three-digit is analysed as the best combination of homogeneity of statistics and sectoral studies. In terms of the collective nature of interventions, the authors analyse how business ecosystems that unite large number of enterprises may exceed the risk of priority investments for specific businesses and groups. The demarcation of investments in relation to platform-based ecosystems as well as of ecosystems which are developed on top of value chains is considered of particular importance. Both methodological principles which are proposed in the paper (selection of three-digit NACE code ecosystems and platforms based on functions/needs of such ecosystems) can complement the theoretical weaknesses that reasonably exist in terms of discovery and innovation.
The chapters of the paper are the following:
- Introduction: includes analysis of Smart Specialisation and Guidance on EDP and spots gaps and questions.
- Smart Specialisation in Practice: Past Challenges and Future Questions: contains a short review of the current literature presenting the background of RIS3 implementation and existing challenges.
- Ecosystem Discovery: A Survey for Greece: analyses the methodology used for a survey on ecosystems in Greek NUTS-2 regions.
- Re-orienting EDP Towards Platforms and Ecosystems: provides a discussion of the survey’ s results and gives some policy recommendations for the future programming period.
The paper includes a case study in Greece, where Smart Specialisation has a higher significance as a chance for achieving cohesion and catching up more developed countries. According to the findings, in 22/25 (88%) industries EDP conditions are met and EDP should follow to reveal the features of platforms and other commons for ecosystem building. In these 22 cases, there is substantial evidence that EDP may drive actions proper to public policy, promoting collective rather than individual interests.
The case study revealed some important findings for Greece but also indicates some policy recommendations for other territories.
Among others, the paper concludes that platforms
” give birth to business ecosystems created around common challenges. Platforms and ecosystems guarantee the public character of policy mix and actions deriving from EDP as they serve common needs of an industry group than individual trajectories and interests of companies.”
The paper is published as part of the open access book presenting the outcomes of the symposium “NEW METROPOLITAN PERSPECTIVES,’ held at Mediterranea University, Reggio Calabria, Italy on May 26’“28, 2020. The book is addressing the challenge of Knowledge Dynamics and Innovation-driven Policies Towards Urban and Regional Transition and presents a multi-disciplinary debate on the new frontiers of strategic and spatial planning, economic programs and decision support tools in connection with urban’“rural area networks and metropolitan centers.
Find the paper and the book here.