– prepared by Sandor Richter, WIIW
The Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) is an integrated, place-based agenda for economic transformation, which provides policy support on key national/regional priorities, builds on each country’s or region’s strengths, competitive advantages and potential for excellence, supports innovation, gets stakeholders fully involved, is evidence-based and includes sound monitoring and evaluation systems. S3 policy mixes are expected to include policy tools with both a direct and indirect contribution to S3 goals and to adopt a wide approach for the policy mix across policy domains and governance levels; to scrutinize interactions between the policy mix components and identify a variety of sources of tension among the tools; and bring in an outward-looking dimension while designing the polices, treating the region as a local node in global networks.
Social innovations are embedded in basic cultural patterns and processes of social change. They depend on historical, regional, and political conditions. Research results suggest that governments are both a driver and a barrier for social innovations. Though many practices of social innovation exist, research is lagging behind; a theory on social innovation is still missing. Conceptually, social innovations are situated between private and public sector innovations but social innovations as a concept can legitimize socially oriented and solidarity-based political economy. Some of the public sector innovation falls into the category of social innovation. The European Public Sector Innovation Scoreboard (EPSIS) is a knowledge sharing tool that presents good practices and is a kind of award for the countries placed at the top of the list.
The European Commission has emphasized the crucial role of social dialogue and the quality of industrial relations as centrepieces of the European social model. Despite this, the social partners’ involvement in implementing the Innovation Union has not been investigated so far. Literature on the involvement of the social partners in the innovation union is scarce or almost non-existent and Commitment 28, related to the consultation of social partners on the interaction between the knowledge economy and the labour market, is still in the early stage of implementation.