The Ostrobothnian Model of Smart Specialisation
- Smart specialisation is a new growth strategy within the EU that can be characterised by regional level entrepreneurial discovery, identification and development of cross-sectoral activities, selection and prioritisation of the activities under development, and experimentation, professor Seija Virkkala explains.
One important aspect is the connectivity of triple helix actors – companies, universities and public organisations.
A detailed questionnaire was prepared and tested, and 53 interviews were conducted in the autumn of 2013. The dynamics of the networks were analysed with the help of gap indexes between expectation and experience concerning a group of relationships.
- The innovation system in Ostrobothnia is business oriented and relatively well connected. The relations are asymmetric: companies mostly have connections with other companies and both the public and university sectors rely more on the companies than on their own sectors.
The networks in Ostrobothnia are locally embedded and cohesive, so gaps are relatively small.
- Universities and energy technology companies in particular are well connected through their regional triple helix. Almost half of the partners in technological development come from the region, and there is a shared regional technology platform between the universities and the companies, Virkkala tells.
The Ostrobothnian model is a development tool that can be used in smart specialization planning across the EU. The model consists of surveys, gap analysis, focus group meetings, policy measures and evaluation followed up by a repeat of the procedure. The gaps are identified, and policy measures are suggested to bridge the gaps, create new links and strengthen the weak ones.
Virkkala Seija, Mäenpää Antti & Mariussen Åge (toim.)(2014). The Ostrobothnian Model of Smart Specialisation. Reports 195.