Smart Specialisation in the Eastern Partnership countries
by Hugo Hollanders, Eloi Bigas, Nicandro Bovenzi, Enric Fuster, Francesco Massucci, Monika Matusiak & Ramojus Reimeris
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg
The Eastern Partnership is a specific Eastern dimension to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Through the ENP, the EU works with its southern and eastern neighbours to achieve the closest possible political association and the greatest possible degree of economic integration. The Eastern Partnership aims to reinforce the political association and economic integration of six Eastern European and South Caucasus partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Most EU Eastern Neighbours have committed to develop place-based Smart Specialisation strategies for research and innovation with the objective of enhancing their competitiveness and drive structural change of the economies. The purpose of this study is to contribute to evidence-informed research and innovation policy, in particular the development of Smart Specialisation Strategies. The study presents a solid basis for these processes in the Eastern Partnership region by offering an extensive quantitative analysis of national-level potential in the economy, innovation, science and technology. A limited number of economic and innovation (E&I) specialisation domains matched with relevant scientific and technological (S&T) specialisation domains are identified for each Eastern Partnership country. The study proposes a new method to identify concordances between the EI and ST specialisation domains so that they can be used to inform ongoing Smart Specialisation processes in the Eastern Partnership countries with available international data. Interested countries need to compliment this analysis with the relevant national data sources and other useful information resulting from the qualitative expert inputs and stakeholder engagement. The report also indicates the evidence-informed areas for knowledge-based economic cooperation to support bilateral and region-wide initiatives.