EUA Annual Workshop on RIS3

Smart specialisation (RIS3): European workshop on universities as regional lead institutions

13 November 2018

Organised by EUA in collaboration with Universities Austria (UNIKO) and the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) within the framework of the EUA Expert Group on Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3)

Universities are more connected than ever before to the regional economy, having an important impact on competitiveness and performance of regions. However, their societal, cultural and long-term impacts are difficult to unambiguously identify and measure. It is important to fully capitalise on tangible and intangible assets that universities can offer for the benefit of culture, society and the economy of regions in order to maximise their contribution in developing regional innovation ecosystems. One of the main challenges that European universities are facing in this regard in the role which they are playing in the design, implementation and monitoring of Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3). RIS3 is the basis for the allocation of the European Structural and Investment Funds to European regions. One of the main aims of RIS3 is to foster the innovation capabilities of regions by promoting university-business interactions and a research-based innovation model. Universities are expected to play a key role to achieve these aims.

Organised in the framework of the activities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the goal of this workshop is to discuss visions for universities in regional innovation ecosystems beyond 2020 and to develop a series of recommendations to broaden and clarify the concept of impact of universities on their regional innovation ecosystems. The discussion will be supported by a series of inspiring talks including evidence of good practices showcased by universities leading education, research and innovation initiatives within their innovation regional strategies.

The workshop is addressed to university leaders (rectors, vice-rectors, heads of administration, etc.), municipal, regional and national policy-makers, and all other stakeholders interested in regional innovation. The workshop is the fourth in a series of workshops jointly organised by National Rectors’ Conferences and the European University Association (EUA) on Smart Specialisation in close cooperation with the EUA RIS3 Expert Group.

For practical details, please consult the dedicated website.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the EUA Research and Innovation team at

More information about the RIS3 Expert Group is available here.

  • Programme Overview

    09.00 - 09.15
    Welcome Addresses
    09.15 - 10.30
    Setting the scene
    10.30 - 11.00
    Coffee break
    11.00 - 12.15
    Economic, societal, cultural and long-term impacts of universities on their regional innovation ecosystems
    12.15 - 13.15
    13.15 - 14.30
    Universities in their regional innovation ecosystems: designing, implementing and monitoring RIS3
    14.30 - 15.00
    Coffee break
    15.00 - 16.15
    Entrepreneurial education and training for regional development
    16.15 - 16.45
    Coffee break
    16.45 - 18.00
    Roundtable discussion: Visions for Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation
    18.00 - 18.15
    Conclusions and final remarks
    18.15 - 18.45
    Networking drinks
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