How universities can be part of smart specialisation was the question discussed by participants at a major Commission conference on 20 June 2014. The President of the European University Association (EUA) told over 300 stakeholders that it was the first time universities had been addressed jointly by the Director Generals for Research, Education and Regional Policy. The result was a commitment from all sides to support universities in having a central role in the development and implementation of smart specialisation strategies (S3), as expressed in the concluding panel by Vladimir Sucha, Director-General of the Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
The conference followed an S3 Platform thematic workshop organised with the EUA on the role of universities in smart specialisation which took place in February 2013 at the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies in Seville. EUA and S3 Platform members produced a joint report with a list of recommendations that was distributed and endorsed by the conference.