Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Analytical tools for S4 revision in 2018

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.02.01  Social sciences  Economics  Economy sciences 

Code Science Field
S180  Social sciences  Economics, econometrics, economic theory, economic systems, economic policy 

Code Science Field
5.02  Social Sciences  Economics and Business 
Smart Specialization Strategy; S4; National/Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation; RIS3; methodology; revision
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (4)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  24345  PhD Anže Burger  Social sciences  Head  2016 - 2017  248 
2.  37850  Ana Jevšek Pezdir  Social sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2017  10 
3.  19080  PhD Patricia Kotnik  Social sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2017  155 
4.  12702  PhD Janez Šušteršič  Social sciences  Researcher  2016 - 2017  501 
Organisations (3)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  39,415 
2.  0584  University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business (SEB)  Ljubljana  1626922  41,223 
3.  3499  RE-FORMA, raziskave in razvoj, d.o.o. (Slovene)  Ljubljana  3277887  517 
Slovenia prepared its first Research and innovation strategy for smart specialisation (RIS3) in September 2015. Even though the priorites determined according to analytical studies and in an open dialog through the entrepreneurial discovery process, only the first years of RIS3 implementation will be able to show the advantages and shortcomings of the new system of implementation and the chosen detemination of priority areas. The revision of RIS3 in 2008 will therefore provide an opportunity for the strategy structure and implementation to adapt to feedback information and to encompass thematically and methodologically updated empirical toolkit. The objective of the project is to update and improve analytical backing for the preparation of Slovenian RIS3 in order to provide foundation for its revision in 2018, predominately to improve the designation of priority sectors and areas. The primary issue in this sense is whether the currently defined priorities already include all relevant horizontal and vertical priorities and pillars of economic and RRI activities. Potential inclusion of new priority areas, omission of previously unjustified priority areas or other similar permutations are of secondary issue since basic RIS3 structure already rests on sound and evidence-based analytical foundation. Radical changes in methodology are not only excluded due to the mentioned quality of the present methodological framework, but also due to the principle of stability and predictability of the system and development policy. Specific goals of the project are as follows: C1. Comparative analysis of methodological frameworks of RIS3 in other EU member states. C2. Critical appraisal of present RIS3 analytical tools in the context of international benchmark comparison, methodology presently used and adequate consideration of relevant areas. C3. Update and expansion of the current analytical methods that are based on business activities of economic subjects and industries. C4. New analytical tools that will be based on currently unused or underused data sources on business activities of different agents on the market. C5. New analytical tools based on the data on research, technological and innovation activities of knowledge institutions and their cooperation with business actors. C6. Comparison of methodological outcomes between East and West cohesion regions. C7. Critical appraisal of the current methodological framework using the updated methodology. C8. Specific recommendations for RIS3 revision based on the proposed update of the methodological toolkit and the evaluation of the curent framework. Project work will be segmented into 3 consecutive parts. 1. The goal of the first workpackage is to idetify deficiencies of the present methodology for preparation of Slovenian RIS3. These shortcomings will be determined as follows: - benchmark comparison and analysis of RIS3 methodological foundations in other EU member states, - review of the recent state of the art literature on driversof competitiveness of countries, regions, clusters, firms, and the role different levels of government has in the process of improving competitiveness, - review of relevant recent domestic analyses and sources on the topic of RIS3 implementation, - analysis of key emphasis in a series of structured dialogues with the stakeholders during the preparation of the RIS3 document, - survey of available data, including research and technological development, that could be used in the revised evidence-based analytical framework. 2. The goal of the second workpackage will be to use the identified shorcomings in the previous workpackage in the formulation and testing a revised and upgraded methodological framework. Proposal of updated methodology and its operationalization will be carried out with the following activities: - analysis of technological fields, R&D and science with the focus on the linkages between business and public and private knowledge creation i
Significance for science
Due to the nature of the project its contribution to the development of basic science is smaller than its contribution to applied science. Nevertheless, the fact that our team member Patricia Kotnik recently published a scholarly article entitled "Implementing a smart specialisation strategy: an evidence-based approach" (International Review of Administrative Sciences, July 2015, 1-21) proves that even such applied project as this can leave an impact in science. Scientific contribution is expected in the part where we identify the embeddedness of revealed comparative advantage at the industry level, similarly to what Freund and Pierola (RES 2015) do in their article. In contrast to the latter study, we have a privilege to use the population data on the entire universe of Slovenian firms unlike the paper mentioned that relies on World Bank samples of firms. The main scientific contribution of the project will be on the applied science where a variety of well-established statistical methods and indicators (regression analysis, revealed comparative advantage, Herfindahl-Hirschman index) will be collected in an analytical toolkit tailor-made to be put into practice by policy makers.
Significance for the country
Smart specialisation has a strategic and central function within the new Cohesion Policy being a key vehicle for ensuring Cohesion Policy's contribution to the Europe 2020 jobs and growth agenda. By focusing on what gives a region its greatest competitive potential, smart specialisation helps position the region in specific global markets/niches and international value chains. In the past, regions facing development challenges have often tried to replicate the same or similar priorities as other, leading, regions, even when they had few assets and little chance of becoming world leaders in their chosen fields. Proposed RIS3 methodology can ensure that research and innovation resources reach critical mass, i.e. sufficient momentum to become self-sustaining, or critical potential, supporting them through targeted action to boost human resources and knowledge infrastructure. Analytical toolkit for RIS3 to be developed embraces a broader concept of innovation, not only investment in research or the manufacturing sector, but also building competitiveness through design and creative industries, social and service innovation, new business models and practice-based innovation.    Smart specialisation methodology addresses the difficult problem of prioritisation and resource allocation decisions by allowing entrepreneurial actors to demonstrate the most promising areas for future regional development through what has been described as an 'entrepreneurial process of discovery.' This process can reveal what a country or region does best in terms of R&D and innovation because entrepreneurial actors are best placed to know or discover what they are good at producing. Methodology developed in the project will therefore allow regions to pro-actively involve entrepreneurial actors in strategy design and offer more incentives for risk taking. We understand entrepreneurial actors in a broad sense to include inter alia firms, higher education institutions, public research institutes, independent innovators; whoever is best placed to discover the domains of R&D and innovation in which a region is likely to excel given its existing capabilities and productive assets. Given the importance of entrepreneurial experiments and discovery, there is no contradiction between a smart specialisation policy and one to encourage entrepreneurship. On the contrary, proposed methodology acknowledges these two policies are mutually reinforcing; without strong entrepreneurship, the strategy of smart specialisation will fail because of a deficit in the entrepreneurial knowledge needed to feed and nurture this strategy.   Most of the structural changes generated by smart specialisation strategies, despite their focus on prioritization, actually involve the creation of variety, such as the transition to new activities or the diversification of existing sectors. Cross-sectoral links will provide Slovenian economy with the degree of originality and specialisation to differentiate itself and provide a competitive advantage vis-a-vis other regions and countries.
Most important scientific results Final report
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