Smart specialization is the way forward. It represents economic growth combined with prudent spending of public funds.
Smart specialization assumes that a state or region chooses a limited number of priorities based on its strengths and comparative advantages and what has the highest potential to achieve lasting effects. This approach will help regions discover where they have real potential for innovation and focus their industrial and knowledge structures on emerging industries and services and international markets. The smart specialization goal is to transform the economy towards higher added value and more competitive activities.
Simply put, smart specialization lies in next-generation research and innovation policy, policies that go beyond traditional investment in research and technology, and innovation capacity building in general. The smart specialization strategy differs from the usual innovation strategy in the following points:
• Its evidence base does not only take into account the usual research and skills issues but also deals with all assets, including, for example, geographical location, structure
• Smart specialization does not choose the best, meaning segments or technologies, but it is about mutual enrichment between segments and technologies. For some regions, creating clusters between segments and transferring knowledge within the region and externally to the other regions can be a starting point for building clusters.