Higher Education for Smart Specialisation (HESS). Expert for Human Capital in ESIF in Selected EU Regions Under the 2014-2020 Programming Period (WP4)

In the programming period 2014-2020, the requirement of developing a smart specialisation strategy has been introduced as an ex-ante conditionality for the allocation of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under thematic objective 1 (strengthening research, technological development, and innovation). Within the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027, updated smart specialisation strategies again constitute an enabling condition for the allocation of ERDF funding under the political objective 1 (a more competitive and smarter Europe). What is new in this programming period is an explicit emphasis on developing skills for smart specialisation, industrial transition, entrepreneurship, and adaptability of enterprises to change. The rationale behind is the aim of improving human capital endowments relevant to specific key industries and/or technologies in a region, which may accelerate – and improve – the smart specialisation process and result in preferential outcomes (such as industrial transition appropriate to local strengths and opportunities). To provide assistance to 2021-2027 programming and as part of JRC's HESS project (Work Package 4), the aim of this analysis is to explore activities during the MFF 2014-2020 to see whether managing authorities have dedicated resources to supporting Higher Education for Smart Specialisation (HESS) in the past. Relevant ERDF projects are identified and analysed using the ERDF Beneficiaries 2014-2020 dataset created by WIFO on behalf of JRC.