The regional perspective shows heterogeneity in the EU as regards innovation capabilities and technological development, posing a challenge to policy makers. With major trends such as international trade and the integration into global value chains rather contributing to higher concentration of innovative activities, the European economic, social and political integration should help to disseminate best-practice technologies and to ensure wider uptake in local economies. Furthermore, with the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world, innovation policy at all levels must address changes in climate, technology and demography.
In this complex environment, regional innovation systems could focus on the potential of complementarities through technological specialisation (smart specialisation strategy) and some forms of less research driven innovation (the D part of R&D), which are likely to take place particularly in the less developed regions.
By Lukas Borunsky (DG RTD), Richard Deiss (DG REGIO), Roberto Martino (DG RTD), and Julien Ravet (DG RTD)