Living Labs in regional Smart Specialisation strategies

ENoLL member GAIA (Bird Living Lab) has published a working paper on Living Labs in the framework of Smart Specialisation policies for regions.

The paper highlights the Urdaibai Bird Center is an example of the potential of entrepreneurial discoveries as opportunities within the framework of smart specialisation for all territories, independently of their profile.

In a new global context marked by unending competitive pressure and the value of innovation, the role of the territories as facilitators of competitive advantages is more important than ever.

Recently, there seems to have arisen a general belief that territories should give priority to activity fields and areas of technology and knowledge in which they have comparative advantages; with strengths that can make better use of the opportunities offered by international economic, social and environmental trends.

The underlying questions with respect to these new models of smart specialisation regard what to give priority to, and how. It is here where the concept of entrepreneurial discovery takes on key importance within the process of building territorial competitive advantages, more specifically, about how to discover and support them.

The case of the Urdaibai Bird Center is a clear example of an entrepreneurial discovery that responds to the underlying idea of territorial smart specialisation:

It involves prioritisation around a specialisation pattern for the Urdaibai area, towards knowledge-intensive activities.

It contributes to the diversification of a rural area towards new and very specialised activities that arise from hybridisation of the Center’s technologies and activities.

It involves a channel to global networks, giving Urdaibai a global dimension in economic, social and environmental terms.

The UBC has been discovered and supported within the quadruple helix framework where the different parts (public authorities, RDI agents, companies and user communities) have contributed to the final success of the initiative and, more importantly to the embedding of results in the territor

The exploitation of the UBC, through the logic of the new management model that combines the cluster-type elements with those of smart specialisation, has contributed to its success, especially with regard to global economic networks and channels.


Working paper by ENoLL member GAIA (Bird Living Lab)