Research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) adopted by the EU countries and regions in the 2014-2020 programming period introduced a new paradigm for advancing national and regional competitiveness: priority-setting and targeted investments in distinctive research and innovation regional strengths and areas of regional comparative advantage can move a country or region up in international value chains and boost structural economic change. This new vision for innovation and technology-driven regional growth requires vast efforts at several levels, from specific investments to modernise the EU industry and shift away from low value-added industrial products, to new forms of research and innovation governance and new models of education and competence-building in the current and next generations of workforce. All that comes in the context of new challenges and transformations of the Industry 4.0 era, marked by dynamic production and adoption of new technologies (e.g. AI, digital technologies, big data, IoT) and technological diversification, by ever growing competition in the new technology domains, and a continuous strive to provide adequate policies and financing for the development of technology, as well as of human capital. What is the impact of these challenges on universities – will Industry 4.0 impact be concentrated primarily at the level of engineering and computer science departments or will pervade broadly into the university structure, activities and institutional procedures? How can SMEs benefit more from the enormous economic potential of Industry 4.0? How do government agencies and society respond to these dynamics? This talk will review some of these challenges and will focus mainly on the impact of Industry 4.0 on the university agenda. Some specific changes that need to be implemented in relation with their business partners and society at large will be highlighted, pointing out ow Smart Specialisation can help in that effort.
Dr. Marina Ranga works with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain and is Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Warsaw, Poland.
Prior to that, she held academic positions at Stanford University, as Senior Researcher at H-STAR Institute and Faculty Research Fellow at Clayman Institute for Gender Research (2009-2015). Dr. Ranga also held academic positions in Europe, at Newcastle University Business School and Groningen University (2005-2009), University of Warsaw and Sussex University (2009-2011). Her main areas of expertise include: National and regional innovation ecosystems; Regional innovation and smart specialisation; The Entrepreneurial University and University-Industry cooperation, Technology transfer and research commercialization; Gender in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. In these areas, she developed an extensive research portfolio and publication record, including over 60 book chapters, articles in top-tier journals, research and consultancy reports. Dr. Ranga conducted extensive consultancy and advisory work on innovation and technology for the European Commission, UN, national and regional government innovation agencies. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities and of the Scientific Board of the University-Industry Innovation Network UIIN. She chaired the European Commission’s Advisory Group on H2020 “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation” and is a member of the UN-ECE Team of Experts on Innovation and Competitiveness Policy since 2007.