POLICY BRIEF Regional innovation systems and smart specialization strategies in the Western Balkans

Final WBC-RRI.NET Policy Brief.

Feb 28, 2024

This policy document aims to provide an overview of the current situation and progress of innovation and smart specialization in Western Balkan countries (WBC). Furthermore, it aims to make specific recommendations to emphasize the dimensions of responsible research within the WBC’s individual innovation agendas. This paper focuses on the paths of smart specialization in five WBC: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. These countries have made significant progress in recent years in their efforts to foster growth and economic development through innovation. Nonetheless, the gaps in both policy design and implementation act as hurdles towards the full transition of the region towards Smart Specialization Strategies (S3)/ Smart Specialization Strategies for Sustainable and Inclusive growth (S4+). The paper utilizes the results from the WBC-RRI.net project activities to identify specific issues related to S3/S4+ strategies by individual country and propose specific Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles informed policy recommendations driven by directionality and including quintuple helix (QH) stakeholders.

Download the policy brief.