In Focus is a network of cities that are willing to enhance their competitiveness and job creation capability by positioning in the new economic landscape according to their specialisation strategies, which are each of them currently focused on a variety of different productive backgrounds and sectorial priorities. The key challenge to be addressed by this network is to develop better and more efficient urban policies in order to reinforce and create economic activity on prioritized business sectors. This means to facilitate the identification and capturing of new emerging sectorial opportunities, but it also embraces cross-cutting features like talent development and entrepreneurship, innovation or branding and marketing the city as business location, among others.
Despite the proliferation of the so-called smart specialisation strategies at regional and national levels, there remains a shortage of experimentation on how to design and implement those strategies in urban economies, duly articulated to those upper scales. That challenge is also linked to the limited experience in building up consistent industrial policies at urban level in most of the Member States. All of this shows the need for exchanging knowledge, under an integrated urban development perspective, on how sectorial policies can be improved and better connected to Smart Specialisation Strategies at city level, in order to crystallize into an Integrated Action Plan by each of the partner cities.
Analysing the potential benefits of a revised Smart Specialisation Strategy for EU's cities and regions
In Focus 2nd thematic workshop “Cluster-based local economic development in the context of smart specialisation”