Smart Specialisation Strategy Development in the Finnish Regions: Creating Conditions for Entrepreneurial Discovery

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units


The European Union (EU) has adopted smart specialisation as an innovation (industry) policy framework to boost innovation and economic growth in EU regions. The central element of smart specialisation is Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) that can be defined as a bottom-up process involving businesses, research sites, public organizations and civil society working together to identify region’s most promising specialisation areas and to overcome the potential weaknesses that hamper innovation. Despite the widely recognized status of EDP as a driver of regional innovation and economic transformation, its operationalisation has remained a challenge. We set out to investigate this with a research question: “What are the key factors underlying EDP and how to implement them for supporting entrepreneurial discovery in the region?” To answer this question we adopted a grounded theory approach and explored the dynamics of EDP through a case study in Finnish regions.Based on our interviews with 13 process facilitators of smart specialisation strategy development in 10 Finnish regions, we identified openness, engaging, networking and continuous interaction as the key factors underlying EDP. We further illustrate a process model of EDP. Our findings contribute to the theoretical debate on what constitutes EDP in the context of smart specialisation.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development ICEIRD 2017 – Conference Proceedings
EditorsKetikidis Panayiotis, Solomon Adrian
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Regional Development - Makedonia Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki, Greece
Duration: 31 Aug 20171 Sep 2017
Conference number: 10


ConferenceInternational Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Regional Development
Abbreviated titleICEIRD

    Research areas

  • Entrepreneurial Discovery, Smart Specialisation, RIS3, Innovation Strategy, Innovation Policy

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 16066003