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EU-DRIVERS is a three-year EU-funded structural project in the Lifelong Learning Programme developed under the leadership of the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU). Recently, the project has produced two reports feeding into the new Smart Specialisation Strategy Initiative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional Policy. The first report is the EU-DRIVERS background report on universities’ involvement in regional Smart Specialisation Strategy (ESMU, Brussels, 2011. Pages: 36). This document follows a “place-based approach” in regional development to investigate the roles of universities in the development and implementation of the Smart Specialisation Strategy at the regional level. The report addresses key challenges facing by universities in their contribution to regional growth and provides some specific recommendations with regard to the commitments of universities and regional authorities to the development and implementation of the respective strategy.
In addition, the European Commission has recently published the report titled Connecting universities to regional growth: A practical guide (European Commission, Brussels, 2011. Pages: 79), which was developed based on the contribution of the EU-DRIVERS European regional innovation platform. Bridging three knowledge and policy domains – education, research and innovation – this guide is intended to help improve the contribution of universities to regional development, with a view to strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion, in a sustainable way.