During 18-28 June 2019, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of Moldova, with the support of the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission, has organized at the national level the first 4 entrepreneurial discovery workshops, in the process of identifying smart specialization areas for the Republic of Moldova.
Smart Specialization is defined as an economic transformation process based on the identification of areas in which a region or country can benefit from the specialization of innovation and research. The European Commission has launched the challenge for all regions to develop and implement smart specialization strategies, underlining the importance of concentrating human and financial resources for RDI (research-development-innovation) in competitive areas.
As part of the JRC pilot S3 project of enlargement in the neighborhood partnership countries, Moldova has received support for identifying potential smart specialization areas. As a result, 2 comprehensive reports were developed:
Therefore, the workshops were organized in 4 potentially identified areas:
Entrepreneurial discovery workshops for each field were aimed at identifying the main smart specialization niches for the given field, which will contribute to the efficiency of the research process geared to the needs of the national or regional economy. The active participation of the entrepreneurial sector, as well as of the public authorities and civil society, alongside the academia is critical in establishing smart specialization niches with major potential.
They 4 entrepreneurial discovery workshops organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research were attended by 190 representatives of the business sector, academia, public administration and civil society.
The introductory sessions delivered by the invited experts focused on the concept of smart specialization, entrepreneurial discovery process, success stories and good practices regarding smart specialization strategies:
- Smart Specialization - a new strategic approach of transformation and economic growth through innovation (dr.hab., prof.univ. Larisa Șavga)
Following the sessions in working groups for each domain, the participants came up with SWOT analysis of the relevant subdomains, discussed the current trends and the most significant challenges in the sector, were defined development visions for subdomains and the smart specialization niches have been refined.
During the second phase, Specialization Strategy is to be developed, where the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process is crucial, as it will allow for verification and refinement of priority areas, based on the consensus reached among the stakeholders. The Smart Specialization Strategy will help Moldova capitalize on its innovation potential, focusing resources on a limited number of intelligent development priorities, with competitive advantages.
According to the National Development Strategy Moldova 2030, Chapter III. Moldova's sustainable development goals, the main mechanism for raising income level and reducing poverty and its risks, is to increase competitiveness on national and international levels, including by means of smart specialization of the country.