Stakeholder engagement through entrepreneurial discovery? Lessons from countries and regions in Central and Eastern Europe

Cvijanović, V., Griniece, E., Gulyás, O., Reid, A., & Varga, H. (2020). Stakeholder engagement through entrepreneurial discovery? Lessons from countries and regions in Central and Eastern Europe. Cogent Social Sciences 6(1) 1794273. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2020.1794273

The article compares the process of designing and implementing EU research and innovation (R&I) strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) in eight less developed European Union (EU) member states: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania. The study additionally explores regional-national differences in governance structures and practices of the RIS3 by focusing on two regions: South Moravia and West Romania. It is argued that RIS3 processes can improve governance of the R&I systems in spite of the baseline quality of governance in the given country or region. An entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP) that is continuous and includes a broad range of actors and is closer to a multi-stakeholder approach can enable a learning trajectory and foster R&I governance. The case studies address i) whether the EDP resulted in engagement with a broad range of stakeholders, ii) whether it encouraged a process of creative co-design and iii) whether it continued into the policy implementation phase. The article offers insight into how learning can be fostered and how broader stakeholder engagement can be beneficial for improving the RIS3 policy framework.