Vice Rector Alen Ružić in Estonia
Monday, Oct 23 2017

Vice Rector for Science at the University of Rijeka, professor Alen Ružić, M.D., Ph.D., participated in a workshop entitled: Universities in Regional Innovation Ecosystems: coherent policies for Europe beyond 2020, held on the 17th of October in Tartu, Estonia.

The workshop on the role of universities in the EU development policy after 2020 convened leading experts and officials within the field, while the lectures and discussions held throughout the day provided useful information and enabled the representation of Croatian national and regional specificities and interests.



The European Union's approach to science development after 2020 will be based on the idea of smart regional specialization. This concept encourages the development of science and technology based on the principles of regional innovation ecosystems that are tripartite, and consist of scientists, business entities and regional administrations. The smart regional specialization is aimed at improving competitiveness, productivity and stimulating innovation – all in order to crate new values as the first measurable outcome of overall development.

In such defined ecosystems, the central position is occupied by universities that coordinate and guide development strategies. Because of this, in times ahead, the autonomy and functional integration of the university is particularly important, since universities as creators and developers of development policies must have the power and ability to influence the community. With this concept, the European Commission assigns to the universities the position of the main partners in managing the overall development of the European Union.

Universities direct the development of science in dialogue with interested business entities and regional management encompassing fundamental and applied research, innovation and commercialization. At the same time, universities need to implement the adaptation of the teaching process with the focus on employability of the future staff.

The rise of Creative Class People - creativity in the new scientific strategy of the European Union takes center stage; its fostering and development, the circulation of creative scientists and creators, and ensuring a desirable environment for their work are the key determinants of human resource management in times to come.

The lack of financing of university's general and administrative-management capacities, in the context of completing the new tasks set for them, could be of concern to Croatia, because according to the EU strategy, university capacities should be addressed at national level. The aforementioned highlights the need for a vigorous and clear promotion of the EU's regional innovation ecosystem strategy within Croatia, as new rounds of negotiations on the national development strategy should be based on it.

The workshop organizers were:

EUA - European University Association, University of TartuEstonian Rector's Conference, Finlands University RF and Eu2017EE - Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


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