RDA Hunter looks to smart specialisation for the region

RDA Hunter looks to smart specialisation for the region

RDA Hunter is applying the proven Smart Specialisation system as a catalyst for new directions in economic development of the region.

CEO RDA Hunter, Todd Williams, says that Smart Specialisation (S3) helps define our competitive advantages.

“Smart Specialisation is implemented widely across the European Union and has proven highly successful. It establishes priorities for investment and research that maximise the competitive advantages of a country or region through innovation and collaboration,” Todd said.

RDA Hunter’s S3 will identify:

  • the region’s current and most promising unique strengths
  • businesses that will create the jobs of the future
  • new investment into the region
  • productive research and innovation activities
  • collaborations to improve productivity, competitiveness and prosperity

S3 is an integral part of RDA Hunter’s ongoing work to grow the Hunter’s international competitiveness through innovation and builds on the outcomes of the 2013 and 14 Hunter Innovation Scorecards. Based on framework developed by the OECD that is implemented widely across the European Union, smart specialisation establishes an agenda for economic transformation by analysing regional competencies and discovering new areas of opportunity.

RDA Hunter’s S3 is a first for regional Australia and is supported by Australia’s Chief Scientist Prof Ian Chubb AC, NSW’s Chief Scientist Prof Mary O’Kane, and the European Union Delegation to Australia who were part of the initiative’s reference group.

“The aim of RDA Hunter’s Smart Specialisation project is to identify, build on and promote the Hunter’s strengths so that we can focus government resources for stronger economic growth,” Todd continued.

“Our Smart Specialisation initiative builds on the outcomes of our Hunter Innovation Scorecards by identifying the region’s key sectors, developing innovation activities that will grow these sectors further and directing resources to realise that growth.”

“I have visited the Hunter and seen first-hand the passion for science and collaboration in local schools and industries. The region is on the right track embracing innovation and research.”

The head of the Economic and Trade section at the EU Delegation in Australia, Ivano Casella, welcomed RDA Hunter’s focus on S3.

“This is yet another worthy example of how organisations in Australia can link and work with the EU which is the world’s largest economy,” Ivano said.

“The EU’s Smart Specialisation platform is all about identifying niche areas of competitive strength, solving major societal challenges as well as bringing in a demand-driven dimension, innovation partnerships emphasizing greater co-ordination between different societal stakeholders and aligning resources and strategies between private and public actors of different governance levels.”

RDA Hunter

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Hunter is the key economic development organisation in the Hunter region. Led by a Committee of regional business and community representatives, RDA Hunter is supported by federal and state governments.
Established in 2009 they provide independent advice to all levels of government and our stakeholders on priorities for the Hunter's future.
RDA Hunter works to strengthen the Hunter as a competitive and modern metropolitan centre of excellence. It does this by securing funds for regionally significant infrastructure projects, providing effective connectivity between industry, education and the wider region economy and by driving investment to the Hunter region.

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