University of agribusiness and rural development, International scientific and practical conference Bulgaria of regions 2018

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Smart specialisation - an innovative approach to the economic transformation of the Republic of Moldova and the role of the universities in this process
Larisa Savga, Sergiu Porcescu

Last modified: 2019-01-21


Establishing a knowledge-based economy and the transition from a resource-based to an innovation-based economy, which the Republic of Moldova opts for, requires changing the approaches of the regional economic development and reconsidering the research-development and innovation system to turn it into an important progress factor.

While the elaboration and implementation of the National/Regional innovation strategy for smart specialisation (RIS 3) has become an important component of the cohesion policy for 2014‑2020 programming period and an ex-ante condition for the EU countries in accessing structural funds, in our country concerns in this area are only at an early stage of conceiving this concept and raising awareness of its importance. A particularly important role in speeding up and successfully implementing this process lies with universities.

This paper analyses the importance of smart specialization for sustainable economic development, its concept and content, and argues the need of a strategic approach for economic development through the support of research and innovation. The paper characterizes the current situation in research-innovation-development in the country, Moldova’s position in the international rankings, the challenges it faces and the actions to be followed in order to develop the smart specialisation strategy in Moldova. A particular attention is paid to the evaluation of the role of the universities in smart specialization strategy design and implementation.

A comprehensive research methodology has been applied in the study, including methods of analysis, synthesis, induction, deduction, benchmarking, observation, economical-statistical methods and others.

The study concludes that a key solution for an innovation-based economic development of the Republic of Moldova is the implementation of the smart specialization concept based on the European experience, which has been widely applied in the community countries and has proved its viability and necessity. One of the main stakeholders should become universities, which have a distinct mission in this process.


smart specialisation strategy, innovation, research, economic transformation, role of universities.