Smart Specialization, Empowering Local Communities to Shape Innovation-Led Socio-Economic Transformation Agendas

Moderator:
Mr Alessandro Rainoldi
Panellists:
Ms Erika Kraemer-Mbula
Ms Gloria Marmolejo Jaramillo
Ms Sol Luca de Tena
Prof Manasse Mbonye
Shirleen Titus

Mr Alessandro Rainoldi

Head of Unit “Territorial Development”, European Commission Joint Research Centre

Alessandro Rainoldi is Head of the “Territorial Development” Unit within Directorate B – Growth and Innovation at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Seville, working mainly on regional, innovation and industrial policies. In the same Unit he also specifically dealt with smart specialisation, territorial impact assessment and regional

modelling. He worked extensively for the Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy namely dealing with the negotiation and management of EU funding programmes in Italy, Malta and Romania and contributing to the policy agenda on issues related to governance, innovation, financial engineering and evaluation. He was part of the assessment committee of the European Energy Programme for Recovery. He previously worked at the study & research department of a leading Italian banking group and as a free-lance economic journalist. He teaches EU structural funds at the European College of Parma.

Ms Erika Kraemer-Mbula

Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in South Africa

Erika is Associate Professor in Economics, at the University of Johannesburg where she coordinates a Community of Practice in “Innovation and Inclusive Industrialisation”.

Initially trained as an Economist, she holds a Masters in Science and Technology Policy by the Science and Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex), and a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Oxford. She specialises in Science, Technology and Innovation Policy analysis and innovation systems in connection to equitable and sustainable development. She has held various positions at the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) and the Science and Policy Research Unit (SPRU), in the UK; as well as at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) at Tshwane University of Technology, in South Africa.  Currently she is also a researcher at the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (SciSTIP). She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Law, Technology and Society (CLTS), University of Ottawa; and at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria

Kraemer-Mbula is an active member of several international research networks, including Globelics (Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems), Africalics (Globelics’ African network), PASET (Partnership for Applied Science Engineering and Technology) and the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) Partnership, among others.)

Ms Gloria Marmolejo Jaramillo

Director General of the State Council of Science and Technology of Colima, Mexico (ConsejoEstatal de Ciencia y Tecnología del Estado de Colima, CECYTCOL) and Technical Secretariat of the Commission of Science and Technology of the National Conference of Governors of Mexico (CONAGO)

Education: Gloria Marmolejo Jaramillo has a degree in Informatics from the University of Colima, specializing in the areas of Information Technologies, Telecommunications and Renewable Energy, whose professional experience has been developed in the academic, public, private and social sectors, during the past 25 years.

Work experience: In the Academic she participated in the technological development of the University of Colima Telecommunications and IT issues. Highlighting its participation in the creation of the Telecommunications infrastructure of the UdeC.

In the public sector, she worked as Director of Telematic Development in Government of the State of Colima, highlighting among its actions, the creation of Digital Government Services through Electronic Kiosks in 2002.

In the private sector, the creation of the company SinttelServiciosProfesionales stands out, with which it has offered consultancy services of Telecommunications and Renewable Energy systems.

In business she has been President of the Association of Mind, Software and Internet, AIMSI A.C. an enterprise Cluster, and in the social sector, she is Founder President of the Citizen Committee of the State of Colima AC, “¿CómoVamos Colima?” for Transparency and Anticorruption.

She is currently Director of the State Council of Science and Technology of Colima, Technical Secretariat of the STI Commission of CONAGO “National Conference of Governors” in México.

Ms Sol Luca de Tena

Sol Luca de Tena is an independent consultant, project and programme manager working in the field of sustainability and innovation. She has managed units and projects at regional, national and international level – both Pan-European and Afro-European. First in the Education sector and later within Renewable Energy and Information and Telecommunications Technology Development and innovation, skills development and consulting. Having filled various positions, her role has been characterized by developing collaboration networks and strategy, coordinating diverse technical units and liaising with key stakeholders individually and cross-sector: including regional and national government bodies, science centres and universities, as well as private and industry organisations. In parallel, and complementary to large projects, she has been involved with numerous community initiatives, such as schools and new micro businesses, mentoring and assisting on legal, economic, social and business development aspects.

Her work is characterised by bridging the knowledge and resource gap between enabling parties and beneficiaries towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Prof Manasse Mbonye

Professor Manasse Mbonye is the current President of Rwanda Academy of Sciences (RAS). Up to September 2018, Prof. Mbonye has also been the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National Council for Science and Technology, (NCST). During Mbonye’s tenure, NCST instituted a major review of Rwanda’s Science, Technology, Research and Innovation (STRI) policy. Further, the National Research and Innovation Agenda (NRIA) was constructed, along with its implementation enabler, the National Research and Innovation Fund (NRIF) framework. Rwanda launched the NRIF in June 2018.
By Training, Dr. Mbonye is a theoretical Astrophysicist and Cosmologist. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut, in 1995. Dr. Mbonye has taught Physics at various institutions including the University of Connecticut, University of Michigan, and RIT. He has also worked at NASA (Goddard Space Flight Center). His research is on black holes and dark energy. In 2012, Professor Mbonye moved back to Africa. Since then his appointments have included, Ag Rector (National University of Rwanda) and Principal (University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology). He has also been Chairman of the Rwanda Energy Group (REG).

Shirleen Titus

Shirleen is a registered Industrial & Organisational Psychologist who has over 33 years of local and international work experience. Currently, her main area of interest is in understanding societal dynamics in the workplace and what are the sources of strengths people have available to them, that would make them effective. For this reason she has pursued her doctoral research which aims to discover the real connection between leadership, social capital and organisational effectiveness. Shirleen has had many top achievements both professionally and personally. This year she serves as the past-president of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology in South Africa where she actively engages with networks in multi-disciplinary environments. Apart from her daily activities, she is curious to learn more about the impact of the people-robotic interface in the world of work; hence she spends time in growing this new interest through active involvement and current engagements. Shirleen believes real societal change is only possible when everyone is willing to give up something in good faith, with the hope that the future of the eco-system will be a place where all living systems can flourish.

Smart Specialization advocates for the establishment of place-based innovation-led transformation agendas. This innovative approach to innovation has first been applied in the European Union cohesion policy, and fostered the development of more than 120 Smart Specialisation strategies across European Member States and regions, thus being one of the largest innovation policy experiments.

Building on the European experience, Smart Specialization is increasingly gaining traction in world countries and regions, including Australia, Latin America, South Mediterranean countries, Turkey, Ukraine and the Western Balkans, showing remarkable potential to adapt to local needs. It is also gaining interest in China, the United States of America and Canada.

In Africa, initial steps have confirmed the potential of Smart Specialization to trigger bottom-up and innovative approaches to address local challenges, open up windows of opportunities for the modernisation of local industries and encourage novel technologies to revamp traditional sectors.

The session will focus on the inclusive character of Smart Specialization for local innovation communities, and on its adaptability to local socio-economic patterns and transformational challenges for developed countries, economies in transition and less-developed regions. South Africa’s experience could act as a bridge connecting Sub-Saharan Africa with global channels, to foster Smart Specialization within Africa and beyond.

2018-11-13T08:40:23+00:00