The European Commission and the European University Association are convening a high level conference on the role of universities in smart specialisation in Brussels.

 The event is designed to be a catalyst raising awareness of HEI's contribution to regional development. The launch of a standing "community of practice" in this area shall be a step towards a less fragmented EU policy support targeted on HEI multifaceted roles in education, research and social responsibility. There is an increasing understanding that higher education institutions play multiple roles in regional economies and societies across Europe. It is essential to underline the crucial role of educational aspects in smart specialisation strategies.

The principal objectives of this conference are:

•To share the results of the S3 Platform project on universities and smart specialisation

•To raise awareness of the crucial role universities can have in economic and social development, especially at regional level

•To launch a 'community of practice' around the role of universities in regional development.

The agenda includes four case studies of university-regional partnerships in the development of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), as well as presentations on EU support by the Director Generals for Regional Policy, Research and Education.