The entrepreneurial discovery process outside the EU A case study approach using 3 Norwegian regions
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Smart specialisation has attracted increasing attention from policy makers in Europe after its conception in 2014, while having also been made an ex-ante conditionality for EU funding through the European Regional Development Fund. Norway, a non-EU country has however been lagging behind in terms of getting involved with smart specialization as an approach to regional innovation policy. The paper compares three Norwegian regions observed and planned efforts to the theoretical framework of entrepreneurial discovery process (EDP), a key element considered the heart of smart specialization. The comparative study makes use of the principles and fundamental components accompanying the process, specifically engagement from triple and four helix stakeholders and their roles, governance and bottom-up characteristics, and instruments and activities used to carry out an EDP. All regions are found to adhere to the guidelines and principles of an entrepreneurial discovery process, set by the European Commission, while differences are displaying in terms of their conceptualization of the process, level of engagement by stakeholders and concrete activities used to accomplish it.