Purpose: The paper analyses the emerging role of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) universities in contemporary society via third- and fourth-mission activities. In particular, the paper investigates the potential contributions that SSH universities can offer in developing and enhancing capacities, supporting the changing conception of innovation coherently through a Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3) approach. Design/methodology/approach: The case study presents multiple third- and fourth-mission activities carried out by the University of Macerata (Italy). The activities are framed according to the roles universities could have in supporting S3. Findings: Within third- and fourth-mission activities, SSH universities can play different and broader roles (generative, absorptive, collaborative and leadership), which could support regions in designing and implementing S3. Practical implications: The paper shows the important contributions that SSH universities can make in their regions, both to support S3 and enhance the transition to sustainable development. Social implications: The article emphasises SSH universities’ multiple contributions to sustainable development and to innovation in the knowledge society/economy framework. Originality/value: This case study captures SSH universities’ contributions to S3 and the wider innovation paradigm, by highlighting their transformational effect on regional economies.
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Ekonomi och näringsliv (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Economics and Business (hsv//eng)