Triggered by the work of the Knowledge for Growth Expert Group (David et al., 2009; Foray et al., 2009, 2011), smart specialisation was developed as an academic concept in the mid- to late-2000s (McCann and Ortega-Argilés, 2011). It originated from the acknowledgement that neither laissez-faire strategies nor simple support for high-tech industries will be sufficient to prompt a turnaround in Europe’s industries (Ahner and Landabaso, 2011; Foray et al., 2011; Ortega-Argilés, 2012; McCann and Ortega-Argilés, 2014a). As was suggested, Europe’s problems with translating technologies into products are not so much due to its industrial structure (Van Ark et al., 2008) than to intrinsic deficiencies within many sectors (O’Mahony and Van Ark, 2003; Draca et al., 2006; Wilson, 2009). Against this background, it was argued that policy support should to a greater extent focus on general purpose technologies (Rodrik, 2004; Enkel and Gassmann, 2010; Foray, 2012; Landabaso, 2012) that could help transform industries onto a broader basis (Landabaso, 2014; McCann and Ortega-Argilés, 2014b) rather than being targeted at selected high-tech sectors. As was argued further, such areas of support could best be determined in a joint process of “discovery” with those who, in their everyday work, develop products and apply technology (Hausman and Rodrik, 2003; Foray et al., 2012; Coffano and Foray, 2014; OECD, 2014).