The European Regional Development Funds for the programmatic cycle 2014-2020 aims to support regions that implement an innovation strategy based on Smart Specialisation. Within this framework, the European Commission emphasises the role of smart specialisation in favouring regional transformation, enhancing competitiveness and fostering resilience. However, the concepts of smart specialisation and resilience have been poorly combined. The article aims at investigating their relationship to understand if a smart specialisation strategy may promote the economic resilience of regions in response to major economic shocks. Drawing upon the concepts of adaptation/adaptability, the analysis investigates the relatedness of new industrial specialisations to the existing industrial structure before and after a shock occurrence. Evaluating the resilience of Italian provinces in relation to the economic crisis of 2008, the analysis aims to understand if provinces that resisted and recovered better followed a smart specialisation framework where new industrial specialisations are related to the existing industrial structure.