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From smart specialisation to smart experimentation

From smart specialisation to smart experimentation: Towards a new theoretical framework for EU regional policy

The University of Heidelberg in collaboration with the University of Toronto recently issued a publication on "From smart specialisation to smart experimentation: Towards a new theoretical framework for EU regional policy". The publication focuses on the idea of smart specialization, which is currently gaining high prominence in the EU's regional policy discourse and is expected to be a major pillar of EU structural funds  in the coming program period from 2014 to 2020.

According to the author, the notion of smart specialisation confers an entrepreneurial role to a region itself and neglects the potential for a creative experimentation process among entrepreneurial agents on the micro level. Therefore, it does not sufficiently take into account the relevance of individual agents, their actions, and their relations with each other in the identification, creation, development, and destruction of technological and economic trajectories. The paper suggests that by combining smart specialisation with such micro-level discovery and experimentation processes, specialisations could then provide regions with new possibilities for the discovery and creation of idiosyncratic trajectories, and thus contribute to the development of new and specific sources of regional competitiveness and prosperity.

Learn more about the publication here

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under agreement n°320209