Appel à session spéciale – Séminaire STD

Conference 2019 - Pushing Regions Beyond Their Borders

5th June – 7th June 2019

University de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain


  • Session Title: Smart Specialization at the margins
  • Session Organiser: Sana Elouaer-Mrizak (University of Littoral Cote d’Opale) and Adrian Healy (Cardiff University)
  • Open/Closed Session: Open Session


Description (with speakers listed if a closed session):

Smart Specialisation policy aims to stimulate growth and development of European regions, and, it is argued to reduce economic disparities. This policy’s goal is to develop regional innovation systems and apply a place-based approach for economic development. Moreover, developing a Research and Innovation strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) has been a necessary precondition for the receipt of ERDF funding for innovation activities from the EU’s Cohesion funds.

The Smart Specialisation approach contends that countries and regions should identify their competitive advantages through constructive benchmarking, mapping their national and the international context in search of examples to learn from and performing effective collaborations. In other words, each country/region should detect relevant linkages and flows of goods, services and knowledge defining possible patterns of alliance with partner regions (Foray et al. 2012),.

The introduction of the smart specialisation concept has spawned a vigorous debate around its application in practice, most particularly in its applicability to regions which are advanced in their economic development and those that are less developed. The question of the positionality of regions, and constituent industries, has received somewhat less attention, despite the suggestion that geography plays a role in shaping economic outcomes (Ketterer and Rodriguez-Pose, 2016). This session will address the role of positionality in smart specialisation, focusing on those regions that are considered to be positioned at the margins or on the periphery. Examples might include inner peripheries, borderlands, regions in the European Neighbourhood and circumpolar regions.