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Regional foresight and dynamics of smart specialization: A typology of regional diversification patterns

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  • Piirainen, Kalle A.
  • Tanner, Anne Nygaard
  • Alkærsig, Lars

Abstract

The concept of smart specialization has attracted great interest and has been adopted widely in European regional and innovation policy. Foresight is an important part of creating smart specialization strategies. However, both the smart specialization concept and foresight have been criticized for lacking an empirical and theoretical foundation that can help guide their application in practice. This paper contributes to the theoretical foundation of smart specialization and regional foresight by drawing on the field of economic geography and elaborating a typology for patterns of smart specialization. We highlight that there are different paths to reaching smart specialization within the same industrial domain. The empirical research focuses on the offshore wind service sector in four regions around the North Sea. The findings corroborate a typology that offers four distinct patterns—diversification, transition, radical foundation, and modernization—all of which can enable the creation of new industrial activities where regions enter an emerging industry based on fundamentally different starting points.

Suggested Citation

  • Piirainen, Kalle A. & Tanner, Anne Nygaard & Alkærsig, Lars, 2017. "Regional foresight and dynamics of smart specialization: A typology of regional diversification patterns," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 289-300.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:115:y:2017:i:c:p:289-300
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.06.027
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    1. Bruno Brandão Fischer & Maxim Kotsemir & Dirk Meissner & Ekaterina Streltsova, 2020. "Patents for evidence-based decision-making and smart specialisation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 45(6), pages 1748-1774, December.
    2. Krzysztof Malik & Lukasz Mach & Marzena Szewczuk-Stepien & Piotr Bebenek, 2020. "Specialization Integrated Strategy of Innovations: Effective Model for Emerging Regional Economy Development?," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 78-97.
    3. Ricard Esparza-Masana, 2022. "Towards Smart Specialisation 2.0. Main Challenges When Updating Strategies," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 13(1), pages 635-655, March.
    4. Antonio VEZZANI & Marco BACCAN & Alina CANDU & CASTELLI & Mafini DOSSO & Petros GKOTSIS, 2017. "Smart Specialisation, seizing new industrial opportunities," JRC Research Reports JRC108247, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    5. Romão, João, 2020. "Tourism, smart specialisation, growth, and resilience," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    6. Andersen, Per Dannemand & Johnston, Ron & Saritas, Ozcan, 2017. "FTA and Innovation Systems," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 236-239.
    7. Habicher, Daria & Windegger, Felix & von der Gracht, Heiko A. & Pechlaner, Harald, 2022. "Beyond the COVID-19 crisis: A research note on post-pandemic scenarios for South Tyrol 2030+," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    8. Caviggioli, Federico & Jensen, Paul & Scellato, Giuseppe, 2020. "Highly skilled migrants and technological diversification in the US and Europe," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    9. Andersen, Per Dannemand & Clausen, Niels-Erik & Cronin, Tom & Piirainen, Kalle A., 2018. "The North Sea Offshore Wind Service Industry: Status, perspectives and a joint action plan," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 81(P2), pages 2672-2683.
    10. João Romão, 2020. "Variety, Smart Specialization and Tourism Competitiveness," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(14), pages 1-13, July.
    11. Laima Gerlitz & Christopher Meyer & Christopher Meyer & Gunnar Prause & Gunnar Prause, 2020. "Methodology approach on benchmarking Regional Innovation on Smart Specialisation (RIS3): a joint macro-regional tool to regional performance evaluation and monitoring in Central Europe," Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, vol. 8(2), pages 1359-1385, December.

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