Smart specialisation, regional growth and applications to EU cohesion policy
This paper examines the arguments underpinning the smart specialisation concept, an idea which originally emerged from the sectoral growth literature, and one which has recently been applied with to the regional policy context. The shift from a sectoral to a regional context appears prima facie to be quite straightforward but this paper explains that translating the idea to a regional policy context is rather more complex that it at first appears and implies some changes in both interpretation and implications. The outcomes of this are that in a regional policy setting the smart specialisation logic is seen to be broadly consistent with the overall reforms of EU Cohesion Policy. However, in a regional policy setting there is no reason why ICTs should be prioritised over many forms of intangible capital, and the promotion of technological diversification via entrepreneurship may need to be related to specific sectors or activities.
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