Dr. Clark Speaks at the Regional Studies Association: The Evolutionary Economic Geography and the Policy Nexus

GT CUI’s Director Jennifer Clark will be speaking at the Regional Studies Association’s Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland on June 6th. Dr. Clark, who is from the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, will join her colleagues Bjørn T. Asheim, University of Stavanger, Norway and Lund University, Sweden; Ron Boschma, Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Martin Henning, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Andy Pike, Newcastle University, UK; Mark Deakin, Edinburgh Napier University, UK; and Nicos Komninos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to discuss Smart Specialisation and Evolutionary Economic Geography: Essential Symbiosis in Order to Advance the Agenda? The panel will be held on Tuesday 06/06/2017, 11:30-13:00 in Emmet Theatre (TCD Conference Centre – Arts Building) at Trinity College in Dublin.

The panel was organized by Dieter F. Kogler, University College Dublin, Ireland; Luca Mora, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; and Mark Deakin, Edinburgh Napier University, UK and will be moderated by Dieter Kogler.

The session is part of the RSA Conference’s Discuss and Debates series and will explore how recent progress in the field of Evolutionary Economic Geography can support the ambiguous European project of “Smart Specialisation”.  Here the focus is directed at science and technology domains and in particular at their presence and connectedness at a given place.  However, much of the evidence supporting Smart Specialisation theories is anecdotal.

Evolutionary Economic Geography on the other hand is working on a number of systematic approaches capable of identifying the local knowledge bases, while also measuring how relatedness among such domains advances over time in a path-dependent fashion.

Based on this the following idea has been put forward: if one manages to quantify domain and connectedness, ceteris paribus, one should also be able to predict future trajectories of regional development, and thus be able to advise regions in what areas of economic activity to invest on order to create a competitive edge that rests on local scientific and technological expertise that is difficult to replicate elsewhere.

Panelists will discuss the feasibility of such an idea in light of recent theoretical and empirical advancements.

Dr. Clark will also speak at a pre-conference workshop on Evolutionary Economic Geography at University College Dublin on Sunday, June 4th on how Evolutionary Economic Geography has (or has not) influenced science and innovation policy and future prospects for building buildings between the academic work of EEG and the policy design and implementation schemes defining investment in science and innovation.

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