Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2015/11: Smart specialisation: Sources for new path development in a peripheral manufacturing region

Bjørn Asheim () and Markus Grillitsch ()
Additional contact information
Bjørn Asheim: UiS Business School/Centre for Innovation Research, University of Stavanger & CIRCLE, Lund University
Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University

Abstract: Smart specialisation as a strategic approach for an innovation-driven regional development policy is extremely important in the European policy context and a precondition for accessing significant amounts of funding. In this paper, we pursue two aims: First, we clarify what smart specialisation means and introduce theoretical perspectives strengthening this policy approach. We will discuss the role of different modes of innovation and knowledge bases for different types of new path development. Second, we aim at identifying the sources for new path development within the smart specialisation framework for a peripheral manufacturing region. We present the key findings from a case study of Møre and Romsdal, in the western parts of Norway, which has been successful economically despite low scores on the typical innovation indicators. The case study was conducted in autumn 2014 and combines an in-depth analysis of relevant policy documents and 17 semi-structured interviews. Thereby, we illustrate to what extent a smart specialisation policy can add value in Norway. As Norway is not part of the EU, it is not compulsory for Norwegian counties to design smart specialisation strategies.

Keywords: Smart specialisation; new path development; periphery; innovation; regional development

JEL-codes: P48; R10; R11; R58

25 pages, February 26, 2015

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201511_Asheim_Grillitsch.pdf PDF-file 

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