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2012.09.30.I author: European Association of Development Agencies -

Regional GDP, growth and trends in R&D+I investments

Regional GDP, growth and trends in R&D;+I investments

 

Innovation is perceived as a means to ensure growth and jobs creation in the global economy. This is why the EU adopted the Lisbon Strategy and the EU 2020 agenda to boast investments in R&D+I and entrepreneurship.

It is worth to look at recent regional GDP trends to see if there is a correlation between such investments and growth.

Looking at the GDP trends between 2004 and 2009, for the 11 KNOW-HUB regions (see table) we observe the following situation:

  • 8 partners are located in regions having a higher GDP in 2009 than in 2004 (Municipality of Gabrovo, ARCFund, Association of Counties and Cities in the Weser-Ems, Basque Government, Castilla y Leon Regional Government & Universities Foundation, INNOVA, Poznan Science & Technology Park and Banska-Bystrica Self-Governing Region), whilst 3 partners are located in regions having already suffered from a downturn in growth (Nord France Innovation Développement, Méditerranée Technologies, Lower Austrian Government).
  • 7 partners are located in a region which had a stronger growth rate than their country growth rate, i.e. ARCFund, Association of Counties and Cities in the Weser-Ems, Basque Government, Castilla y Leon Regional Government & Universities Foundation, Nord France Innovation Développement, Méditerranée Technologies, Lower Austrian Government.

In the framework of the KNOW-HUB project, it will be interesting to look at the following issues:

  • How a regional innovation strategy can foster unique competitive advantages in order to avoid that a national trend (for instance the finance sector in the UK, construction in Spain, tourism in Greece, …) monopolized the economic driver for the whole country, with the side effect that the capital city/region captures most of the national growth;
  • What are the common features/characteristics of the region having outperformed during the period, and of course what is missing in the strategy or in the “product mix” of regions who are not able to perform better than the national average, i.e. Severen tsentralen (BG), Eszak-Alföld (HU), Banska Bystrica (SK).

In general, we have to recognise that regions provide support to R&D+I activities through technology programmes and research infrastructures but not enough attention is given to human capital, market search and innovation management culture.

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