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  • Author or Editor: Raquel Ortega-Argilés x
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Zoltán J. Ács, László Szerb, Raquel Ortega-Argilés, Ruta Aidis and Alicia Coduras

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  • New Horizons in Regional Science series

Raquel Ortega-Argilés, Rosina Moreno and Jordi Suriňach Caralt

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Philip McCann and Raquel Ortega-Argilés

The notion of competiveness is not without its detractors. However, it has evolved largely outside of orthodox economics in the engineering and management disciplines, and emerged primarily as a systems type of perspective and approach which is also central to modern analyses of both entrepreneurship and innovation. Over time the concept has become increasingly adopted within mainstream economics and is regarded as having particular relevance in the context of regions and geography. The concept has now become a central pillar of many economic policy narratives within the international arena and also plays an important role in the international policy transfer agenda. This is particularly so in the case of the European Union smart specialization agenda, which although emerging from slightly different origins and emphasizing different priorities and mechanisms still follows many similar or related principles to those highlighted in the competiveness literature. This chapter examines the evolution of the concept of competitiveness and discusses its increasing application with regard to identifying the underlying economic performance of regions and the appropriate and relevant policy settings which might be employed in order to enhance such performance. Its importance in partly influencing and shaping some of the themes of the smart specialization agenda of the European Union Cohesion Policy are discussed.

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Philip McCann and Raquel Ortega-Argilés

The chapter outlines some of the different issues which have come together to help position smart specialisation as a key element in the European Union (EU) Cohesion Policy reform agenda. Policy prioritisation is always a thorny issue, and in the case of heterogeneous regions it is an especially difficult challenge. However, a common set of principles can be identified which help to set innovation and knowledge-related policy interventions on a sound and realistic footing even in diverse environments. The various ideas out of which these principles have emerged are from a range of differing fields and literatures which have converged into a cohesive set of principles. These principles are workable and practicable for helping regions which are designing regional, urban and local developing policies under the overall EU regional policy umbrella. The intellectual incorporation of smart specialisation within the EU regional policy agenda is seen to be consistent both with the broader reform context and also with the interests of different stakeholders and constituencies. Indeed, this is very much part of its appeal, in that it can connect with diverse actors, and therefore be a catalyst for change.
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Philip McCann and Raquel Ortega-Argilés

The chapter reviews the literature on the nature, role and links between R & D, innovation and productivity. The authors examine innovation from the perspective of the resource-based view of the firm, and discuss how non-spatial approaches explain the ways in which the characteristics of knowledge and technological regimes shape the evolution of the firm’s innovative behaviour. The analysis then moves on to set the insights of these non-geographical approaches squarely in the context of economic geography allowing for a discussion on the spatial effects of the prevailing technological regimes on urban and regional economic systems.
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  • New Horizons in Regional Science series

Philip McCann and Raquel Ortega-Argilés

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Raquel Ortega-Argilés