Regions in Industrial Transition

Policies for People and Places

image of Regions in Industrial Transition

This report offers guidance on how to manage industrial transition and is directed towards all policymakers seeking to improve the “what” and “how” of policies that promote industrial change. It identifies how regions in industrial transition can become more competitive and more resilient in the context of major shifts brought about by globalisation, decarbonisation and ongoing technological change. It takes stock of discussions emanating from a series of peer-learning workshops jointly organised in 2018 by the European Commission and the OECD. The report presents a number of implementation tools that policymakers have at their disposal to activate regional innovation potential to help tackle these challenges and the often accompanying ones such as an unsuitable skills base, unemployment due to deindustrialisation, and limited investment opportunities.

Bringing together economic analysis and regional and country practice from the participating regions and countries on the topics of the future of work, entrepreneurship, innovation, transitioning to a climate-neutral economy and inclusive growth, the report identifies cross-cutting lessons to help policy-makers better design the next generation of smart specialisation and regional innovation strategies.



Broadening and diffusing innovation

This chapter discusses the challenge of diffusing knowledge and innovation in regions in industrial transition. Innovation and innovation diffusion are drivers of industrial renewal and productivity growth, ultimately helping regions in industrial transition “catch up” to more productive regions. Transition regions, however, face a number of obstacles in making the most of this possibility. These obstacles include stimulating the development of knowledge-intensive industries and linking them to global value chains, addressing innovation gaps between thriving and lagging areas, and better capitalising on local innovation strengths. The chapter highlights a series of factors that are crucial to broadening innovation, such as building higher innovation capacity in regions in industrial transition and better linking innovation policies with other policy areas. It discusses these challenges and offers policy lessons to stimulate knowledge transfer and enhance inclusive innovation processes.


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