Technological transformation and Transitioning of Regional Economies
The debate on the implications of technological transformation is just beginning and the potential impacts in the long-term cannot yet be fully known. However, it is clear that regions and cities throughout the EU currently demonstrate differing capacities, socioeconomic profiles, levels of knowledge, attitudes and readiness to cope with transformative technological change, placing major importance on regional policies in the coming years.
There is a growing recognition that one-size-fits-all policies cannot address effectively the differential challenges faced in different geographies. This is reflected in the White Paper and the Seventh Cohesion Report which calls for more targeted support in places which are being left behind. Similarly, the recently published ‘Renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy’ highlights the need to provide “tailor-made and joined-up support to address the specific challenges of regions going through an acute crisis or falling into decline”.
The objective of this research is to provide a pan-European investigation of the territorial dimensions of current technological transformations and the transitioning of regional economies in Europe. The research should develop an understanding about what the technological transformation means from a territorial perspective and examine how emerging technologies are actively (re)shaping regional economies in different geographical contexts and the territorial and structural changes they are bringing (and likely to bring) about, focusing, in particular, on the transport, manufacturing and energy sectors, where the territorial impacts are likely to be strongest and most pervasive.
- Which regions of Europe are primed to take advantage of technological change and which regions are likely to lag behind?
- What preconditions are necessary for the emergence of these new technological ecosystems? What are the likely territorial impacts of emerging technological transformations, particularly in respect of transport, manufacturing and energy, and the likely impact for EU economic, social and territorial cohesion?
- What are the opportunities for regions, particularly lagging regions, to foster development through emerging technologies industries? How can regional economies integrate these new paradigms?
- What strategies and policy measures are currently in place to support emerging industries and technologies? How are government and business leaders tackling the industrial transformation? Which type of strategic thinking and policy measures are needed (e.g. investments, legislation, collaboration and knowledge transfer)? What are best-practices? Which policy measures are counterproductive?
- How should future Cohesion Policy post-2020 be tailored to respond to the territorial challenges of emerging technological transformations?