Operationalizing Smart Specialization in a Portuguese Follower Region
The inability of the European Union (EU) to grow has raised questions regarding the effectiveness of competitiveness and growth policies. To increase efficacy, the EU has determined that regions must undergo an exercise in smart specialization and devise a strategy for the same. However, particularly in follower regions facing severe locked-in problems and structural bottlenecks, the application of smart specialization may require adjustments and a more dynamic vision, especially with regard to the follower regions. Furthermore, many operational issues arise in the programming and policy-devising stages. This article aims to contribute to this debate by proposing a framework to guide the selection of priorities and by applying the proposed framework to the Portuguese North region.
Keywords: Smart specialization, Innovation policy, Regional innovation systems, Follower regions.