Knowledge Spaces – Evolutionary Insights and Portfolio Analysis for “Smart” Development & Specialisation Policies

Session organizers:

Dieter F. Kogler (dieter.kogler@ucd.ie) and David L. Rigby (rigby@geog.ucla.edu)


Recent investigations into scientific and technical knowledge spaces in an evolutionary framework provide unique insights into the development pathways of cities, regions, countries, and even firms and institutions.  While this has already significantly aided to further our understanding of how places develop unique place-based expertise over time, it’s only now that we start to comprehend the multiple factors and causes that hold the potential to shape and re-direct development trajectories.  As we move from a rather descriptive to a more analytical approach, there is the realization that there are certain patterns and characteristics that are common to places that have managed to create favourable socio-economic outcomes versus those who have failed to do so.  On the other hand, we also observe that there are numerous avenues to achieve a positive outcome, many which find their roots institutional settings, directed policy actions, and overall regional innovation systems.  In order to push the frontier and to provide further insights that can be applied in a systematic manner to “smart” development policies, such as the ‘smart specialisation strategy’ that is now pursued by various jurisdictions, it will be necessary to evaluate findings at the macro-context, as well as those derived from particular spatial and sectoral case studies at the micro-perspective, by means of portfolio analysis.


The objective of the proposed “Knowledge Spaces – Evolutionary Insights and Portfolio Analysis for “Smart” Development Policies” sessions is to draw together broad-ranging, but also narrowly defined, papers of a theoretical or applied nature that examine the evolution of knowledge portfolios of places and entities in the context of policy-relevance for advanced economic development strategies.