| Antonio Vezzani, Marco Baccan, Alina Candu, Alessio Castelli, Mafini Dosso, Petros Gkotsis
This study offers a novel analytical approach to inform the regional search for new industrial opportunities, as promoted by Smart Specialisation within the EU Cohesion policy context.
This study offers a novel analytical approach to inform the regional search for new industrial opportunities, as promoted by Smart Specialisation within the EU Cohesion policy context. The analysis departs from the challenges of practicing Smart Specialisation and its entrepreneurial discovery process in a dynamic perspective. It argues that the adoption of a dynamic approach to identify new opportunities implies mapping regional business and innovation assets as well as, assessing their position within the global technological and industrial landscape. The report brings a case study of the Lombardy region business environment, spurring from the S3 Lab initiative (in collaboration with Baden-Württemberg, Catalonia and Lapland), together with a comparative analysis focusing on technological development. The empirical study combines patent data from OECD REGPAT and territorial proprietary micro-data from Lombardy region on firm creation in emerging industries (EI) – new industrial sectors or existing sectors evolving into new industries (European Cluster Observatory). These industries represent a priority area for Lombardy's innovation-led development strategy. The initial observations confirm the importance of such industries in the region; they represent more than one-third of employment, almost a half of the regional value-added and feature together the majority of innovative start-ups, suggesting the relevance of the regional strategic development choices. Also, in terms of productive advantages, Lombardy ranks high in some key EI. The mapping of technological competences through patent indicators measuring specialisation, diversification and the ability to specialise in fast-growing and niche fields gives relevant insights on the technological potential of the region, providing further guidance for better targeted interventions.