This paper critically assesses recent place-based approaches to industrial and regional policy epitomised in the EU’s 2020 ‘smart specialisation’ programme. It suggests that these are a move in the right direction in so far as they acknowledge ‘place’ as a key, constituent part of policy making. Drawing upon examples from across the world, we emphasise the importance of regions pursuing strategies that allow them to capture - in a sustainable way - a part of the value they help create and co-create with other entities, such as multinational firms and other organisations. This involves policymakers acting as public entrepreneurs, devising and implementing strategies, structures and policies to enable the regional eco-system and its constituent parts to capture value sustainably. In addition to the extant focus on linkages and embeddedness, a key aspect of this involves the adoption of regional value capture and positioning strategies.
- Place-based industrial strategy
- smart specialisation
- value creation and capture
- sustainable regional advantage