Smart Specialisation, Industry 4.0 and Lagging Regions: Some Directions for Policy

Mariachiara Barzotto, Carlo Corradini, Felicia Fai, Sandrine Labory, Philip R Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


At the heart of the European Union’s (EU) Innovation policy is Smart Specialisation (S3) as embodied in the Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) programme. So far, RIS3’s efficacy on the revival of so-called lagging regions has been weak. This is in large part due to the region’s weak initial endowments of technology, social/business networks, poor governance and institutional failures. This combination inhibits both the effectiveness of the programme and the ability of lagging regions to take advantage of the new opportunities proffered by Industry 4.0 (I4.0). This paper highlights some of these challenges and presents some policy directions for S3 and I4.0 to deliver better regional cohesion and enhance inclusive growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-332
Number of pages15
JournalRegional Studies, Regional Science
Issue number1
Early online date25 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Lagging Regions
  • Smart Specialisation
  • RIS3
  • Industry 4.0
  • Place Based Industrial Strategy

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