Opening Ceremony
Tuesday, August 24     10.15 CET

André Torre
ERSA President


Roberta Capello
AISRe President

Andrea Omizzolo

Eveline van Leeuwen
ERSA Vice President

Keynote Lectures

Cesar A. Hidalgo - University of Toulouse, France

  A Decade of Economic Complexity
Wednesday, August 25, 09.00 CET
Chair: Pierre-Alexandre Balland, Utrecht University

Abstract: During the last decade, Economic Complexity grew from a collection of ideas to an active field of research. Today, scholars and practitioners use metrics of relatedness and complexity to study the structure and dynamics of economies and to create industrial diversification and upgrading strategies. In this presentation I will overview the development of this rapidly growing field of research, from the multiple efforts to unpack the concept of relatedness, to the implications and predictions bore by metrics of economic complexity. I will build on my recent review of the field (Hidalgo et al. Nature Review Physics (2021)), and use that as a point of departure to explore new avenues for research and collaboration.

Short bio: César A. Hidalgo is a director in the Center for Collective Learning, ANITI, Université de Toulouse. He is also a Honorary Professor in Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University. He is a Chilean-Spanish-American scholar known for his contributions to economic complexity, data visualization, and applied artificial intelligence. Hidalgo’s contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2018 Lagrange Prize and three Webby Awards. Hidalgo's is also the author of three books: Why Information Grows (Basic Books, 2015),  The Atlas of Economic Complexity (MIT Press, 2014), and How Humans Judge Machines (MIT Press, 2021). more

Tom Brökel UiS Business School, Stavanger, Norway

  Did you see the news? Linking local news and regional development
Tuesday, August 24, 14:30 CET
Chair: Emmanouil Tranos, University of Bristol, UK

Abstract: News has a considerable impact on public opinion and individuals’ decisions, whereby it shapes many economic processes including trade, tourism, and investments. However, existing research on news concentrates on individual firms and countries, neglecting the regional level. This sharply contrasts the frequently explicit subnational organization of news, which is highlighted in the multitude of regional news outlets. It also stands in discrepancy to the crucialness researchers assign to the many regional processes shaped by news including political decisions making and attitudes towards novelty. 

Consequently, looking at news from a regional science perspective will add greatly to our understanding of spatial developments. The presentation will outline the many promises this line of research holds and sketch a framework of how news shape and are shaped by regional socio-economic processes. It will also give insights into contemporary empirical work and discuss the empirical prospects of news data.

Short bio: Tom Brökel is a Professor in Regional Innovation at the University of Stavanger Business School, Norway. He is also associated to the Center of Regional and Innovation Economics of the University of Bremen, Germany. Tom’s research is focused on geography of innovation, knowledge networks, analysis of R&D policy, methods of social network analysis, regional innovation systems, and renewable energies, tourism. more

Daniela Jacob - GERICS, Climate Service Center, Germany

Time to act!
Tuesday, August 24, 10.15 CET
Chair: Andrea Omizzolo, EURAC Research

Abstract: The effects of climate change are becoming more and more tangible. Especially in recent years extreme events such as heat waves, floods and storms have been more frequent. Climate research and in particular climate modeling investigate the processes associated with climate change and its effects on extreme weather conditions, on the natural carbon cycle, and on regional climate developments. It has already been shown how differently the various regions are affected by climate change and that the impact still is increasing and will become more severe. This poses major challenges for the regions to ensure the future functioning of their infrastructures, e.g., for energy supply, drinking water supply, transport infrastructure, and wastewater disposal etc. Consequently, there is an urgent need to better promote climate protection and adaptation in these regions. It is the time to act now!

Short bio: Daniela Jacob is Head of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), a scientific organizational entity of Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, and visiting professor at Leuphana University, Faculty of Sustainability. She holds a PhD in meteorology, was Lead Author of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) and Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5 °C”. She is member of several committees and Ex-officio member of the ‘Earth League’, an international alliance of prominent scientists from world‐class research institutions. Her research interests focus on regional climate modelling, the hydrological cycle, adaption to climate change, and climate services. more

Rosella Nicolini - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

 Population distribution across space: future perspectives
Friday, August 27, 10.15 CET
Chair: Roberta Capello, Politecnico di Milano - Dipartimento ABC

Abstract: World is changing and people location preferences are constantly evolving. Exploring individuals’ location patterns helps in understanding the traits and challenges the modern society is called to face.
Spatial segregation is one of them. Disentangling its determinants at urban and regional level will contribute to picture the salient features that contribute to social cohesion.

Short bio: Rosella graduated from Bocconi University (Italy) and obtained her PhD in Economics at Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). She is currently Associate Professor (Department of Applied Economics) at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain) and coordinator of the PhD Program in Applied Economics in the same institution. Previously, she was also visiting researcher at Boston University (US), UNSW (Sydney, Australia) and GREThA (Bordeaux, France). She is editor of Paper in Regional Science and associated editor of Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine  (RERU). She is also member of the editorial board of Regional Science Policy & Practice as well as of the Journal of Regional Research. Her research interests mostly focus on the analysis of the spatial distribution of people and activities and their impact on the rise of territorial unbalances. more

Laura Resmini - Università di Milano Bicocca, Italy

 Disentangling Spillovers from FDI: old issues and new challenges
Thursday, August 26, 09.00 CET
Chair: Jouke van Dijk, University of Groningen

Abstract: Attracting multinational enterprises (MNEs) is considered as a powerful policy instrument of introducing high-capability firms into low-capability industrial settings, and, given an implicit assumption of automated diffusion mechanisms, the idea is that advanced production technology, managerial knowledge, and working practices will be transferred from foreign investors to local firms, boosting the productivity of local producers. Since the prospective benefit of increased FDI will depend in part on the extent to which technical knowledge and working practices are transmitted to local firms, gaining a deeper understanding of the transmission mechanisms that help create productivity gains for local firms is crucial. The aim of this speech is to make some advancement compared with the existing theoretical and empirical literature by disentangling the main channels of FDI spillovers, often considered as a black box, and by discussing the challenges related to the emergence of global production networks.

Short bio: Laura Resmini is a Confirmed Associate Professor of Economic Policy at the Università di Milano Bicocca, Italy. She is an Editor-in-chief of the regional Science magazine - The Italian Journal of Regional Science. Previously she was a member of the EOC of ERSA  as Treasurer. Her research Areas of interest are Analysis of multinational companies and foreign direct investments, economic geography and local development. more

Andrés Rodríguez-Pose - London School of Economics, United Kingdom

   Alone or lonely. The economic cost of solitude
Friday, August 27, 09.00 CET
Chair: André Torre, Paris-Saclay University

Abstract: The number of people living alone (aloneness or alone living) has been rising for some time in western societies. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend. In Europe the trend towards living alone has been more pronounced among women than men. The rise in alone living has been paralleled by an increase in the share of individuals that are lonely (loneliness). Living alone does not necessarily mean that individuals are lonely, but these two dimensions of solitude —individually or in combination— are bound to have a significant economic impact on economies whose progress often depends on density and frequent interaction for the diffusion of knowledge. More people living alone, and more lonely people, may imply less interactions, less knowledge diffusion and, consequently, less economic growth. But is that really the case? In this presentation I will discuss the effect of aloneness, proxied by people living alone, and being lonely, proxied by the number of social interactions, on GDP per capita at a regional level in Europe. I will argue that the presence of large number of people lonely and living alone in any particular territory has important implications for economic development, but that these go in different directions.

Short bio: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is the Princesa de Asturias Chair and a Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics. He is the Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre LSE. He was awarded the 2018 ERSA Prize in Regional Science, arguably the highest prize in regional science, and has been a holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and of a prestigious Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award. In 2019 he received Doctorates Honoris Causa from Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and Jönköping University (Sweden). He is an editor of Economic Geography, and sits on the editorial board of 33 other scholarly journals, including many of the leading international journals in economic geography, human geography, regional science, and management. more

Round Tables   

 1.  ERSA – JRC ROUND TABLE "Multi-faceted innovation for territorial post-COVID response"

  Part I: Smart territories in time of COVID
Wednesday, August 25  14.30 CET

André Torre
ERSA President

"Introductory statement"


Alessandro Rainoldi
European Commission, Joint Research Centre

"Introductory statement"

Martina Pertoldi
European Commission, Joint Research Centre


Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins
University of Gloucestershire, UK

"Rural innovation ecosystems for resilience and wellbeing"

 Kristiina Jokelainen
Smart North, Finland 

"Arctic smartness post-COVID"


Philip McCann
Sheffield University Management School, UK

"Place-based innovation for sustainability"

  Part II: Innovative cities
 Wednesday, August 25    16.15 CET

Miren Estensoro
Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness and University of Deusto

"The experience of Bilbao: co-constructing an innovation-led strategy for sustainable urban development"

Carlotta Fioretti
European Commission, Joint Research Centre


Piero Pelizzaro
City of Milan, Italy

"Milan’s 2020 adaptation plan"

Klaus R. Kunzmann
Professor emeritus of the School of Planning of Universität Dortmund

"Smart Cities after COVID-19: Ten Narratives updated"

 2.   OECD ROUND TABLE "Green transitions in regions: From COVID-19 to a green and
        sustainable future"
Thursday, August 26   14.30 CET

Rudiger Ahrend
Head of Division, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE)


Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn
Luleå University of Technology, Sweden

"The green transition - a viewpoint from a remote region

Myriam Bovéda
European Commission

"COVID-19 recovery, climate change and the European Commissions agenda"

Paula Kivimaa
Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

“Sustainability transitions and policy”

Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
University of Chicago, US

"What lessons from research on green transitions and sustainable development does policy need to take into account?"


Mures Zarea
ENGIE Research, France

"Combating climate change in regions - 
a private sector perspective"


Daniela Jacob
Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)

“The role of cities and regions in green transitions”

 3.   POLIMI ROUND TABLE "Justifications and objectives of regional policy under new         
       circumstances: Policy, politics and trade-offs
Friday, August 27    14.30 CET

Dorothee Allain-Dupré

Lisa De Propris
University of Brimingham

Lewis Dijkstra
European Commission

Ugo Fratesi 
Politecnico di Milano


Robert Huggins
Cardiff University

Sami Moisio 
Helsinki institute of urban and regional studies

Closing Ceremony
Friday, August 27     16.15 CET

André Torre
ERSA President

Andrea Omizzolo
Eurac Research

Zoltan Gal
University of Pecs,

Eduardo Haddad
RSAI President

Frank van Oort
University Rotterdam
EPAINOS award announcement

Isabelle Thomas
President of the ERSA Prize 

'ERSA Prize Winner 2021' Keynote Lecture

Juan R. Cuadrado-Roura - University of Alcala, Madrid
Friday, August 27, 16.15 CET
Chair: Isabelle Thomas, Université catholique de Louvain

Short bio: Juan R. Cuadrado-Roura is Professor of Applied Economics and Founder-Director of IAES, University of Alcala, Madrid. Former President of European Regional Science Association (ERSA). Member of many editorial boards. He has published a high number of books and papers in indexed international journals, mainly on European Economic Policy, Productivity and competitiveness, Regional analysis and Service industries. Director of the journal ‘Investigaciones Regionales’. more