Enhancing innovative capabilities in lagging regions: an extra-regional collaborative approach to RIS3

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Mariachiara Barzotto
  • Carlo Corradini
  • Felicia Fai
  • Sandrine Labory
  • Phil Tomlinson

Colleges, School and Institutes


Smart Specialisation (S3) is a place-based industrial strategy that forms the major component of the European Union’s 2020 Innovation policy (RIS3). Lagging regions, however, lack the technological capabilities and networks to fully participate and benefit from RIS3. Extra-regional collaboration offers lagging regions opportunities for technological upgrading to overcome this deficit. Using patent data for EU NUTS2 regions, we find extra-regional collaboration raises innovation in lagging regions, although collaborations based on technological relatedness might be less effective, compared with advanced regions. This has implications for the design of policies to engender extra-regional collaboration and their alignment with RIS3 initiatives.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-232
Number of pages20
JournalCambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Issue number2
Early online date25 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2019


  • extra-regional collaborations, lagging regions, Smart Specialisation, RIS3, patents, Europe