1st ERSA-REGIO Academic Lecture 2019
7 February 2019, DG REGIO premises, Brussels, Belgium

Speaker: Prof. Enrique López-Bazo,  AQR-University of Barcelona, Spain

Presentation title: Innovation and the region’s context

Abstract: Understanding the factors that determine the firm’s propensity to carry out innovation activities and, eventually, to implement innovations is crucial in the knowledge-based and globalised economy. The literature has broadly analysed which are the characteristics of the firm and the market that promote or hinder innovation. Other studies have claimed that, in addition to these factors “internal to the firm”, the local/regional context also affects the propensity to engage in R&D and to innovate. The region’s R&D effort, the availability of highly skilled workers, the agglomeration economies, and a social and institutional framework prone to innovation, are among the contextual determinants of innovation that have been considered in the literature. The lecture will overview the main results obtained so far about the impact of the region’s context on innovation, emphasising those studies that have merged firm-level data on innovation and aggregated data of the region’s context.

The second part of the talk will show that the role of the local determinants of innovation is subtler than is usually assumed. Instead of having a direct influence on firms’ innovation, the regional context could be interacting with internal determinants, in particular with the firms’ absorptive capacity. The effect of innovation on the firm’s export activity will also be discussed, showing that it is far from being regionally uniform. An immediate implication is that policies designed to stimulate innovation, which are likely to be effective in increasing the number of exporting firms, will not have the same effect in all regions. In both cases, the results are derived from a comprehensive database of firms located in the Spanish regions, although the conclusions could easily be extrapolated to other EU member states. Methodological issues in this type of studies,  such as the influence of the firms spatial sorting and other sources of endogeneity of the measures of the region’s context, will be discussed during the lecture.

Discussant: Dr. Mikaela Backman, Jönköping International Business School, Sweden

When and where:  7 February 2019, 15:00-17:00; DG REGIO, VIP ROOM, Avenue de Beaulieu 1, Brussels.

Registration is free but mandatory. Please email us at office@ersa.org to receive the registration link. The registration is open until 1 February 2019.

Can’t attend ? You are invited to follow the lecture via webstreaming:


You can learn more on past Lectures  here or  you watch the videos on ERSA YouTube Channel “Lectures”  or visit Inforegio website





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