The Relationship Between Export and Technological Specialisation Profiles Across EU Countries and Regions and the Identification
of Development Potentials
Studies, August 2015, 183 pages
This study has been prepared for the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), under Specific Contract
ENT-SME-14-F-S107-SI2-698839 implementing the Framework Service Contract ENTR/300/PP/2013/FC-WIFO on "Studies in the Area
of European Competitiveness" coordinated by the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO; coordinator: Andreas Reinstaller).
This service contract is financed by the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME).
The aim of this study is to analyse the development of new industrial specialisations and the process of export diversification
both at the country and the regional level for the EU countries over time. It examines to what extent these processes show
path dependent properties, whether persistent development trajectories can be shifted in order to avoid structural traps and
what role related and unrelated diversification play for the economic performance of regions. Overall, the results of this
report and its policy implications underscore that Smart Specialisation policies require a smooth coordination of a larger
set of diverse policy measures that take into account both the local context and all the involved players rather than a perfect
setup of single policies. In particular, the educational system, specialisation patterns in research and innovation, and foreign
direct investments play a key role in diversification processes and should be a constitutive element of Smart Specialisation
The aim of this study is to investigate the development of new industrial specialisations and the process of export diversification
both at the country and the regional level for the EU countries over time. It will examine to what extent these processes
show path dependent properties and whether capabilities to generate and absorb new knowledge can contribute to shift persistent
development trajectories. Finally, the study will also provide insights on the diversification potentials across countries
and regions in the EU.