For the 7th consecutive year the RSA will actively take part in the OPEN DAYS – European Week of Cities and Regions held in Brussels in October 2015.
As part of the OPEN DAYS 2015, the RSA will co-organise a Master Class (application process has closed now) and five sessions that are part of the OPEN DAYS University. The registration for the University sessions and other OPEN DAYS sessions are now open and we hope you will be able to join the 6,000 delegates attending this free and exciting annual event. 

The OPEN DAYS University aims to present new research on regional and urban development. It enables academics, practitioners, EU officials and other interested participants to exchange views and test new academic concepts in the field of regional and urban policies. The University facilitates the creation of networking links between students, academics, EU institutions and regional partners and raises awareness, attracting students and young researchers to the topic of the EU cohesion policy.

During OPEN DAYS 2015, 11 workshops will be organised under the umbrella of the OPEN DAYS University and 5 of those will be organised and co-organisde by the Regional Studies Association. New research on regional and urban development will be presented and debated here, with the support from a selected number of renowned academics and researchers in the field of EU cohesion policy and related policy fields from different European countries.

You can either click here to register or you can click on the session's title you wish to attend using the code indicated below the title.

Beyond Big Data: regional analysis for university, industry and policy collaboration

Code 13UNIV01

This joint RSA/CoR/AESOP workshop critically examines the potential of ‘big data’ for EU regional development and collaboration between universities, industry and policy makers. Big data has been accompanied by a lot of hype but, to date, there have been too few examples of how it can help improve policy at local and regional levels. We think there is an urgent need to assess claims associated with big data and to work with a variety of partners to develop a big data agenda that can deliver tangible improvements in the way we live, work and plan across the regions of Europe.


Brandmuller, Teodora (Eurostat)
Brzuchowska, Jadwiga (Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland)
Karjalainen, Anne (Committee of the Regions / City councillor of Kerava, Finland)
Solomon, Alex (Rightmove plc, UK)

Chair: Rae, Alasdair (University of Sheffield, UK)

Dynamics of job creation and role of micro-enterprises

Code 13UNIV02

The Regional Studies Association (RSA) presents this session which is chaired by Professor Mark Hart, Deputy Director of the UK’s national Enterprise Research Centre (ERC). The session will focus on the role of micro-enterprise in stimulating job creation and innovation at local, regional and national levels. This will be a facilitated session designed to summarize the latest research and policy developments in an accessible manner and will involve key contributions from the OECD. The session will also include perspectives from a panel of micro-entrepreneurs themselves as well as those involved in supporting micro-businesses and the research community.


Criscuolo, Chiara (Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, UK)
Richter, Anita (OECD, France)
Roper, Stephen (Enterprise Research Centre, UK)

Heathcote-James, Emma (Micro entrepreneur, UK)

Weber, Morten (Micro entrepreneur, Denmark)


Chair: Hart, Mark (Aston Business School, UK)

Creating Links between Academia and Policy at the National and Regional Level

Code 14UNIV01

The aim of the workshop is to reflect on the potential for academic-policy engagement in the implementation of Cohesion policy, 2014-20.  It will draw on the recent academic-policy conference in Riga (Challenges for the New Cohesion Policy in 2014-2020), specifically the lessons of research for the contribution of Cohesion policy to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.  It will discuss the conditions for effective academic-policy engagement, drawing on practices and experience from different countries and regions.  Key themes are how academics engage with policy research, influence policy agendas and contribute to practice, and how policymakers use academic expertise in Cohesion Policy.


Morgan, Kevin (Cardiff University, UK)
Olejniczak, Karol (University of Warsaw, Poland)

Kot, Tomasz (Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, Poland)

Chair: Bachtler, John (European Policies Research Centre, UK)

Regional Manufacturing Renaissance

Code 14UNIV04

This Open Days University ’policy forum’ session brings together key emerging themes around distributed manufacturing, reshoring/offshoring, global value chains, open innovation, and the most recent developments in industrial policy thinking.

It builds on the earlier Open Days University sessions on smart specialisation and industrial policy but critically moves the discussion on in the context of recent developments in advanced and ’distributed’ manufacturing and the opportunities these may yield for regional ’rebalancing’ and manufacturing renaissance.


Bianchi, Patrizio (Region Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Clark, Jennifer (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
De Propis, Lisa (University of Birmingham, UK)

Chair: Bailey, David (Aston Business School, UK)

The added value of an integrated versus sectoral approach to territorial development

Code 15UNIV03

Territorial cohesion promotes the value of place-based strategies to enhance the implementation of policies whilst acknowledging the differences between regions. An ‘integrated’ approach can potentially increase the efficiency and effectiveness of outcomes in specific territories and also secure greater engagement of partners. However such approaches also have to address the challenges of operational complexity, the limits of governance arrangements, and the limited potential to bend sector policy where only sub-optimal outcomes might be achieved. This theme provides insights into the context of place-based strategies and the practices that have been developed to deliver the potential added-value of this approach.


Faludi, Andreas (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands)
Heidrich, Oliver (Newcastle University, UK)
Van Herwijnen, Marjan (ESPON)
Vignetti, Silvia (Centre for Industrial Studies, Italy)

Evers, David (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The Netherlands)

Chair: Dabinett, Gordon (University of Sheffield, UK)