We are pleased to announce the winners of our MeRSA research grant scheme and we are looking forward to working with you.
Joanie Willett, Lecturer in Politics, University of Exeter, UK – Understanding Brexit and Trump in Post-Industrial, Peripheral Areas: Implications for Regional Development
Heike Mayer, Institute of Geography & Center for Regional Economic Development, University of Bern, Switzerland – Slow Innovation in Europe`s Peripheral Regions
Innovation processes are often conceptualized with an urban bias and are therefore theorized solely considering the perspective of the urban environment. As a result, innovation theories do not sufficiently consider the context of the periphery and how this context may foster or hinder the development of innovative products, technologies and services. Economic geographers started to conceptualize innovation processes in peripheral locations as `slow innovation` (Shearmur, 2015, 2017; Shearmur & Doloreux, 2016), but they have neither developed clear typologies nor differentiations between different forms of innovation (social, technological, product, process, etc.). This project examines innovation processes in different types of peripheral regions in the European Alps. Of interest are the ways in which these innovators utilize different forms of knowledge, how they are connected to their immediate environments but also to urban places (urban-rural linkages), and to what extent they can be considered as `slow innovators` in the sense Shearmur et al. describe. The particular relevance of this research lies in questions regarding the development potential of peripheral regions. As especially the unsuccessful peripheral regions suffer from outmigration, ageing of the population, structural economic change, it is important to not only focus on their deficiencies but also on their potential. Knowing more about innovation in the periphery will allow European policymakers to obtain a more differentiated and place-sensitive perspective (Iammarino, Rodríguez-Pose, & Storper, 2017; Rodríguez-Pose, 2018).
Elisa Giuliani, University of Pisa, Italy – Rethinking regional development agendas: Human rights and economic growth into perspective