Posted on: 14 December, 2018
Application deadline: June 27, 2019

CfP Unlocking the Potential of Regions Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Gran Sasso Science Institute – GSSI, L’Aquila, Italy

Call for Papers to the 22nd Uddevalla Symposium 2019 on:

Unlocking the Potential of Regions Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation

June 27-29, 2019

Venue: Gran Sasso Science Institute – GSSI, L’Aquila, Italy

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 28th, 2019

CallForPapers_22st Uddevalla Symposium 2019

Keynote Speakers

  • Prof. Martin Andersson Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Prof. Ron Boschma Utrecht University, The Netherlands
  • Assoc. Prof. Simone Ghezzi University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  • Prof. Maureen McKelvey Gothenburg University, Sweden
  • Prof. Maria Minniti Syracuse University, USA
  • Prof. Raquel Ortega-Argilés University of Birmingham, UK
  • Prof. Simon C. Parker Western University, Canada
  • Prof. Olav Sorenson Yale University, USA
  • Prof. Dr. Rolf Sternberg Leibniz University Hannover, Germany
  • Assoc. Prof. Ting Zhang, University of Baltimore, USA
  • Prof. Elin Wihlborg Linköping University, Sweden

The theme of the 22nd Uddevalla Symposium

It is well-known that development is uneven across regions. While some cast regional inequality as a natural and even a desirable outcome of the development path of nations, the current academic and political consensus calls for policy interventions targeted towards a more balanced, inclusive and regionally-cohesive growth. Yet, despite decades of sizeable policy efforts, there is no clear evidence of economic and social convergence across regions within countries. Rather the picture is patchy with some evidence of convergence in some circumstances within the EU, USA and parts of Latin America, while in other cases macroeconomic factors have militated against convergence, even in these same macro-regions. In times of costly fiscal adjustment and slow economic recovery, such regional disparities bring social and political discontent, particularly in declining, lagging and peripheral regions, and these issues are now coming very much to the forefront of the development policy agenda worldwide. Entrepreneurship and innovation are proven to be strong drivers of regional economic development, and therefore they offer a source of potential solutions to the challenges imposed by an adverse international context. Yet, both entrepreneurial and innovative activity are themselves highly unevenly-distributed in space, which might in itself be a main cause of the persistent regional inequalities in both developed and developing countries. A deeper understanding of the drivers and the implications of sub-national disparities in entrepreneurship and innovation is therefore a priority for implementing policies aimed at unlocking the potential of all regions, and especially of those rural, lagging and peripheral, in order to maximize their contribution to national growth and prosperity. The theme of the 22nd Uddevalla Symposium aims at showcasing new insights into the geography of entrepreneurship and innovation. Although non-exhaustive, some of the most pressing questions that could be addressed are:

  • New approaches to the measurement of regional entrepreneurial and innovative activity
  • The spatial distribution, drivers and dynamics of different types of entrepreneurship (e.g. high /low-potential; necessity/opportunity-driven)
  • The role of agglomeration externalities in small and new firms’ performance
  • Urban-rural linkages as drivers of entrepreneurial and innovative activity in peripheral regions
  • The role of regional institutions and governance in boosting/hampering entrepreneurial and innovative activity
  • Regional entrepreneurship and innovation dynamics along the expansion/contraction phases of the economic cycle
  • Entrepreneurship as a risk-coping and regional resilience mechanism: theoretical and practical approaches.
  • Synergies and complementarities between entrepreneurship and innovation support initiatives within regional development policies
  • The role of entrepreneurship as a tool for regional poverty reduction and the overcoming of regional marginality and job polarization (including issues relating to income inequality, work and life satisfaction balance, etc.)
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation as drivers of intra and inter-regional equality/inequality
  • Challenges for realizing the innovative and entrepreneurial potential of immigrants and returning migrants
  • The link between innovative experiences and development effects of local entrepreneurship in peripheral areas
  • Regional factors of gender inequality in entrepreneurship: drivers, causal relations and effects
  • Social entrepreneurship: non-profit entrepreneurial efforts aimed at finding new and better ways to create and sustain social value in regional development
  • Family enterprises: conditions hindering or promoting the emergence of kinship-based enterprises in local contexts, and linkages with innovation efforts
  • The entrepreneurship ‘literacy’: assessing the relevance of educational programs, startup incubators, and entrepreneurial knowledge in shrinking regions and emerging economies
  • The digital divide as a source of core-periphery differences in entrepreneurial and innovative activity
  • Regional culture, social capital and local networks as key components of the local entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.

We welcome the submission of papers to:

I. Unlocking the Potential of Regions Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Or to one of the following special sessions:

II. Uncovering the Role of Culture for Local Entrepreneurship

The importance of culture for entrepreneurship has been an active area of research in social sciences during the last three decades. The bulk of evidence point at cultural differences as a main driver of differences in entrepreneurial activity (Tan, 2002; Shane, 1994) and innovation outcomes (Shane, 1993; Shane et al., 1995) across national economies. But influential research has also highlighted the important role of local cultural differences for entrepreneurship and innovation dynamics at the regional level (Saxenian, 1994; Peredo, McLean, 2006; Pfeilstetter 2013). That is why, culture has come to the forefront as one of the key framework conditions of the entrepreneurial (Isenberg, 2011) and innovation (Mitra 2012) ecosystems. There is, however, a large scope for exploration of the still not fully-understood linkages between culture and entrepreneurship, particularly at the local and regional levels.

More information at

Chair: Dr. Giulia Pezzi, Gran Sasso Science Institute, GSSI L’Aquila:

III. Cultural and Creative Industries and Regional Innovation

Cultural and creative industries (CCIs) comprise a broad range of activities, including cultural heritage, architecture, music, live performance, publishing, music, arts and crafts professions, television, radio, film and video, advertising, design, fashion, video games, software and, in some cases, IT services. CCIs play a distinctive role in redefining the relationships between place, economy, culture and creativity, especially considering the global and digital character of today’s economy. In many countries, CCIs constitute a dynamic and resilient sector which, in the last years, has grown faster than the rest of the economy, making them attractive to policy makers as drivers of sustainable economic growth and employment creation. However, due to the rapid evolution of CCIs, the difficulties to define their needs, and the fragmentation of the policy frameworks, national and local policy makers tend to systematically underestimate their contribution to the economy and consequently deploy insufficient means to support them.

More information at

Chair: Dr. Alessandro Crociata, Gran Sasso Science Institute, GSSI L’Aquila,

IV. Kinds of Regional Resources that Contribute Innovation and Creation of New Industries

Innovation is not created everywhere in the world. We can observe the Spatial Concentration of Innovation. It means that the Regional Resources of a specific place are so important for promoting innovation. We would like to invite scholars as well as faculty members in many regions to share the spatial concentration of innovation. We can learn many different regions and also histories. Research inquiries we commonly have are:

  1.  What are the Regional Resources, including Technology, Human Resources, Capital, Social Institutions and Social Capital to promote Innovation?
  2.  We inquire the reason why such Regional Resources are available in the Region.
  3.  Why are some of these Regional Resources not transferable to other regions?

Chairs: Tomomichi Yoshikawa, Professor emeritus, GSB, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, & Hironari Ukai, Professor of Graduate School of Economics/Faculty of Economics, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan,

V. Innovation and Societal Development from the Perspective of Work Integrated Learning

This session focus on innovative research and development where different stakeholders meet and collaboratively address challenges in a contemporary society.

Chairs: Prof. Lars Svensson,, Prof. Per Assmo, Assoc. Prof. Fredrik Sunnemark, & Assoc. prof. Thomas Winman,, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden.

VI. Technological Change, Urbanization and Productivity Growth in the 21st Century

Chair: Prof. Roger R. Stough, George Mason University, USA,

Co-Chairs: Karima Kourtit, Eindhofen University of Technology, The Netherlands, , & Alexandra Tvetskova, OECD Trento Centre for Local Development, Italy

VII. Institutional Entrepreneurship and Structural Change: the Impact of Entrepreneurs on their Surrounding Institutions

Entrepreneurs have long been viewed in the literature as acted-upon actors if not objects who are constrained by the institutional environment in which they are embedded. Recent studies have been analysing the collective effect of entrepreneurs in different innovation systems to actually impact their institutional environments and even develop new ones, intentionally and unintentionally. Accordingly, institutional entrepreneurship helps us understand the power dynamics in the institutionalization processes, and how entrepreneurs capitalize on tangible and intangible resources for institutional change (Garud et al, 2007). Moreover institutions do not only matter in regional development, but they also undergo several changes as impacted by the wider system and the actors in that system Papers are invited for this special session on the relationship between entrepreneurs and their institutional environments.

Papers might focus for example on:

  • The interplay between local, regional and national entrepreneurship institutional environments
  • Case studies of regional entrepreneurship institutional environments
  • Case studies of sectoral entrepreneurship institutional environments and how they play out at different spatial scales
  • Shifting dynamics of policy agenda for entrepreneurs at local/regional scales, power relationships and intended and unintended consequences.
  • Roles played by individuals and coalitions formed by them in institutionalisation processes

Chairs: Prof. Helen Lawton Smith, Birkbeck, University of London, UK, & Dina Mansour, Birkbeck, University of London, UK,

VIII. Ageing and Entrepreneurship While the age structure of the workforce is quickly changing in many developed countries, little is known about how older workers will impact regional and national economies. An older population affects economic activity in diverse ways, through potential changes in demand and their migration and location decisions. As population is ageing, older age entrepreneurship will become a large and important part of the economic activity. On the one hand, older entrepreneurs tend to have more work experience, more networks and stronger financial assets. On the other hand, they might be less productive, be in worse health, have lower energy levels, and perhaps be less educated. At the same time, reasons why they enter entrepreneurship are also diverse. While they may become self-employed due to “push factors” such as insufficient retirement funds or inadequacies in their pension rights, there are also “pull factors” including the economy being highly service oriented, flexibility in working hours, and working part time which affect their decisions. This special session is denoted to deal with the relationship between ageing and entrepreneurship.

Chair: Dr. Mikaela Backman, Jönköping University, Sweden,


Following the tradition established by the previous Uddevalla symposia, starting in 1998, the 22nd symposium is designed to bring together leading-edge views of senior academic scholars and mix them with the critical and creative views of post-docs and PhD students engaged in their thesis work. We welcome researchers from various fields, such as economic geography, entrepreneurship, international business, management, political science, regional economics, small business economics, sociology and urban and regional planning. The objectives of the twenty-second Uddevalla Symposium 2019 are:

  1.  to provide a unique opportunity for scholars including senior and junior researchers to discuss path-breaking concepts, ideas, frameworks and theories in plenary key-note sessions and parallel competitive paper sessions, and
  2.  to facilitate the development and synthesis of important contributions into cohesive and integrated collections for potential publication.

Therefore, unpublished complete papers are invited for presentation and feedback from other scholars.


Leading-edge contributions from previous symposia have appeared in so far eight special issues of prestigious journals with an additional one in the pipeline, and nineteen edited book volumes. Following the traditions, we are considering publishing either a special issue and/or a book volume consisting of a selection of papers presented at this symposium except for a Proceedings with revised papers. For a selected list of publications of previous symposia, please see

Submission information

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 28th 2019

Abstract – maximum 500 words including: Title of the abstract/paper, selected theme (choose from the list above numbered from I to XII.), keywords, Name(s) and academic title of the author(s), Affiliation(s), complete mail address(es), E-mail address(es) and corresponding author send by e-mail to:

Submit the abstract using the Word 2010 version of Microsoft. We suggest naming your file “PRESENTERS NAME_Uddevalla2019.docx” to avoid confusion between abstracts.

Results of the review process will be communicated to authors by approximately February 28th, 2019

Submission Deadline for Complete Papers accepted for presentation (in Word 2013 or earlier version): May 25th, 2019

The organisation of the symposium

The 22nd Uddevalla Symposium 2019 will have the following structure. Keynote sessions: Mornings up to lunch are set aside for 3-4 plenary keynote contributions of prominent scholars. Parallel paper sessions: Afternoons are devoted to parallel sessions focusing on the development of emergent concepts, frameworks, and theories for better understanding of the themes of the symposium and the new challenges they pose for scholars and practitioners.

Best paper awards

To stimulate high quality papers a Best Paper Award of € 1.000 as well as a Best PhD Candidate Paper Award of € 700 will be awarded. The members of the scientific committee will select the winning papers. Only papers submitted before the deadline will be evaluated.

Scientific Committee

Organisation Committee


Co-financers and sponsors

Further information about the Uddevalla symposium can be found at:

The symposium website