Disentangling COVID-19 as a driving force of path development processes in Spain
This research seeks to further explore path development processes in Spanish regions by analysing the industrial sector’s response to the shortage of medical supplies during the COVID -19 pandemic. This was caused by difficulties in purchasing abroad and interrupted supply chains, especially during the first part of the year 2020. Given this context, the project seeks to study the diversification strategies in existing firms throughout the country, or the creation of new ones, aimed at manufacturing medical instruments and materials. Keeping in mind the factors of a limited time frame and a possible limited spatial impact of this phenomenon, we seek to to contribute to the understanding of how the path development mechanism operates in different regional contexts, while addressing key challenges in the Evolutionary Economic Geography’s research agenda. In particular, the study will examine regional pre-existing conditions for regional diversification. It will emphasize regional knowledge bases, the role of related and unrelated variety, firms’ external connections, as well as routines, conventions and policies within the regional innovation system. The study is based on a mixed-methods approach.
I am very honored to develop the Regional Studies Association Membership Research Grant Scheme (MeRSA). The support by the RSA will help us to contribute to this research agenda and reinforce international collaborations.