Transitional Approach for Enhancing Place-based and Collaborative Policies, towards an Evolutionary Dimension of Cohesion Policy

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The paper proposes a new perspective in the design process of tailored development policies via the innovation boost. Stemming from the current debates on regional diversification together with the emerging role of the city in pursuing local innovation ecosystem, the aim is to explore new development policy configuration in which the evolutionary framework prompts the response of different territories to continuous shocks. The relevance lies in bridging Resilience, as an ongoing process of change rather than a recovery to a (pre-existing or new) stable equilibrium state, with Diversification, as a leverage of regional resilience to absorb shocks, and Evolutionary Theory based on “continuing and progressive change”. In this perspective, the innovative aspect stems from conceiving Transition Management (TM) as a keen strategical approach to translate the combination (Resilience, Diversification, Evolutionary Theory) into policy design and implementation. The paper is a place to present the TREnD project expected to construct a platform on the basis of capturing resilience and evolutionary path as policy design factors to push forward the state-of-the-art of approaches to innovation policy. This paper introduces the background and rationale of the TREnD project, analysing the academia’s discussions on the S3 implementation in EU regions to find the existing gaps in the current EU Cohesion Policy. It then presents the TREnD approach, discussing its objectives, methodology, conceptual framework, and implication. Finally, it draws a brief conclusion and offers suggestions for the upcoming research activities.
TREnD project, transition management, resilience, diversification