The Relationship Between Export and Technological Specialisation Profiles Across EU Countries and Regions and the Identification of Development Potentials

The aim of this study is to analyse the development of new industrial specialisations and the process of export diversification both at the country and the regional level for the EU countries over time. It examines to what extent these processes show path dependent properties, whether persistent development trajectories can be shifted in order to avoid structural traps and what role related and unrelated diversification play for the economic performance of regions. Overall, the results of this report and its policy implications underscore that Smart Specialisation policies require a smooth coordination of a larger set of diverse policy measures that take into account both the local context and all the involved players rather than a perfect setup of single policies. In particular, the educational system, specialisation patterns in research and innovation, and foreign direct investments play a key role in diversification processes and should be a constitutive element of Smart Specialisation policies.