Typology of Smart Specializations Across European Regions

Korneliusz Pylak, Piotr Oleszczuk, Przemysław Kowalik
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Special Issue 2, 503-512, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/2280


Purpose: The aim of the research was to examine and develop a typology of smart specializations in European regions. Such a typology is essential to compare regions in terms of the adopted innovation strategies and to assess their performance after the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. Design/Methodology/Approach: Since smart specializations refer to 82 industries, we applied principal component analysis (PCA) to reduce the number of industries on the one hand and to find a typology of a limited number of unique specializations on the other. Horn's parallel analysis indicated a maximum number of fifteen components (potential specializations in the typology). Findings: After analyzing fifteen components defined in PCA, twelve pointed to meaningful and explainable specializations that can be grouped into five domains of the typology, tourism, ICT, health, transportation, and environment. Practical Implications: Since countries and regions define their specializations very differently (narrowly or broadly), the typology developed in the study enables to articulate diverse specializations using one common language and to compare the performance of regions that have chosen one or more identical specializations. Originality/Value: The existing literature lacks a common typology of smart specializations, which may be essential in the upcoming evaluation of the Europe 2020 strategy and the performance of regions after the 2014–2020 period.

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