Master in European Regional Development Studies

Innovation and Regional Development

Course goal

This course aims at introducing the students to the interdisciplinary field of innovation and regional development and to the problematique of the contemporary views on the organization of production and of the evolution of regional economic development issues of primarily the western world.

Students are expected to acquire contemporary knowledge and understanding of issues, beyond the knowledge they have gained during their undergraduate studies, via multiple bibliography mainly drawn from scientific journal, as well as from teaching, including compulsory project assignments.

The aim is the gaining of capabilities to understand deeply the subject and the acquirement of theoretical knowledge, research capabilities at high level, and sharp critical comprehension of the bibliographical and other material.

Students are expected to be able to comprehend and interpret/explain the course subjects in a scientific way (via research, collection and exploitation of material, i.e. via knowledge mechanisms especially of data and information retrieval, selection, organization and original composite presentation) to express judgments with structured arguments (explaining problems in an analytical way and combining knowledge with the ability to make synchronic and diachronic comparisons, as well as the study and theoretical discoursing with components of originality in an interdisciplinary context) in serious evolutionary socio-economic political and generally social sciences issues, and to articulate new ideas and foresight (explaining and combining complex issues) as well as utilizing their knowledge and capabilities for further studies, having acquired the capability to study fast under pressure and do a very good level research.

The course puts an emphasis on the following general capabilities:

  • Retrieval, analysis and synthesis of data and information with the use of the necessary technologies (where applicable)
  • Adaptation to new conditions
  • Personal work
  • Work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Production of new research ideas
  • Respect to diversity and multiculturalism
  • Exercise of criticism and self-criticism
  • Promotion of free, creative and inductive knowledge

Course subject

The course focuses on the importance of innovation and its impact on regional development. It aims to bring the students up-to date with a growing literature on regional development and innovation & technical change, and to develop theoretical proficiency and analytical competence that captures the realities of economic life and policy. The course is based on two broad themes converging, a) Innovation, technology, knowledge and entrepreneurship, and b) Spatial development and policy


The teaching approach is based on bottom-up theory building, studying of heterodox schools of thought and critical theories, and an effort to match analysis with empirical evidence.

The Course is taught with a combination of lectures by the instructors and by a limited number of invited speakers.

Student work includes:
Two (2) papers’ presentations and discussions with submission of short (2 page) summaries,
Work In Progress (WIP) presentation in view of the Term Paper
Critical paper for term paper presentation and summary
Term Paper (written essay and presentation)



Student evaluation takes under consideration:

  • Mid-term exams
  • project
  • oral project presentation


  • Fagerberg J., Mowery D. & Nelson R., (eds) (2005) The Oxford Handbook of Innovation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Asheim B., Isaksen A., Nauwelaers C. & Tödtling F. (eds) (2003) Regional Innovation Policy for Small–Medium Enterprises. UK Cheltenham: Edward Elgar
  • Borrás, S. (2004) The Innovation Policy of the European Union. Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar.
  • Cooke P., De Laurentis C., Tödtling F., & Trippl M. (eds) (2007) Regional Knowledge Economies: Markets, Clusters and Innovation. Edward Elgar.
  • Cooke, P., Heidenreich, M. & Braczyk, H.J. (2004) Regional Innovation Systems: The Role of Governance in a Globalized World. UK London: Routledge.
  • Fuchs G. & Shapira P. (eds) (2006) Rethinking Regional Innovation and Change-Path Dependency or Regional Breakthrough? Netherlands: Springer.
  • Malecki, E.J. (1991) Technology and Economic Development. Essex: Longman