While it is well known that R&D activities are unevenly distributed across space, how this geography evolves is less explored. R&D activities are recognised as one of the main drivers for economic competitiveness and the transition to a knowledge-based economy. In this perspective, the EU has promoted the Framework Programmes (FP) since the 1980s to support it. The policy rationale is based on open and highly competitive calls for funding, and recent analyses have shown the existence of a core-periphery geography in the spatial distribution of FP participation. This paper aims to show drivers in the evolution of the spatial distribution of FP participation arguing that this mainly depends on economic development and scientific diversification, whether smart specialization is effective only in few cases. The analysis uses an innovative database at the level of European districts (NUTS3) and six different FP themes are compared from 1999 to 2010. Findings show the importance of economic growth and scientific diversification as main drivers for the attraction of FP projects across European districts. Combining this analysis with the EU Cohesion Policy, scientific specialisation seems to have a positive effect for Objective 1 regions only in a few selected FP themes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication22nd Conference of the Council for European Studies (CES)
PublisherCouncil for European Studies
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
EventAnnual Conference of the Council for European Studies - Sciences Po, Paris, France
Duration: 7 Jul 201511 Jul 2015


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Council for European Studies

ID: 13827757