Third SmartEIZ Training Workshop “Companies, Innovation, Productivity” was held from 26th to 28th June, 2017 at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
The workshop has been divided in two parts. In the 1st part of the TW has been fully embedded into the CSSES international conference “Exploring Technology Upgrading in Emerging and Transition Economies: from “Shifting Wealth I” to “Shifting Wealth II”, held at SSEES on the 26-17th June 2017. In the 2nd and final part, on the 28th June, the TW has been structured around Dr. Marco Grazzi (University of Bologna) external speaker opening plenary, presentations of EIZ researchers as well as UCL partners of the project.
- In the 1st day the event has started with a plenary session with five invited speakers setting the tone of the TW as a whole. This plenary was particularly insightful due to the clear intent of all speakers to argue how good applied research could not only entice the interest of policy makers, whose research-led policies are still limited, but also enrich the research community as a whole in the quest for a unified and interdisciplinary approach. Scholars of innovation management, international business, economics, innovation studies, etc. and social sciences more in general have the need (and duty) to embrace an encompassing approach to research, where cross-fertilisation multi/cross/inter-disciplinarily should inform and enhance local, national and international collaborations and joints project (as for example is the spirit inspiring the SmartEIZ). In this spirit the parallel sessions which followed have been characterised by high academic content and extremely lively intellectual discussions from scholars from many countries, different perspectives and sometimes contrasting perspectives and point of views. The sheer number of papers presented and the very high quality of the presentations has allowed for full immersion on the thematic areas of technology upgrading, with a particular focus on how companies level innovation strategy could enhance productivity and, ultimately, economic growth, prosperity and social well-being (e.g. lower inequality, high education, less poverty and alike). The first day has been underpinned by an excellent outset for the whole TW. The social event in the evening has spurred new intellectual discussions and debates on the remit of the research community and the duty to inform more and more policy makers and politicians. This is a challenge in its own way.
- The second day of the event has started with parallel sessions in the morning continuing the remarkable high intellectual content of the papers, thematically linked to the previous day parallel sections by ‘stream’ of research and topics. The conclusion of the parallel sessions in the early afternoon has paved the way for the afternoon 2nd plenary session of five invited speakers. In the latter the debate has reach both the pinnacle and finale as far as the policy debate is concerned. The chair of the final post presentations panel, Prof. Slavo Radosevic, has stimulated an intellectually vibrant discussion on ‘big questions’ above and beyond technology upgrading, i.e. touching social dimensions of the society, inequality, political contest and regulatory environment. The five invited speaker has taken on board this challenging topics with extreme interest. Overall, the sessions has shown a remarkable participation and extremely lively debate from the audience too on policy implications for technology upgrading in advanced as well developing countries struggling to catch up with the technology frontier (e.g. middle income trap).
- The 3rd Day Marco Grazzi has started as Keynote, focusing on the intertwined relationship between three “academic” concepts: 1) Companies 2) Innovation 3) Productivity. Prof Grazzi has focus on advance methodological challenges we face when looking at the firm level data and how advanced econometrics tools can work in our favour. In the second part of the morning three EIZ researchers have presented their findings, with a focus on firm level data from Croatia in the wider South-East European context. Finally in the afternoon Marco Grazzi has presented a paper based on some firm-level recent research findings in Italy, Randolph Bruno on firm-level on the EU and Zoran Aralica on innovation policies in Croatia. The event has been successfully concluded at 4pm with an intellectually charged and nurtured EIZ group of scholars.
Training Workshop programme can be seen here.