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Preliminary communication

Regional competitiveness in the context of “New industrial policy” – the case of Croatia

Katarina Bačić ; Zagreb, Croatia
Zoran Aralica orcid id ; The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, Croatia

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The purpose of this paper is to do research on regional conditions that are most
conducive to maximising the positive effects of the implementation of “New
industrial policy” (policy based on Smart specialisation strategy) to regional
competitiveness in Croatia. Rather than using the standard but fragmented system of
counties, this small post-transition economy is first mapped into five regions
following the concept of regional innovation systems (RISs). Essentially, RIS concept
rests on an idea that interactions among regional agents lead to the creation of
optimal innovation output, while policy based on Smart specialisation strategy in
Croatia is a national policy that promotes creation of innovative products and
services in five promising domains and 13 sub-thematic areas. Analysis is carried
out in two steps, firstly using a data-driven approach employed in a multidimensional
framework for assessing regional accessibility, absorptive capacity and diffusion of
knowledge in the context of Smart specialisation strategy (S3) implementation. In the
second step, the assumption of post-transition reliance on the external knowledge
and technology in producing innovation output is examined via regional presence of
high-technology firms, GDP per capita and international trade and investment
variables and patents per 100.000 inhabitants using cluster analysis (Ward method).
The results show that highly internationalised regions with higher density of hightechnology
firms already produce relatively more innovation output per capita. With already favourable conditions in place, these progressive regions are most likely to
reinforce their competitive advantages through the transformation of their economic
structures enabled by implementation of S3.


smart specialisation, regional innovation systems, regional competitiveness

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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