Last week, the School of Management’s Dr Phil Tomlinson - Deputy Director of the Centre for Governance, Regulation and Industrial Strategy (CGR&IS) - was invited to Brussels by the European Commission and the Regional Studies Association to speak and participate the European Union’s European Week of Regions and Cities (EWRC).

The EWRC is an annual event that brings together national, regional and local policymakers, business leaders, trade unionists and academics from across Europe to debate and explore ways in which European regions can create new jobs and deliver sustainable and inclusive growth. Dr Tomlinson was asked to chair and speak at a special session on ‘Revitalising Regional Economies through Smart Specialisation and Industry 4.0’.

Smart Specialisation is the major component of the EU’s 2020 Innovation programme and the panel included among others representatives from the European Commission’s Joint Research Council, DG Regio and the Slovenian Office for Cohesion policy. The discussion largely focused on how EU policy could be better utilised to ensure lagging regions can fully participate and benefit from smart specialisation and the new technologies associated with Industry 4.0.

The University was also represented by Chris Dimos - a PhD student in the School - who won a fully funded place on the EWRC’s 6th Masterclass on EU Cohesion policy. The Masterclass connects PhD students and early career researchers with policymakers, EU officials and senior academics. As part of the Masterclass, Chris presented a new working paper (co-authored with Dr Felicia Fai and Dr Phil Tomlinson) explaining the University of Bath’s IAAPs project and how it might fulfil its ambition to contribute to the development of a new dynamic cluster in the South West.