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This course is about regions and what makes them prosper. It aims to comprehensively explore different approaches to spatial economic development from a business model perspective. The students are offered a fine blend of theory (e.g. economic geography, organizational studies, open innovation) and practice (e.g. industrial policy, smart specilaization, regional / urban development) covering three major blocks – cluster initiatives, living laboratories, and user innovation.
The course will consist of lectures, seminars and self-study. Lectures and seminars draw on interdisciplinary approaches, and demonstrate the importance of empirical research. The course will rely on case studies, and it will bring these studies to bear in elucidating practical dilemmas and solutions. From basic lectures, the course moves to self-study, for the objective of understanding problems and finding policy solutions to creatively advance local economies. Students are expected to present the results of their projects at seminars. The course is recommended to students linking their career paths to research work, consulting, or public administration.