About the conference

In adapting to global grand challenges such as climate change, migration, digitalisation, increasing regional disparities and uneven economic growth, European regions face several challenges. Both societal and academic discourse is led by a belief in the importance of regions as containers of innovation activity and policy, and places innovation at the forefront of addressing these challenges.

Additionally, and in tune with this, 'innovation' is increasingly conceived as something broader than economic growth and technological development. The innovation concept is entrenching new fields, and it is now common to refer to terms such as 'social' and 'green' innovation. Thus, it is increasingly common to discuss the role of innovation in economic, social, cultural and political development; processes of which all have a geographic counterpart. This opens up a new field of enquiry, i.e. that of "Responsible Innovation and Regional Development," where a key issue is a focus on effects and implication of innovations beyond the economic sphere.

As firms, established businesses and the public sector is constantly working to develop new and improved products, processes of services, organizational methods and market adjustments, it is increasingly understood that they also cause unforeseen outcomes for example in terms of economic restructuration and job losses; concentration of capital accumulation; climate change and environmental degradation. How to tackle such issues should be on top of the research agenda within the field of innovation and regional development, especially as the regional level is considered an important constituent in addressing a number of future challenges.

The conference particularly welcomes contributions investigating responsible innovation from a regional perspective, where critical discussions and analyses of the role of regions and regional policy in contributing to sustainable, responsible regional development is brought to the forefront.