Research Themes

Competitiveness and Economic Growth
A significant forum of scholarly and practitioner based research has developed in recent years that has sought to both theorise and empirically measure the competitiveness of places, in particular at the sub-national regional level. The Centre’s research has permeated economic development policymaking, establishing 'regional competitiveness' as a new theoretical lens through which to consider the uneven economic development of places.

Economic Resilience
Why are some places less affected by economic decline than others? Why do some places recover from an economic shock more quickly than others? Is it just about their economic structure, or are other factors also at play? The Centre for Economic Geography is one of Europe's leading centres for research into these questions of economic resilience.

Networks and Knowledge
Perhaps the most interesting implications recent developments in the field of economic geography relate to the impact of the spatial organisation of regions on flows of knowledge. In particular, it is considered that differences in regional development and growth can potentially be explained by differences in the conditions for creating, accumulating and – crucially – transmitting knowledge. Researchers at the Centre have focused their research on examining the inter-organisational networks underpinning the flow of knowledge within and across regions.

Innovation and Smart Specialisation
Academic thinking on regional innovation has moved on a long way since staff at the Centre for Economic Geography first laid the foundations for this important topic.  Continuing this long tradition the Centre remains at the forefront of research into the geography of innovation and the dynamics of regional innovation policies and practice.  We are currently leading a major EU funded programme on Smart Specialisation and are actively involved in policy debates at national and European levels.

Culture, Well-Being and Economic Development
The key aim of this research stream is to provide a better understanding of the dual nature of regional and local development, whereby such development is increasingly acknowledged as consisting of economic development and growth as well societal development in the form raised levels of well-being. In particular the work of the Centre seeks to address the suggestion that a missing ingredient in explaining economic development and well-being at the regional and local level is the role of culture.