Regional smart specialization in Ukraine: JRC methodology applicability

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Regional development is related to the effective management of disruptive industries on the local level. In the European Union, the innovation regional development policy is based on a smart specialization strategy, which neighboring countries try to apply as well. In their regional strategies, they notice the goals which are designed within the Joint Research Center methodology. It allows revealing the most efficient industries in the region, leading to a new level of regional competence on the global level. The study aims to identify smart specialization priorities based on JRC methodology in certain Ukrainian regions and assess its applicability in emerging markets (Ukrainian case) and develop the set of recommendations considering the specificity of the national economy.
The methodology is based on the static and dynamic analysis of economic (the indicators of the growth of average salaries and the number of employees indicators are calculated) and innovation (the indicators of productive, process, organizational, and marketing innovations are analyzed) potential of the region, which is examined in the article. It is revealed that the JRC methodology in identifying the smart specialization priorities has limited application in Ukraine. The restrictions related to the lack of data on innovations and other economic indicators. The analysis of certain regions shows what industries should be recommended as the priorities of smart specialization. However, discussions of the calculated results with the key stakeholders have differences which are not acceptable in the regional innovation policy development. As a result, the experts’ opinions are recommended to consider the priorities of different regions in Ukraine and other developing countries, which are on the path of smart specialization during stakeholders’ communication sessions.

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    • Figure 1. Approaches for priority industries’ selection in regions within the smart specialization framework
    • Table A1. Reflection of economic potential: results of Ivano-Frankivsk region
    • Table A2. Reflection of economic potential: results of Cherkasy region
    • Table A3. Reflection of innovation potential: results of Ivano-Frankivsk region
    • Table A4. Reflection of innovation potential: results of Cherkasy region
    • Table A5. Main efficiency indicators for industries with economic and innovation potential of Ivano-Frankivsk region
    • Table A6. Main efficiency indicators for industries with economic and innovation potential of Cherkasy region
    • Data curation
      Alla Ivashchenko, Anna Kornyliuk
    • Formal Analysis
      Alla Ivashchenko, Anna Kornyliuk, Tetiana Romanchenko
    • Supervision
      Alla Ivashchenko
    • Validation
      Alla Ivashchenko
    • Visualization
      Alla Ivashchenko
    • Writing – original draft
      Alla Ivashchenko, Anna Kornyliuk, Yevheniia Polishchuk, Tetiana Romanchenko
    • Investigation
      Anna Kornyliuk
    • Methodology
      Anna Kornyliuk
    • Conceptualization
      Yevheniia Polishchuk, Iryna Reshetnikova
    • Funding acquisition
      Yevheniia Polishchuk
    • Resources
      Yevheniia Polishchuk, Iryna Reshetnikova
    • Writing – review & editing
      Yevheniia Polishchuk, Tetiana Romanchenko
    • Project administration
      Iryna Reshetnikova
    • Software
      Iryna Reshetnikova