Alessandra Faggian, AEDE associate professor of regional economics, was recently chosen by the European Commission to serve as one of five judges for the European Capital of Innovation 2014 contest, which awards the iCapital prize. The contest, which grants the winning city 500,000 euros to commit to its innovation efforts, aims to reward a city that is “building the best ‘innovation ecosystem’, connecting citizens, public organisations, academia, and business.”
With 7 out of 10 Europeans now living in urban settings and the majority of Europe’s GDP being generated in urban locales, the contest hopes to create a network of cities who can share their innovation concepts for growing the Europe of the future as innovation is at the core of Europe’s strategy for economic growth.
The European Commission notes, “Innovation is central to economic growth and business competitiveness, and is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy. The European Union has set itself the goal of becoming an ‘Innovation Union’... Through its research and innovation and regional policies, the EU has been promoting smart and sustainable urban development.”
The contest is open to cities in any EU member state or country associated with the EU's research framework program. Only cities with over 100,000 inhabitants with proposal initiatives that have been in operation since at least January 2010 are eligible to compete. In countries where there is no city with more than 100,000 inhabitants, the largest city is eligible to apply.
The submission deadline closed in early December 2013 and the judges are currently reviewing the entries. The winning city will be announced at the EU’s Innovation Convention in March 2014.
Dr. Faggian’s research interests lie in the fields of regional and urban economics, demography, labor economics and the economics of education. Her publications cover a wide range of topics including migration, human capital, labor markets, creativity and local innovation and growth.
She has co-authored more than 50 academic publications. She is co-editor of the journal Papers in Regional Science and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Regional Science and the journal Regional Studies, Regional Science. She also recently served as a guest editor of the July 2013 edition of the journal International Regional Science Review.
Dr. Faggian also plays a large role in the regional science community’s organizing bodies: Since 2010, she has served on the Regional Science Association International (RSAI) council; since 2011, she has served as a member of the RSAI Long Range Planning Committee; and since 2012, she has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Western Regional Science Association (WRSA) and the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC).
December 17, 2013