Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Towards a Smart Specialization Strategy for Haifa, Israel

Benner, Maximilian and Bieringer, Lukas and Knaupp, Matthias and Wittemaier, Jana and Wruck, Adrian (2016): Towards a Smart Specialization Strategy for Haifa, Israel.


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The notion of smart specialization has gained considerable prominence in the international discourse on regional development. The idea of directing the attention of regional policy towards strengths and opportunities in a region’s knowledge base, and of developing regional economic and innovation strategies in a participatory public-private entrepreneurial process of discovery has unfolded policy relevance especially in countries of the European Union and its neighborhood. Nevertheless, the concept of smart specialization can be applied to regional economies in other countries, too. The present study does so for the city of Haifa, Israel. It provides a profile of the Haifa regional economy, examines regional policies in the framework of the Israeli economic and political context, and identifies possibilities for regional policy to focus on in the coming years. Drawing on the idea of an entrepreneurial process of discovery on the regional level which is a critical component of the smart specialization concept, the study suggests how such an entrepreneurial process of discovery could be organized in the case of Haifa. Conclusions drawn from this study can inform the elaboration of smart specialization strategies in other regions, too.

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