Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics. He was the President of the Regional Science Association International, where he served also as Vice-President in 2014. He has also been Vice-President (2012-2013) and Secretary (2001-2005) of the European Regional Science Association. He is a regular advisor to numerous international organizations, including the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the Cities Alliance, the OECD, the International Labour Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Development Bank of Latin America. He is an editor of Economic Geography and sits on the editorial board of 30 other scholarly journals, including many of the leading international journals in economic geography, human geography, regional science, and management. He is the former holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and the only social scientist to have been awarded the Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.

Personal web page: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/rodrigu1/


Full professor of Regional Economics at Politecnico of Milan, Faculty of Building Engineering and President of the RSAI (Regional Science Association International). Her first degree was in Economics at Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy. Ph.D. in Economics, Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She’s Editor in chief of the Italian Journal of Regional Science. Co-Editor of Letters in Spatial and Resource Science, Springer Verlag, Berlin. She’s also member of the European Organizing Committee and Treasurer of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) (2000-2006) and member of the Coordination Committee of the Italian Section of the Regional Science Association. National Secretary of the Italian Section of the International Regional Science Association, 1995-98.

In her long research career she has focused in particular on regional growth and regional economics. She’s additional Member of the editorial board of the Annals of Regional Science and of the Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine and Author of a textbook in Regional Economics, published in Italian (Il Mulino, 2004), and in English (Routledge, 2007).

Personal web page: http://www.rsijournal.eu/?page_id=1781


Assistant Prof. VINKO MUŠTRA, PhD

Vinko Muštra is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Split with a profound interest in regional and urban topics. His main research interest is in the field of smart specialization, urban development, agglomeration economies and EU regional policy. He has been involved in the implementation of national and international research projects and initiatives. Also he has published a wide array of scientific papers and articles in the field of spatial sciences. Furthermore, he is Chairperson of the Organizing committee of the International Conference “Challenges of Europe”.


Assistant Prof. BLANKA ŠIMUNDIĆ, PhD

Blanka Šimundić is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Split. She has experience in teaching and profound interest in tourism economics, and global perspectives of transport and tourism demand and supply. Her main scientific research is in the field of economic policy and development, EU regional policy and the economics of travel and tourism. She has also published scientific papers in the field of tourism demand, input-output analysis, economic development and smart specialisation. She has been involved in the development of national/regional/urban development strategies and national and international research projects.



Martin Ferry is a Senior Research Fellow at EPRC. He holds a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Strathclyde and a PhD in Central and East European politics from the University of Glasgow. Following his PhD, Martin held research assistantship posts at the University of Paisley (now University of the West of Scotland) and the University of Strathclyde working on the political economy of post-communist transition, the role of green parties and movements.
Since joining EPRC in 2002, Martin has specialised in regional economic development and policy in Central and Eastern Europe (particularly Poland) and the United Kingdom. His research on Central Eastern European issues for EPRC has included managing a Work Programme under the EU Seventh Framework Programme on Growth – Innovation – Competitiveness: Fostering Cohesion in Central and Eastern Europe (GRINCOH).
Martin is particularly interested in the governance and implementation of national regional policy and Cohesion policy, as reflected in several research strands.  First, he has studied the institutional frameworks of regional policy and the construction of regional policy governance at different spatial scales, where his work has included ex-post evaluations of policy implementation models, carried out on behalf of EU institutions and national authorities. Second, he has undertaken research on policy coordination and the pursuit of policy synergies, where his research has involved major comparative studies on the coordinated implementation of Cohesion policy and other economic development policies. Third, he has research interests in institutional capacity, policy efficiency and accountability. Here, his experience includes leading EPRC input to a major, EU-wide study on the administrative costs of Cohesion policy management and implementation carried out on behalf of the European Commission. He has published a range of academic articles, book chapters and policy reports on these themes.
Martin is a member of the Executive Management Group of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies (CRCEES), funded by ESRC and based on the cooperation of six universities across the United Kingdom. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal ‘Europe-Asia Studies’ and the ‘Latvian Regional Review’ (2013-present). Within EPRC, he is Coordinator of Postgraduate Studies.

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Wolfgang Petzold is deputy director for communication with the European Committee of the Regions, for which he works since 2008. Before, he worked for ten years at the European Commission, including as deputy head of unit at the Regional and Urban Policy Directorate-General. Following his studies of sociology, he began his career in German regional ministries, working on EU affairs and EU funds’ management. He published several books and articles on EU regional and cohesion policy and lectured at universities in Bremen, Bruges, Glasgow, Osnabrück and Tübingen. He is member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and its research committee, as well as of the editorial board of the journal European Structural and Investment Funds (EStIF). In 2016, he won the media communications award of the RSA.




Carlos Mendez is a Senior Research Fellow at European Policies Research Centre of the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, UK. He has degrees from the University College London (BA), London School of Economics (MSc) and University of Strathclyde (PhD). As a specialist on the European Union and regional development policy, Carlos’ main research interests are in the area of public policy and administration, particularly in relation to EU Cohesion policy and the EU Budget. He has co-authored a monograph on EU Cohesion policy, published a range of academic articles and policy reports, and worked on a wide range of projects and evaluation studies for EU, national and regional institutions. He was the project manager for COHESIFY, a Horizon 2020 project assessing the impact of EU Cohesion policy on citizens’ attitudes to the EU.

Personal web page:


Alessandro is an expert in EU Regional Policies. He leads studies and independent evaluations for the EU institutions (European Commission, Committee of the Regions, European Parliament, European Investment Bank).  Further on, he has extensive experience in providing on the ground technical support to Member States (Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain) in the implementation of ESIF Programmes.
Most recent projects include studies in the fields of cross border cooperation, regional innovation, financial instruments, State aid and EU public procurement. He is the Coordinator of the framework contract on economic and social policies for the Committee of the Regions. Moreover, from March 2016 to November 2018 Alessandro was team leader of the EIB fi-compass platform (www.fi-compass.eu), providing advisory services on financial instruments set up under the European Structural and Investment Funds.
He lectured on EU programmes and projects at the University of Macerata since 2006 to 2015.