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.




Professor of European Policy Studies and a Director of EPRC at the University of Strathclyde. He has a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Wales and undertook postgraduate research at the University of Birmingham. His research experience is principally on regional and industrial development in Europe, encompassing the regional policies of the EU28 Member States and Candidate Countries, the structural and cohesion policies of the European Union and EU enlargement.

He has led EPRC research on regional policy as well as the evaluation of Structural Fund programmes, EU regional development strategies and the implementation of the Funds. Recent work focuses on administrative capacity and the implementation of EU Cohesion policy. He has published books, chapters, articles and research papers on regional economic development and regional policy as well as on policies for the service sector, multinational location factors, and inward investment policies in Europe and European economic integration.

He is a director of two EPRC research and knowledge exchange programmes: IQ-Net (Improving the Quality of Structural Funds Programme Management), which involves comparative study of the management and implementation of Structural Funds programmes in 15 Member States; and EoRPA (European Regional Policy Research Consortium), which involves comparative research on the regional policies of 30 European countries.

He has been an expert adviser to numerous government departments across Western, Central and Eastern Europe, and an adviser to international organisations (European Parliament, European Commission, Committee of the Regions, Nordic Council of Ministers, OECD). He is an Academician of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Vice Chair and Fellow of the Regional Studies Association.

Personal web page: http://eprc-strath.eu/About-us/people/Research-staff/John-Bachtler.html



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.