VINKO MUŠTRA, Course leader

Vinko Muštra is the dean and associate professor at the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, 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, regional resilience, decentralization, 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 the Chairperson of the Programme committee of the International Conference “Challenges of Europe” and president of ERSA Croatia.




Andrés Rodríguez-Pose is the Princesa de Asturias Chair and a Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics. He is the Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre LSE. He was awarded the 2018 ERSA Prize in Regional Science, arguably the highest prize in regional science, and has been a holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and of a prestigious Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award. He has also published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, is the joint managing editor of Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, an editor of Economic Geography, and sits on the editorial board of 18 scholarly journals, including many of the leading international journals in economic geography, human geography and regional science. more



Professor of Economics, University Paris-Saclay, INRAE, AgroParistech. His research was for a long time at the cross roads of spatial and industrial economics. It has now become more multi-disciplinary and increasingly focused on questions related to territorial development processes and land use planning. He has published several articles and 25 books, mostly on issues related to spatial coordination between people or groups of people. His research currently focuses on the analysis of proximity relations and on their importance in processes of coordination between people. It centres on threee main areas: local interactions between innovative firms and, more particularly, the role played by geographical proximity in the transfer of knowledge; land use and neighbourhood conflicts; local dimensions of circular economy.

His involvement in research administration has led him to take on the roles of President of ERSA (European Regional Science Association), and of managing editor of the Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine (Journal of Regional and Urban Economics). He is also past President of the ASRDLF (French Speaking Regional Science Association).



Currently at the Open University, Heerlen, The Netherlands. She was lab-owner at the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS) of the division Smart Cities & Data analytics (owned by the Eindhoven University of Technology and Tilburg University), ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. She has worked at the Center for the Future of Places (CFP) of the Department of Urban Planning and Environment, School of Architecture and Built Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. She holds two Ph.D.s, in both economics and geography (with distinction), and has a profound interest in regional and urban topics. Her research interest focuses on the emerging ‘New Urban World’. Her main scientific research is in the field of creative industries, urban development, cultural heritage, digital technology, and strategic performance management. Lately, she has also been involved in the implementation of several national and international research projects and initiatives. Furthermore, she has been an editor of several books and guest editor for many international journals, and has published a wide array of scientific articles, papers, special issues of journals and edited volumes in the field of geography and the spatial sciences. She is also managing director of The Regional Science Academy. At present she is an affiliated professor on ‘Resilient, Sustainable & Smart Buildings and Cities’ at the new University of Technology in Ben Guerir (Morocco). In summary, her academic profile is characterized by a profound involvement in evidence-based urban and spatial research on smart city policy and data metrics, by a strong commitment to educational support to young researchers and by an active role in many international scientific and managerial activities.



Emeritus Professor in regional and urban economics and in economic geography at the VU University, and associated with The Open University of the Netherlands (OU), Heerlen (The Netherlands), and the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Iasi (Romania). He has published more than 2000 articles and books in the field of regional development, urban growth, transport and the environment. According to the RePec list he belongs to the top-25 of well-known economists world-wide. He is a fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW). He has served as president of the governing board of the Netherlands Research Council (NWO). In 1996, he was awarded the most prestigious scientific prize in the Netherlands, the Spinoza award. Currently, he is vice-president of The Regional Science Academy (TRSA) and involved in many international research activities.



Vlado Dimovski is a full professor of management and organizational theory at the Management and organization unit, at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Economics in Slovenia. He received his B.A. degree in Economics at the University of Ljubljana, the B.A. degree in Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, the M.A. degree in Economics at University of Ljubljana, and the Ph.D. degree in Management and Finance at Cleveland State University. His primary areas of expertise are organizational learning, knowledge management and leadership. Professor Dimovski has taught and researched at the various universities and institutions, and has published numerous articles in recognized journals. He is author of various books, book chapters, and research studies, including Slovenian and international issues. Professor Vlado Dimovski is the Head of the national program research group dealing with knowledge management and organizational learning in contemporary organizations and Head of economic and business department of IFIMES(The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies).



Gabriela Carmen Pascariu is Full Professor in European Economics and Policies at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania. She is Director of the Centre for European Studies, Jean Monnet professor and Team Europe expert having more than 30 years of teaching and research experience in the field. She published 30 books and book chapters as author, co-author or editor and over 60 papers, she presented over 150 conference papers at national and international scientific events, and she participated to 33 research programs or research/development grants, from which she acted as director or local coordinator for 16 projects. Her research interests focus on: economics of integration; regional development and European Cohesion Policy; core-periphery development pattern; resilience, tourism and regional development, EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. Currently, Gabriela Carmen Pascariu is expert evaluator for: European Commission - EIC Accelerator: SME Instrument; Fund for Scientific Research–FNRS, Belgium; Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and reviewers for various journals, including journals indexed in WoS, such as: JCMS-Journal of Common Market Studies (Q1), Journal of Contemporary European Studies (Q2), Development and Change (Q2), Regional Studies (Q1), Journal of European Integration (Q3), others.


Ugo Fratesi is Associate Professor of Regional Economics at Politecnico di Milano since December 2010. He holds a Phd in Economics (2003, Università Politecnica delle Marche), a MSc in Economics (2000, Bocconi University) and a MSc in Local Economic Development (2001, with distinction, the London School of Economics). He is Editor of main section papers and Book Review Editor of Regional Studies (Taylor and Francis) since 2013. Previously (2008-2012) he was a member of the editorial board of the Italian Journal of Regional Science. Prof. Fratesi has been involved with various roles in a large number of research project, especially at European level, financed by the Espon programme, FP5, FP7, Horizon 2020 and the European Commission directly. He is author of books and papers published in refereed journals in the field of regional and urban economics, primarily on the themes of: regional growth, including developing models for forecasting it; the theory and measurement of regional disparities; the theory and measurement of economies of localization and agglomeration; the territorial aspects of human capital and regional innovation; regional competitiveness; dynamic models; regional policy.



Research Fellow at Nordregio, a Nordic Centre for Regional Development and Planning. He is engaged in applied research projects in the field of regional development, the green transition and circular-economy. On behalf of the Nordic thematic group for green, innovative and resilient regions 2021-2024, and its predecessor programme (2017-2020), under the Nordic Council of Ministers‘ Committee of Civil Servants for Regional Affairs, Alberto has carried out empirical studies on regional resilience, the impacts of covid-related restrictions in border communities, and the actors’ perspective in green innovation. These studies have broadened the understanding of the different types of vulnerabilities Nordic regions face, and what role the institutional and social contexts play in coping with uncertainty. Moreover, Alberto is involved projects that that foster place-based and multi-actor approaches for regions economic path creation.



Francesco Molica is Economic and Policy Analyst at the JRC of the European Commission where his research work focuses on regional development and cohesion policy under the Regional Economic Monitoring pillar (REMO). Previously, he held the position of Director for Cohesion Policy and the EU Budget at the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR), an influential European association and think tank representing local and regional authorities. In the past, he worked for the Directorate General of Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission and the EU funding programmes department of the Calabria regional government (Italy). Francesco is routinely invited as speaker in conferences and workshops on regional policy and has given lectures in various universities (e.g. University of Rome Tor Vergata, Roma Tre University, Cergy-Pontoise University). He is author of papers and articles on regulatory as well as economic aspects of cohesion policy.



Eduardo A. Haddad is Full Professor at the Department of Economics at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where he directs the Regional and Urban Economics Lab (NEREUS). He is additionally a Affiliate Professor at the Faculty of Governance, Economic and Social Sciences of the Mohammed VI University. He also holds a position as Affiliate Research Professor at the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory – REAL – at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He is a Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, Rabat, Morocco. Prof. Haddad has published widely in professional journals on regional and interregional input-output analysis, computable general equilibrium modeling, and various aspects of regional economic development in developing countries; he has also contributed with chapters in international books in the fields of regional science and economic development. His research focuses on large-scale modeling of multi-regional economic systems, with special interest in modeling integration applied to transportation, climate change and spatial interaction.



Bogdan–Constantin IBĂNESCU is a researcher at the Centre for European Studies of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania. He holds a PhD diploma from Bordeaux Montaigne University, France (2012). He has a cumulated 12 years of teaching experience at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi and University of Corsica Pasquale Paoli (France) on courses related to Geography of Tourism and Human Geography. He received several research grants and postdoctoral stages at Abdelmalek Essaâdi University, Morocco (2013), Bordeaux 3 University (2017) and Paris-Saclay University (2019) and participated as researcher on spatial analysis for the projects TerrEvi, ENACTED, ROSEC, GEOCOVID, and ReGrowEU. His main areas of interest are tourism development, spatial analysis, peripheral territories and regional resilience, having published several papers on peer-reviewed journals on those topics.



Daniela Garbin Praničević is a full professor at the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split. Her main scientific research is in the field of application of IT technologies in tourism, knowledge management and management of IT projects. Daniela is an author and co-author of numerous publications and research work for which she won numerous awards.





Blanka Šimundić is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split. Her main scientific research is in the field of tourism and economic growth, transportation and infrastructure, regional development and regional policies in Croatia and EU. She has published on perspectives of transport and tourism demand and supply, impacts of tourism on economic growth, health tourism infrastructure, regional resilience and smart specialisation. She is one of the national experts reporting to for the European Policies Research Centre on the regional policy and the assessment of instruments for the less developed areas of the Republic of Croatia. Currently she is involved as a researcher on Horizon 2020 SmartCulTour project (Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions).