The Joint Research Centre (JRC) started in January 2019 an institutional activity to explore how Economic Complexity could be used by the Commission to guide policy. A year later this initiative is now articulated into several projects, carried out both internally in the JRC Directorate B (Growth and Innovation) and externally. This workshop of economic complexity accompanies these activities with external experts from academia and other institutions. The objectives were to (1) validate our work; (2) increase awareness for the JRC team within the complexity community; (3) disseminating across the Commission the ideas of complexity and the work of the JRC team.
The workshop took place online on three separate dates: 15, 17, and 19 June 2020. Dario Diodato, Emanuele Pugliese, Andrea Tacchella, and Alexander Tübke presented the internal work of the JRC. Luciano Pietronero, Angelica Sbardella and Bart Verspagen presented the external work funded by the JRC. Two leading academics, Maria Savona and Koen Frenken, and a policymaker from the International Finance Corporation (IFC, Word Bank), Masud Cader, acted as external experts, providing feedback and delivering a keynote each. The workshop also included a closed-door roundtable and a Q&A session, ended with the closing remarks of Mikel Landabaso, director of JRC’s Directorate B.
The objectives of the workshop were met and the JRC activities welcomed by the participants, who engaged in a constructive discussion of our work and economic complexity-inspired policies in general. The JRC will continue these activities and produce infographics, continue exchanges in the group of stakeholders, with a follow-up workshop in 2021 and a potential publication of a handbook of good practices. The potential for using the quantitative results to support to Smart Specialization policies was outlined.