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Knowledge, Skill and Regional divides (CIMR debates and workshops in public policy)

Venue: Online

Join the Centre for Innovation Management Research on Wednesday 30th June for another public policy workshop exploring Knowledge, Skills and Regional divides. 

Part of the CIMR Debates and Workshops in Public Policy series.

  • Speakers: Dr Maria Abreu, University of Cambridge, Dr Marte Solheim, University of Stravanger, Norway
  • Discussant: Federica Rossi, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Chair: Frederick Guy, Birkbeck, University of London

How do education, knowledge and skill affect regional differences in productivity, innovation and opportunity? How can these outcomes be shaped by local and regional institutions, and how by national policy?

Dr Abreu and Dr Solheim will share their thoughts on these questions, with presentations of 20-25 minutes each. Dr Rossi will comment and open the floor for the Q&As session which will follow.


Dr Maria Abreu, University Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), Department of Land Economy, and Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Cambridge 

Dr Abreu is a regional economist, working on topics relating to labour markets, education and skills, migration, and productivity. Before moving to Cambridge she worked for the Poverty Team at the World Bank office in Jakarta, Indonesia, on policy initiatives to promote child nutrition and educational transitions. She was also a policy research fellow at the Cambridge-MIT Institute, working on several projects to promote knowledge diffusion and innovation. She has worked as a consultant for the European Commission, the World Bank, the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS/BEIS), the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) of Northern Ireland. Her research has appeared in such journals as Research Policy, Journal of Economic Geography, Small Business Economics and Journal of Business Venturing.

Dr Marte Solheim, Associate Professor and Head of Stavanger Centre for Innovation Research, at the University of Stavanger Business School, Norway

Dr Solheim is Regional Studies Association (RSA) Ambassador to Norway, and a member of the prestigious Academy of Young Researchers in Norway. She is on the steering committee of Smart Cities at the University of Stavanger. Dr Solheim carries out research on diversity and innovation, combining insights from organizational theory, innovation studies and economic geography. She is particularly interested in understanding how innovation is inspired when a variety of diverse knowledge intersect, and the contextual factors affecting this association. Her research has appeared in such journals as Research Policy, Environment and Planning A, and Regional Studies. 

Dr Federica Rossi, Reader in innovation policy and management, Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London.

Dr Rossi’s research interests are in the fields of science and technology policy, economics and management of intellectual property rights, innovation activities of firms and networks of firms, economics and governance of higher education. She has contributed to numerous research projects sponsored by, among others, OECD, UK Intellectual Property Office, World Intellectual Property Organization, Eurostat, British Academy/Leverhulme, Society for Research in Higher Education, British Academy of Management. Dr Rossi has authored numerous articles in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals including Research Policy, British Journal of Management, Industrial and Corporate Change, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Studies in Higher Education, International Small Business Journal, Journal of Business Research. She has also published two books and contributed to numerous edited volumes.

Dr Frederick Guy Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London.

Before joining Birkbeck Dr Guy was a research officer at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge. Before doing his PhD, he worked for ten years as a manager and director in consumer cooperatives in California and Massachusetts. His research has addressed regional income disparities; knowledge and skill in clusters and regions; unemployment insurance, knowledge diversity and innovation; how surveillance technologies reduce wages; and employers’ failure to adopt high-performance work practices because they enhance workers’ bargaining power. Hisel work has appeared in Research Policy, the Journal of Economic Geography, Regional Studies, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Environment and Planning A, Economics Letters, the Review of International Political Economy, and the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. His book The Global Environment of Business is published by Oxford University Press.

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