Coffee Break with Researchers – Cristina Chaminade: Path Renewal and Creation in Regional Innovation

Coffee Break with Researchers – Cristina Chaminade: Path Renewal and Creation in Regional Innovation


Our coffee breaks with researchers aim to
spread knowledge about regional development and innovation. By sending a camera around the world, we present
you with different angles and insights on the topic. We ask researchers directly and in a personal
manner about their work. We want to make scientific knowledge accessible
to all. Hi welcome to coffee break with researchers. Today I’m having a coffee break with Cristina
Chaminade, she is a Professor at the Department of Economic History at Lund University in
Sweden and she has a particular expertise in globalization of innovation Hello Cristina, thank you for accepting my
invitation to my coffee break. How are you doing? Thank you, I’m doing well, thanks Lorena. I’m having today a Colombian black coffee,
which one are you having? I’m having a Swedish coffee, which is very
strong, so I’m having it with a lot of milk. I’m haven’t tried that one, and it would be
really good to try. Today, I want to talk with you about one of
you recent papers, in which you study the path renewal of textile regions in Sweden
and Italy. Could you please tell me what the paper was
about? Yeah, we are trying to analyze and discuss
whether processes of transformation are possible in regions that are highly specialized in
one industry. And we are looking at Prato and Boros, they
are two regions in Italy and Sweden, respectively and they are highly specialized in the textile
industry, and have been for centuries. This is a very interesting topic, could you
tell me your main findings? Well, the main findings are that path renewal
and creation is possible and this goes a little bit against what the literature tells us. Usually if you are very specialized there
are more limited possibilities for path creation and renewal, and we found that it is possible,
but there are three conditions that need to be in place. One is that there is variety within the specialization,
the other one is that there are extra regional networks and the third one is that we need
a certain degree of alignment between regional policies and national policies. Is there any reason why you chose Italy and
Sweden? Yeah, this was part of an European Union Project
and there were many regions in the project, but I had the opportunity to be in Italy for
six months, and that was very good because I could be part of the interviews also there. So it was a very interesting case also because
both of them were specialized in textiles. So we could choose the same industry into
regions in Europe and look at these processes of transformation. So there was a bit of a personal motivation
in doing this, right? Or did you have any other driver in doing
your research? Yeah, this was this European Union project,
but of course, Italy is always very appealing for us living in the North. So it was very nice to be able to spend the
spring time in Italy and conduct the interviews there. So there was a personal motivation. Which challenges did you have in doing them? Yeah, there was some important challenges
that had to do with securing the interviews. We were expecting that it would be much easier
to secure the interviews in Sweden and not so much in Italy. But in the end, it resulted that it was the
other way around, it was much easier to conduct the interviews in Italy and much more difficult
to secure the interviews in Sweden. Wow, I wouldn’t expect that either. So do you have any implication for policy
making based on your research? The main implication is related to this coordination
between this regional and national policies. For example, in the case of Sweden was very
clear that they adopted a very radical proposal of transformation and for that they got the
support from the regional government and national government. And they were very aligned and provided all
the support for the transformation. In the case of Italy, the regional government
is supporting the business as usual, in Italy while the national government is more willing
to support these novel manufacturers, these novel entrepreneurs. So there is a lack of alignment between the
regional and the national policies, which actually prevents or hinders the transformation
processes in Prato. Do you have any potential path for future
research in this field? Yeah, actually one of the spill over of this
project in Italy, was to try to look at processes of transformation in this case, in the wine
industry and we wanted to look at the role of international consumers, in this case,
Swedish consumers supporting this transformation. That is the next step in the process. Looking forward to that paper already, I wish
you all the best for your future research and thank you very much for having this nice
chat with me. Hope to see you next time in my next coffee
break. Thank you very much, bye-bye. Thank you for watching, if you are interested
in more details about this research find here the link to the academic publication. Bye-bye

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