Research & development and regional smart specialisation: do they matter for productivity?

  • Peter Pisár
  • Jan Huňady
  • Ina Ďurčeková


Research and development activities within the region are often seen as a key driving force of innovation performance. This is further important for productivity growth and economic growth of the region. These issues are part of European Union strategy for regional development called Smart Specialization. Higher education institutions play important role in the support of innovation in the region via their own research activities, knowledge creation and dissemination and improvement of the human capital in the region. The main aim of our research is to test potential link between intensity of research & development as well as specialization of the region and labour productivity in the region. In our research we compared NUTS 2 regions in the Czech Republic and Slovakia based on the selected indicators related to research and development. We used factor analysis and regression analysis based on the cross-sectional data for all NUTS 2 regions in the EU. Our results strongly suggest that focus on research & development activities is positively correlated with higher labour productivity in the region. Higher number of scientific publications and patents is also positively linked to higher productivity in the region. The same seems to be true for higher share of tertiary educated inhabitants.