In the era of climate and demographic change, health and food crises, and growing energy and security uncertainty compounded by financial and economic repercussions, the role of regions in counteracting an enduring instability today is unprecedented. The need for an agile public sector to face multiple interacting crises has never been as evident as it is today. In this context, regional authorities in Europe have been increasingly exhibiting entrepreneurial attributes rather than relying on traditional ways of remedying market failures.
The workshop introduces the results of the ESPON study on a phenomenon dubbed 'entrepreneurial regional governance', carried out under the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. ESPON suggests that regional public authorities act as entrepreneurs when pursuing social and environmental benefits for their communities. They bridge innovation distances, adopt external knowhow and 'pollinate' their regional markets with new opportunities. These opportunities are discovered by firms, who in turn respond with innovation, adding social and environmental value in regional markets.
Entrepreneurial regional governance is not a spatial endowment but an adoptable ability. This is why distilling and explaining it yields considerable benefits for regional policy-making, in particular in the context of RIS3 strategies, ESIF-aided entrepreneurial development policies, innovation procurement, open government and open data developments, Horizon Europe and other collaborative and open innovation practices of public authorities.