Benchmarking Regional Structure Rev. 2013

Finding reference regions based on structural similarities

A key to build sound innovation strategies for smart specialisation at the regional level is to identify opportunities for learning policy lessons and transferring practices from other regions. But what are the regions one should consider as a reference for these purposes? Our proposal is to start by identifying regions that share similar structural conditions which are relevant for innovation-driven development (social, economic, technological, institutional and geographical characteristics). That is, characteristics that cannot be easily changed in the short term and that are demonstrated to affect the way innovation and economic evolution take place in a region. Below you will find an interactive tool that allows you to identify reference regions across Europe based on a methodology jointly developed by Orkestra – Basque Institute of Competitiveness and the S3 Platform.

Methodological paper
Structural variables & data
Regional NUTS codes

Interactive tool

How it works

  1. Select a region in the top window
  2. Choose the number of reference regions you want to be displayed
  3. Decide if you want to exclude regions from the same country from the results
  4. Press “refresh” to get the results
  5. A list of regions will appear on the right side of the screen sorted in descending order from the ones that are more similar (top) to the less similar (bottom) to the region selected
  6. The order is given by a synthetic index of structural distance (lower value=structurally closer to the selected region) explained in the methodological paper.

The 20 nearest regions to Burgenland (AT11)
(regions within the same country are included in the comparison)
Distance index
Kärnten - Austria (AT21) 0.0116
Tirol - Austria (AT33) 0.0197
Provincia Autonoma Trento - Italy (ITH2) 0.0225
Steiermark - Austria (AT22) 0.0226
Oberösterreich - Austria (AT31) 0.0245
Salzburg - Austria (AT32) 0.0247
Niederösterreich - Austria (AT12) 0.0252
Vorarlberg - Austria (AT34) 0.0273
Umbria - Italy (ITI2) 0.0300
Syddanmark - Denmark (DK03) 0.0314
Comunidad Foral de Navarra - Spain (ES22) 0.0319
Cantabria - Spain (ES13) 0.0320
Sjælland - Denmark (DK02) 0.0343
Poitou-Charentes - France (FR53) 0.0347
Bourgogne - France (FR26) 0.0352
Aragón - Spain (ES24) 0.0355
Basilicata - Italy (ITF5) 0.0360
Abruzzo - Italy (ITF1) 0.0361
Marche - Italy (ITI3) 0.0364
Nyugat-Dunantul - Hungary (HU22) 0.0366
Note! Lower index value = region closer to the selected region