Working together on the economic resilience of regions

Utrecht University, Tilburg University and Birch Consultants support regions to emerge resilient and adaptive from the corona crisis.

How does the corona crisis affect the economy in sectors and regions, and what explains the differences in their resilience and adaptability? Over the next two years, a joint venture of Utrecht University, Tilburg University, Birch Consultants and Platform Talent for Technology will answer these questions. The researchers received a grant of half a million euros from ZonMw's Covid-19 programme for the project 'Economic Resilience of Regions' (EVER). This is intended to provide insight into the economic effects of the corona crisis in the short and medium term.

The team led by prof. Erik Stam will create an online data dashboard in which existing data sources will become available in real time to regional stakeholders. In addition, they will bring together societal parties from different sectors and regions in a Platform of Practice. The shared experiences and new insights from practice will contribute to the improvement of policy to increase the resilience and adaptability of regions and sectors.

EVER onderzoek naar economische veerkracht in regio's

Covid-19 shakes up the Dutch economy and society. The suspension of economic and social life and the subsequent global crisis has major economic and social consequences (including bankruptcies and declining employment). Companies want to survive but also see new opportunities. The resilience of regional entrepreneurial ecosystems is being put to the test. Policymakers also want to use this recovery to help their region or sector emerge stronger from the crisis. There is a need to clarify developments and science can contribute to this, but it has to be done faster than we are used to.

'There is now such a strong demand for knowledge that you need to be even closer to the ground

Prof. Erik Stam

‘There is now such a strong demand for knowledge that you have to be even closer to practice,' says Erik Stam, 'but maintaining our scientific integrity and rigour, of course. There's quite a lot of data available, but so far it hasn't been bundled. The crisis is unfolding rapidly, and insight is needed sooner. An online, real-time dashboard can contribute to this.

I actually think it goes without saying that we need to work together with all stakeholders in regional ecosystems on the appropriate interventions. But the urgency is even bigger now to exchange knowledge and experience between science and practice in a ‘Platform of Practice'.

Over the next two years, a joint venture between Utrecht University, Tilburg University (including Jan Peter van den Toren, Ton Wilthagen and Martijn Groenleer), Birch Consultants and Platform Talent for Technology (PTvT) will provide insight into the short- and medium-term economic effects of the corona crisis in sectors and regions. How are sectors and regions affected by the corona crisis and what explains the differences in resilience (recovering from the external shock) and adaptability (innovatively recovering from the shock) of regions?

In addition to Erik Stam, Niels Bosma and other researchers from the Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) and the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative research hub are also involved from Utrecht University.

More information

Do you have any questions about this research project? Please contact Erik Stam: