New Regional Competitiveness Observatory: Supporting policy and practice through the latest data

Submitted by Alina Danieles… on 28 May 2019

The Regional Competitiveness Observatory measures and compares the performance of European regions from different perspectives. Developed by Orkestra-The Basque Institute of Competitiveness, this tool aims to support policy-makers, academics and practitioners who are working to understand and improve territorial competitiveness and well-being.

The data in the Observatory is organised in several layers according to their role in regional competitiveness.

  • The top level includes outcome indicators that reflect the final objectives pursued towards the wellbeing of the population, such as GDP per capita or risk of poverty.
  • The second level features intermediate performance indicators that are important to achieve these results, such as employment rates or productivity.
  • The third level collects the determinants of competitiveness, those elements that affect performance at the other levels.

The third level is particularly relevant because it is where policies can have a more direct impact. Determinants are grouped in three categories of indicators that reflect business behaviour, the specialization of the region and the quality of the business environment (level of education, R&D expenditure…). Whenever possible, the information is broken down by sex.

The Observatory allows the user to choose any regions for comparison. Additionally, territories can be benchmarked against a group of 30 regions with similar structural conditions (socio demographic, economic and technological specialisation, and business structure).

The graphics and maps generated when browsing the Observatory can be downloaded, alongside the related data, facilitating their use for research, reporting, teaching, presentations, etc..The data itself is collected from a range of official sources and is always kept up to date through an innovative platform that enables an automation of the data collection and processing process.

This tool can be used for different purposes. For instance, Orkestra’s researchers use it primarily to analyse the competitiveness of the Basque Country. The Regional Competitiveness Observatory helps to diagnose the situation: what is working well, and what needs to be addressed to ensure citizens well-being in a sustainable manner. Thus, the tool serves as a guide around which to work with other regional stakeholders (firms, cluster associations, policy-makers … ) in a continuous process to upgrade the region’s competitiveness and well-being.

You can explore it here:

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