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URENIO Research Unit, Aristotle University, Greece

urenio logoThe URBAN AND REGIONAL INNOVATION Research Unit (URENIO) is a university laboratory for the promotion of research and supply of scientific and technological services. URENIO is part of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Development in the Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

URENIO is mainly involved in competitive projects from the European R&D Framework Programmes (FP) and the Innovative Actions of the European Regional Development Fund. The Unit took part in numerous projects funded by national and international research institutions and the European Commission. URENIO is known for its research record in the field of ‘regional innovation’. Research carried out in the Lab is acknowledged by leading organizations in this field. It is among the few academic organizations promoting research in the field of intelligent cities, having introduced the concept of intelligent cities as physico-virtual territorial systems of innovation and most advanced innovative agglomerations.

Research Focus

The research focus of URENIO concerns the innovation-led development of cities and regions and their ability to create environments supporting R&D, human skills, and learning. Interest in the contribution of technological innovation to urban and regional development peaked after 1980 by economic geography research on industrial districts of central Italy, new industrial spaces in the USA, the planning of large technopoles in Japan, and the rise of innovation clusters, learning regions, and regional systems of innovation.

These new forms of agglomeration brought on the surface a series of phenomena with major impact on urban and regional development, such as the geographical concentration of innovative activities, the role of R&D and innovation in competitiveness and growth, the drivers of innovative agglomerations, the new geographical divides and unevenness in terms of knowledge and innovation. Since then, technology and innovation have been a standard point of reference in the development and planning of cities and regions.

The current research emphasis, however, is on intelligent cities and regions. Intelligent cities are 3-layer environments of innovation, combining (1) innovative clusters, (2) innovation and technology learning institutions, and (3) digital innovation spaces. Intelligent cities constitute a discrete category of innovation systems created by the agglomeration of creativities within clusters, knowledge and innovation creation mechanisms that operate within cities (technology absorption, creation, dissemination), and digital networks and online services. Their added value lies in their ability to bring together three forms of intelligence (human intelligence of the city’s population; collective intelligence of institutions supporting learning and innovation; artificial intelligence of digital networks and online services) and assure higher innovation performance.

Three main research fields:

  • Innovation clusters development and planning: Development, assessment and planning of innovative clusters, technology districts, technopoles, science and technology parks, innovation centres and incubators.
  • Regional innovation systems and strategies. Knowledge-based urban and regional development. Management of regional systems of innovation. Regional innovation strategies. RIS and RITTS projects. Measuring and benchmarking of innovation performance.
  • Intelligent cities: Intelligent-global clusters and technology parks. Virtual innovation environments. Digital city platforms and innovation e-communities. Strategic intelligence, foresight and benchmarking. Global technology transfer networks. Collaborative new product development. Global product promotion.

Contact Details

Prof. Dr. Nicos Komninos
Univ. Box 491, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Tel (++30 2310) 99 55 81, 489 304 – Fax: (++30 2310) 99 55 83, 472 240
Email: [email protected]

INTERVALUE Project Contact person

Dimitris Milossis
INTERVALUE project manager
Tel:+30 2310 991954, +30 6974 722910
Fax: +30 2310 991954
Email: [email protected]

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