Regions have become less resilient when we look at the economic dimension. This is due to the fact that there are multiple feedback loops among the various components of the overall economic systems of a region. And, the economic system interacts with other systems, e.g. the social systems, the infrastructure, environmental system, political system, governance, etc.
Research within the NSERR focuses on economic resilience of a specific type of region: city region (city or urban zone with multiple administrative districts that share resources thus functioning as a single unit). The research of economic resilience of city regions is highly relevant for the future of EU given their importance as territorial vehicles for delivering innovative governance and economic development.

NSERR focus will be to look at how to influence change in the overall region through strategic manipulations of the economic system, both in terms of its internal arrangements (i.e. how each of the components are connected), and externally (how it influences other systems). An inter-disciplinary approach will be taken, draw on multiple areas of expertise and take a complex systems approach that includes the focus on the digital environment as a critical enabler for the economic growth.

NSERR will integrate a variety of competencies in scientific areas such as Macroeconomics, Public Policy, Management, Information Systems, Economic Development, Industrial Organization, Strategy, Public Administration, System Dynamics, Simulation, Complex Systems, Sociology, and Engineering. The competencies of the several partners will be integrated to effectively address the economic resilience of regions defined as the ability of a region to withstand shocks to one or more its sectors through re-purposing its knowledge capabilities and resources in an effective and efficient manner.

The NSERR studies will focus on five areas considered essential to nurture resilience:
  • Social Innovation – development of innovative ideas, concepts, practices, tools and organizations that extend and strengthen civil society, therefore enabling self-organized decision and action to prevent, mitigate or recover from shocks to the economic system of the region.
  • Open Government – strategy by which local governments and citizens share data and information, decide and act collaboratively, and maintain ongoing conversations.
  • Cyber Resilience – development of practices and tools that support digital environments where organizations (private, public and civil) can securely and successfully carry out their activities.
  • Urban Development – expansion of cities into under populated areas and/or the renovation of decaying areas.
  • Integrated crisis risk management - the management of economic and environmental risks to promote the economic resilience of the city region.
Evidence will be provided that the achieved research results contribute to improve economic resilience indicators such as:
  • Responsible business - the city integrates a diverse range of businesses that provide enough jobs also perceived as good, respond to local demand and support a balanced regional economy
  • Positive resource flows - high local multipliers in terms of spending and investment and high resource efficiency.
  • Asset base - strong region asset base in terms of attitude, skills, knowledge within the communities and access to fair financial services.
  • Responsible public sector - local government and public organizations work to strengthen the local economy and to provide good jobs.
  • Active citizens - local capacity to act and engage in debate and decision-making at the local, regional and national levels. Strong levels of social cohesion and shared vision for action.
  • Interdependence - increased understanding of economic, cultural and ecological interconnections that link communities leading to improved collaboration and enhanced support to innovative learning.
There are many definitions of resilience and an ongoing debate on what characterizes resilient economic systems. This is even more so in what concerns to city regions given the predictions of population flows into cities in search of the many opportunities they provide and their importance as regional development platforms. Therefore, one of the main goals of NSERR is to research the concept of the economic resilience of city regions and to refine the above indicators

Research Coordination Objectives
  1.  To develop a new model of Economic Resilience of City Regions to explain how regional economies (considering the commercial, social and public aspects) recover from economic shocks and thrive in new conditions. This objective will be reached by means of surveys and case studies performed at the several nodes of the network in the various thematic areas associated with the defined working groups. Analysis studies will be performed to determine the impact of economic shocks on communities. Complex adaptive simulation models will be developed to test the systemic effects of interventions.
  2.  To develop a methodology and technological tools to support the assessment and improvement of the economic resilience of city regions. The new model to be developed will serve the basis for the development of an economic resilience index and a methodology to support the assessment and improvement of economic resilience. ICT tools will be developed to leverage social innovation, open government, cyber resilience, urban resilience, integrated disaster risk management and economic resilience capacity measurement.
  3. To provide input to policy-makers, regulators, businesses, and civil society organizations. This objective will be achieved by producing reports and recommendations to target groups and involving them in research projects as testbeds, cases and living usability labs.

Community-building Objectives
  1.  To act as a trans-national practice community, fostering knowledge transfer among researchers, entrepreneurs, civil society and policy makers to solve the many challenges originated by the EU diversity in policies and regulations, local culture and economy, access to resources, and social and market dynamics. This objective will be achieved by developing a sustainable virtual community, open to present and future participants in the network.