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Major international congress on regional research comes to Groningen

05 October 2016
Social Progress for Resilient Regions

What is the best way to promote economic and social progress in and by the regions? More than 800 international researchers and policymakers will be discussing this at the 57th congress of the European Regional Science Association (ERSA) to be held at the end of August 2017. The theme of the congress – that is to be organized by the University of Groningen – is ‘Social Progress for Resilient Regions’ and its sponsors include the Municipality and Provincial Authorities of Groningen, the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, SNN (an association of the Northern provinces), NAM, the European Investment Bank and Gasterra.

Following St Petersburg, Lisbon and Vienna, Groningen was successful in its bid to host this leading annual congress. The participants include researchers and policymakers involved with regional economies, employment, innovation and entrepreneurship, the quality of life and other associated topics. During the congress new research insights are shared and there is a strong focus on the interaction between policy and research.

Regional and local authorities always work closely with the private sector and researchers to find ways to improve economic, social and political structures to be able to respond more effectively to new developments and unexpected events, and the knowledge presented at this congress can help with this.

Leading researchers and political figures

Special policy sessions will be held during the congress, organized in association with the European Investment Bank, the OECD, the European Commission and the congress sponsors. Leading researchers and political figures will speak at the plenary sessions, among them Professor Tony Venables (Oxford University) and Professor Saskia Sassen (University of Notre Dame, U.S.).

Launch of congress year: the Road to ERSA2017 on 6 October 2016

During the run up to the congress, four meetings will be organized on specific regional topics under the heading of the ‘Road to ERSA2017’. The first lecture on the Road to ERSA2017 will also mark the launch of the congress year and will be attended by Alderman Joost van Keulen of Groningen Municipality and Patrick Brouns, a member of the Provincial Authorities of Groningen. The meeting will take place on Thursday 6 October at 16:00 hours (4 p.m.) in Het Kasteel, Melkweg 1, Groningen ( The topic of the first meeting will be ‘Segregation in the cities’. The speakers will be Professor Maarten van Ham (Delft University of Technology) and Dr Anet Weterings ( PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency). The second meeting will be held on 10 November and will be organized in the context of the annual ‘Let’s Gro’ festival.


The organizing committee is made up of members of the Faculty of Economics and Business and the Faculty of Spatial Sciences of the University of Groningen, as well as the Regional Science Association Nederland, with support provided by the ERSA Office (in Brussels) and the Groningen Congres Bureau.

For editors/further information

Contact: Prof. J.P. (Paul) Elhorst, chair of the local organizing committee, tel.: +31 (0)50 363 3893, +31(0)6-29590560, or prof. J. (Jouke) van Dijk, president of the European Regional Science Association, tel.: +31 (0)50 363 3897, +31(0)6-1 0982523

  • European Regional Science Association Congress: ‘Social Progress for Resilient Regions’.
  • Date: 29 August to 1 September 2017
  • Location: Academy Building and Faculty of Law and Arts (Harmonie building), Groningen.
Last modified:05 September 2022 12.57 p.m.
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