Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) – the lead partner of the project. The IfL is a non-university research institute for geography in Germany. The IfL conducts research on a broad range of geographical and policy-related topics including spatial polarisation and peripheralisation, urban and regional development, urban revival, migration and mobility, post-soviet transition. The IfL has extensive expertise in knowledge transfer, collaborating with non-academic actors, and engagement of young researchers
via visiting scholarship programmes, research projects, and work placement schemes. The IfL is the lead partner for the project responsible for the project management and the conceptual coherence of the research process (WP1, 3).

Researchers involved:

Dr Nadir Kinossian is a researcher in the Department of Regional Geography of Europe. He is specialising in urban and regional development, spatial planning, and urban revival of former industrial cities. Currently, he leads a DFG project Cities ‘after decline’: Urban revival in the USA and Russia. He has published on the topics of post-soviet transition, urban governance, and regional development in peripheral regions.

Dr Thilo Lang has been the PL in several projects, including: 1) RurAction–Social entrepreneurship in structurally weak rural regions: Analysing innovative trouble-shooters in action (2016-2020; Horizon 2020 MSCA ETN); 2) Peripheral but global: World market leaders outside of agglomerations (2016-2019; DFG SFB 1199); 3) Socio-economic and political responses to regional polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe—RegPol² (2014-2017; 7th Framework Programme – MCA ITN).

Franziska Görmar is a junior researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography. She specialises in urban and regional development and urban revival of old-industrial cities and regions outside of big agglomerations with particular focus on peripheralisation, industrial culture and corporate regional responsibility. She has considerable experience in working in transnational projects on urban and regional development and revitalisation, most recently as project manager of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Socio-economic and Political Responses to Regional Polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe” (RegPol²).


Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sweden

Lund University offers education and research within engineering, science, law, social sciences, economics and management, humanities, theology, fine art, music and theatre. The University has 47 000 students and 6 300 staff from all over the world, based mainly in Lund, Malmö and Helsingborg. Lund University works with 680 partner universities in more than 50 countries. The project is implemented at the Department of Human Geography. Geography and development studies are the highest ranked subjects at the university, currently ranked 16th respectively 28th in the world according to QS ranking 2018. The key areas of research are economic geography, development geography and landscape, urban and social geography, among others.

Researchers involved:

Dr Markus Grillitsch has worked extensively on the topics of innovation, institutional development, new path development, entrepreneurialism in peripheral regions. He is currently the PL of a large-scale project Regional growth against all odds, which is highly complementary to this initiative. He is collaborating with OECD on developing a framework for policy recommendation for industrial diversification through SME and entrepreneurship policies.

Linda Stihl is a Phd student at Lund University. She specializes in regional development and revival of old-industrial regions. Linda has experience in studying regional growth and regional development through the research project Regrow – Growth against all odds.  She has also considerable experience as lecturer in GIS, cartography and urban and regional planning.


School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK is one of UK’s leading human geography and planning schools. The School contributes to the project by infusing knowledge and expertise in regional development and planning, and taking the responsibility for highlighting policy implications of the project (WP6).

Researchers involved:

Professor Kevin Morgan has a wealth of experience in research on regional development, governance and innovation. Between 2013-2016, he was the PI of a consortium of ten EU universities and two regional networks that won the FP7 award for Smart Specialisation, the EU’s regional innovation policy for the 2014-2020 programming period.

Ani Saunders is a PhD student in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University. She specialises in urban and regional development with a specific interest in the social and cultural aspects and attributes of post-industrial regions. She has a wealth of experience in the creative industries working both nationally and internationally – most recently as Culture Manager of Creative Europe Desk UK, Wales.


Department of Geography, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Czechia

The Department of Geography is part of the Faculty of Science of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. It is focused on teaching and research in all areas of geography, mainly physical and human geography, GIS and cartography. This combination enables scholars of the department to conduct research in many interdisciplinary tasks such as restructuring and change in European rural regions, natural hazards and adaptation to environmental change by local communities, historical landscape research, territorial identities, image building and regional development etc. As the University is located in the old industrial Ústí nad Labem region, research of the department reflects special social, economic and environmental conditions and institutional setting that is typical for this type of region. The Department has currently about 20 employees who are part of five international research projects with significant outreach into public policy and planning.

Researchers involved:

Dr Vladan Hruška specialises in rural geography and regional development. His research focuses on transformation of post-socialistic rural space integrated into old industrial regions and their economic perspectives in the context of rapid implementation of ICT technologies. Between 2014-2015 he was the PL of the international consortium of four research institutes and universities from the Central Europe within the research of manufacturing economic activities in rural peripheries of the Visegrad countries.

Jan Píša is a student of the PhD programme Economic Policy and Public Administration in The Faculty of Social and Economic Studies of the Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem in Czechia. He focuses on topics in rural geography, local and regional development, particularly with emphasis on urban to rural migration and economic transformation of post-socialist regions. He has recently worked on projects focusing on issues of rural entrepreneurial immigration and potential socio-economic impacts of high-speed railway on Ústí nad Labem Region.


Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (CERS HAS), Hungary is a multidisciplinary research institute network in Hungary. CERS HAS undertakes theoretical and empirical studies in the fields of national and world economics, in regional and urban processes, public policy, and other interdisciplinary fields of social sciences. The research focus of the Bekescsaba group is uneven spatial development, specifically, the (re)production of peripheralities and socio-spatial marginalities in CEE at urban and regional scale, state restructuring and its spatial implications in peripheral contexts, and regional and urban policies. The partner’s responsibility is managing the dissemination activities related to the project.

Researchers involved:

Dr Erika Nagy is specialised to economic add urban geography; engaged in various academic and applied research projects focused on socio-spatial restructuring and uneven development in national and the European context including (CADSES, CE, SE) projects focused on promoting urban restructuring and regional development in Central and Southeast Europe, more recently, in researching  socio-economic and political responses to regional polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe (RegPol2 MCA ITN) and changing state roles and institutional practices (re)producing inequalities across scales in a national context.

Melinda Mihály

Melinda Mihály has a background in Regional and Environmental Economics (MSc, Corvinus University of Budapest). She is a junior research fellow at the Institute for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences since January 2018 and a PhD Candidate of the Institute of Geography at the Leipzig University (Germany) since September 2014. Melinda conducted her PhD research in the framework of the RegPol2 project (“Socio-economic and Political Responses to Regional Polarisation in Central and Eastern Europe”). During her PhD Melinda aimed to understand the role of rural social enterprises in local development with a particular focus on initiatives emerging in structurally disadvantaged areas of Hungary and Germany. Her main interest in the ACORE project lies in investigating the economic, social and environmental consequences of the development after an industrial collapse in two old-industrial towns of Hungary. Melinda is a co-leader of the Working Group 1 of the COST Empower-SE project (“Empowering the next generation of social enterprise scholars”).