Professor Bjørn T. Asheim has since 2001 the chair in economic geography at the Department of Social and Economic Geography, University of Lund, Sweden, and is co-founder and deputy director of the new Centre of Excellence in innovation system research at Lund University called CIRCLE (Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy) from 2004. He is also part time professor at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, Norway, since 2001.

He has also for many years been associated with the Research Council funded STEP-group (Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy) in Oslo as a part time senior researcher and scientific advisor (1994-2001). He has been head of the Department of Human Geography (1989-1994), and has had positions in national and international professional committees within economic and human geography, e.g. as the vice-chair in the International Geographical Union Study Group on Local Development. He was a member of the steering committee of the research programme “Enterprise Development 2000” in the Norwegian Research Council, and is now member of the steering committee for the new programme on “Value Creation 2010”.

Professor Asheim is trained as both a business economist (MSc, The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen) and a human geographer (PhD, University of Lund, Sweden). He is well-known internationally for his research in the areas of economic and industrial geography, where his main research specialisations include: Comparative analyses of industrial districts and regional clusters; SMEs and innovation policy; technological change, globalisation and endogenous regional development; regional innovation systems and learning regions. He was coordinator of a EU/TSER project on “SME Policy and the Regional Dimension of Innovation” (2000), and ongoing research includes a European Science Foundation (ESF)/Swedish Research Council project on ‘Technology, talent and tolerance’, which he also coordinates, with participation from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, UK, Germany and the Netherlands; and CIRCLE projects on comparing regional innovation systems in Canada and the Nordic countries.


Asheim, B. T. (forthcoming 2012): The changing role of learning regions in the globalising knowledge economy: A theoretical re-examination. Regional Studies.

Asheim, B. T., Lawton Smith, H. and Oughton, C. (2011): Regional Innovation Systems: Theory, Empirics and Policy. Regional Studies, 45,7, 875-891.

Asheim, B. T., Boschma, R. and Cooke, P. (2011): Constructing Regional Advantage: Platform policies based on related variety and differentiated knowledge bases. Regional Studies, 893-904.

Asheim, B. T., Moodysson, J., and Tödtling, F. (eds.) (2011): Constructing Regional Advantage: Towards State-of-the-Art Regional Innovation System Policies in Europe? Special Issue of European Planning Studies, 19, 7.

Asheim, B. T. and Hansen, H. K. (2009): Knowledge Bases, Talents and Contexts: On the usefulness of the Creative Class approach in Sweden. Economic Geography, 85, 4, 425-442.

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