Prof Marco Bellandi and Dr Erica Santini at ERSA 2017

The ERSA 2017 conference was in Groningen this year. It included various sections drawing on the research  output  of the MAKERS project. In this context, Prof Marco Bellandi and Dr Erica Santini presented two working papers: “The reconfiguration of traditional manufacturing areas affected by servitization processes: a perspective from Italy” and “Endogenous Rerouting of Systemic Organisations of Production, and feasible Policies for the Manufacturing Recovery in Europe”. The former was hosted in an ordinary session on “Regional Economic Development” and explored the localization of service activities in traditional manufacturing areas, such as the industrial districts, employing Italy as a reference case study. The latter was presented in the special session “A new Industrial and Regional Policy for European Growth and Integration” and focused on the  a debate over place-based integrated policies for a manufacturing recovery in Europe, stressing the importance to support intersections between technologies, sectors and value chains.

 Building - ERSA 2017Prof Marco Bellandi - ERSA 2017

Dr Erica Santini - ERSA 2017Prof Marco Bellandi & Dr Erica Santini - ERSA 2017

MAKERS is part of the growing servitization community and co-organizes event in Barcelona


Servitization is understood as the capacity for manufacturing firms to provide customer-specific or industry-specific product–service ‘solutions’. The international Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS) aims to gather academics, policy makers and professionals interested in the Servitization process and on its effect on organizations, industries and regions.

Since 2012, the annual conference has been used as a platform in which participants share their latest research findings and practical experiences, and exchange their innovative ideas.  MAKERS co-organizes the 6th ICBS that will be held in Barcelona next 16th-17th November ( The conference will be hosted by ESADE and Polytechnic University of Catalonia and specifically the venue will be the Barcelona School of Building Construction (see picture below).

University of Catalonia

Dr Ferran Vendrell-Herrero (University of Birmingham) is the scientific director of the conference, which this year is co-chaired by Dr Esteban Lafuente (Polytechnic University of Catalonia) and Dr Ivanka Visnjic (ESADE). Associated to the conference there are three special issues from leading academic journals in the fields of regional science (Regional Studies), International Marketing (International Marketing Review) and sustainability (Sustainability) plus an edited book.

This edition of the International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS) aims at studying what drivers, processes and actors play a crucial role in enabling and promoting manufacturing renaissance, technological upgrading and product-service innovation in regions, or territotorial servitization. Territorial servitization offers an opportunity for local manufacturing economies to resume growth and sustain long-term competitiveness. As such, the renaissance of manufacturing through territorial servitization not only facilitates the upgrading of existing manufacturing competences, but it also offers an opportunity to develop and anchor new technological capabilities across regions. This is one of the key questions that MAKERS aim to address.