Maria Savona,

Maria Savona is Professor of Innovation and Evolutionary Economics at SPRU, Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex, UK. She has been Honorary Research Fellow at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK, and Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Lille 1, France. She is an economist and holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from SPRU.

Research interests

Her main research interests are on the impact of innovation on employment and wages; the structural change of the sectoral composition of economies, and particularly on the international fragmentation of production involving services, and their effects on growth and development; the economics and policy of innovation in services; spatial distribution of innovation and production activities; theory and micro-econometrics of innovation, particularly on the effect of barriers to innovation. She has published widely in these areas on international peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Economic Geography, Research Policy, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Journal of Economic Surveys, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Development and Change). Details of her publications are available at Maria Savona at SPRU

Research grants and external engagement

She has led a Joseph Rowntree Foundation grant on The Local Distribution of Productivity Gains: Heterogenous effects (LODGE); a UK Economic and Social Research Council grant, on Technical change, employment & inequality. A spatial analysis of households & plant data (TEMPIS); and SPRU contribution to the H2020 Innovation-Fuelled, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (ISIGrowth). She has co-led a joint SPRU-IDS project funded by the IDRC on Pathways of Structural Change and Inclusive Development.

She has advised and produced commissioned reports for the IADB, Inter-American Development Bank; ECLAC, United Nation Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; UN ESCAP, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; OECD; NESTA, UK National Endowment for Science, Technology and Arts; BIS, UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; DETI, Irish Department of Trade and Industry. She has delivered keynotes on global structural change and the economics of innovation in services at the UCL School of Slavonic Studies, London; Universities of Berlin, Bremen, Jena, Strasbourg; Accademia dei Lincei, Rome; Inter-American Development Bank, Bogota, Colombia; the Economic Commission Latin American Countries (ECLAC); Max Planck Institute of Economics; Seville (Institute Prospective Technology Studies). She has designed and directed the MSc in Innovation for International Sustainable Development (now Sustainable Development) at SPRU.

Editorial boards and panel evaluation

She is editor for Research Policy; Journal of Evolutionary Economics; Economia Politica; The Eurasian Business Review; Academic Member of the ESRC Peer Review College; Expert evaluator for the European Commission; the Italian Ministry of Research and University; National Bank of Austria; Athens University of Economics and Business; Fond National Rechèrche Luxembourg; Canadian National Research Chairs; Academy of Science of Finland, Norwegian Research Council, UKRI.  She is a member of the High Level Expert Group on the Impact of Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets for the European Commission. She is also Council Member of RESER – European Research Network on Services; REDLAS – Latin American and Caribbean Network on Services Research. She is a peer reviewer for over forty academic journals.

Selected Publications




Di Meglio, Gisela, Gallego, Jorge, Maroto, Andres and Savona, Maria (2017) Services in developing economies: The de-industrialization debate in perspective. Development and Change. ISSN 0012-155X (Accepted)

Savona, Maria (2017) [Review]Services and Innovation Edited by Faïz Gallouj, Faridah Djellal, Professors of Economics. European Review of Service Economics and Management, 2 (4). pp. 168-175. ISSN 2497-0107

Antonioli, Davide, Marzucchi, Alberto and Savona, Maria (2017) Pain shared, pain halved? Cooperation as a coping strategy for innovation barriers. Journal of Technology Transfer, 42 (4). pp. 841-64. ISSN 0892-9912

Filippetti, Andrea and Savona, Maria (2017) University–industry linkages and academic engagements: individual behaviours and firms’ barriers. Introduction to the special section. Journal of Technology Transfer, 42 (4). pp. 719-729. ISSN 0892-9912

Pellegrino, Gabriele and Savona, Maria (2017) No money, no honey? Financial versus knowledge and demand constraints on innovation. Research Policy, 46 (2). pp. 510-521. ISSN 0048-7333

García-Quevedo, José, Pellegrino, Gabriele and Savona, Maria (2016) Reviving demand-pull perspectives: the effect of demand uncertainty and stagnancy on R&D strategy. Cambridge Journal of Economics. ISSN 0309-166X

Lorentz, André, Ciarli, Tommaso, Savona, Maria and Valente, Marco (2016) The effect of demand-driven structural transformations on growth and technological change. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 26 (1). pp. 219-246. ISSN 0936-9937

Coad, Alex, Pellegrino, Gabriele and Savona, Maria (2015) Barriers to innovation and firm productivity. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 25 (3). pp. 321-334. ISSN 1043-8599

Meliciani, Valentina and Savona, Maria (2015) The determinants of regional specialisation in business services: agglomeration economies, vertical linkages and innovation. Journal of Economic Geography, 15 (2). pp. 387-416. ISSN 1468-2702

Hammadou, Hakim, Paty, Sonia and Savona, Maria (2014) Strategic interactions in public R&D across European countries: a spatial econometric analysis. Research Policy, 43 (7). pp. 1217-1226. ISSN 0048-7333

Savona, Maria and Sapsed, Jonathan (2013) Economics, innovation and history: perspectives in honour of Nick von Tunzelmann. Research Policy, 42 (10). pp. 1695-1705. ISSN 0048-7333

Savona, Maria and Steinmueller, W Edward (2013) Service output, innovation and productivity: a time-based conceptual framework. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 27. pp. 118-132. ISSN 0954349X

Ciarli, Tommaso, Maeliciani, Valentina and Savona, Maria (2012) Knowledge dynamics, structural change and the geography of business services. Journal of Economic Surveys, 26 (3). pp. 445-467. ISSN 0950-0804

D'Este Cukierman, Pablo, Iammarino, Simona, Savona, Maria and von Tunzelmann, Nick (2012) What hampers innovation? Revealed barriers versus deterring barriers. Research Policy, 41 (2). pp. 482-488. ISSN 0048-7333

Ciarli, Tommaso, Lorentz, André, Savona, Maria and Valente, Marco (2010) The effect of consumption and production structure on growth and distribution. A micro to macro model. Metroeconomica, 61 (1). pp. 180-218. ISSN 0026-1386

Abreu, Maria, Grinevich, Vadim, Kitson, Michael and Savona, Maria (2010) Policies to Enhance the 'Hidden' Innovation in Services: Evidences and Lessons from the UK. Service Industries Journal, 30 (1). pp. 99-118. ISSN 0264-2069

Ciarli, Tommaso, Parto, Saeed and Savona, Maria (2009) Conflict and entrepreneurial activity in Afghan provinces: a preliminary analysis. EPS Quarterly, 21 (2). 4-5, 8.

Gallouj, Faiz and Savona, Maria (2009) Innovation in Services. A Review of the Debate and Research Agenda. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 19 (2). pp. 149-172. ISSN 0936-9937

Iammarino, Simona, Sanna-Randaccio, Francesca and Savona, Maria (2009) The Perception of Obstacles to Innovation. Foreign Multinationals and Domestic Firms in Italy. Revue D'Économie Industrielle, 125 (1). pp. 75-105. ISSN 0154-3229

Lorentz, Patrick Van Andre and Savona, Maria (2008) Evolutionary Micro-dynamics and Changes in the Economic Structure. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 18 (3-4). pp. 389-412. ISSN 0936-9937

Cainelli, Giulio, Evangelista, Rinaldo and Savona, Maria (2006) Innovation and economic performance in services: a firm-level analysis. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 30. pp. 435-458.

Savona, Maria and Schiattarella, Roberto (2004) International relocation of production and the growth of services: the case of the 'Made in Italy' industries. Transnational Corporations, 13 (2). pp. 57-76.

Cainelli, Giulio, Evangelista, Rinaldo and Savona, Maria (2004) The impact of innovation on economic performance in services. Service Industries Journal, 24 (1). pp. 116-130. ISSN 0264-2069

Evangelista, Rinaldo and Savona, Maria (2003) Innovation, employment and skills in services. Firm and sectoral evidence. Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 14(4). pp. 449-474.

Savona, Maria (2003) [Review] Faiz Gallouj (2002) Innovation in the service economy: the new wealth of nations. Research Policy, 32 (9). pp. 1716-1717. ISSN 0048-7333

Savona, Maria and Rinaldo, E (2002) The impact of innovation on employment and skills in services. Evidence from Italy. International Review of Applied Economics, 16 (3). pp. 309-318. ISSN 0269-2171

Savona, Maria (2001) 'Does new technology cost jobs?' [Review] Marco Vivarelli and Mario Pianta, ed. (2000) The employment impact of innovation: evidence and policy. International Review of Applied Economics, 15 (3). pp. 353-355. ISSN 0269-2171



Savona, Maria and et al., (2013) Policy making after disasters: helping regions become resilient - the case of post-earthquake Abruzzo. OECD Publishing. ISBN 9789264189546 (print) 9789264189577 (pdf)


Book Section

-Savona, Maria (2016) Global structural change and value chains in services: a reappraisal. In: Hernández, René A, Hualde, Alfredo, Mulder, Nanno and Sauvé, Pierre (eds.) Innovation and internationalization of Latin American services. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Santiago, pp. 39-63. ISBN 9786074792072

-Meliciani, Valentina and Savona, Maria (2013) Agglomeration economies, forward linkages and regional specialisation in business services in the EU27. In: Morone, Piergiuseppe (ed.) Knowledge, innovation and internationalization: essays in honour of Cesare Imbriani. Routledge studies in global competition . Routledge, London. ISBN 9780415693110

-Evangelista, R and Savona, Maria (2010) Innovation and Employment in Services. In: Gallouj, F and Djellal, F (eds.) Handbook of Innovation and Services: A multi-disciplinary perspective. Edward Elgar, pp. 367-391. ISBN 9781847205049

-Gallouj, F and Savona, Maria (2010) Towards a Theory of Innovation in Services. A State of the Art. In: Gallouj, Faiz and Djellal, Faridah (eds.) Handbook of Innovation and Services: A Multi-disciplinary Perspective. Edward Elgar, pp. 27-48. ISBN 9781847205049

-Savona, Maria and Abreu, M (2009) New Regional Policies for Less Developed Areas: The Case of India. In: Capello, Roberta and Nijkamp, Peter (eds.) Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories. Edward Elgar, pp. 479-494. ISBN 9781847205063

-Iammarino, Simona, Sanna-Randaccio, Francesca and Savona, Maria (2006) Obstacles to innovation and multinational firms in the Italian regions. Firm-level evidence from the Third Community Innovation Survey. In: Tavares, AT and Teixeira, A (eds.) Multinationals, Clusters and Innovation: Does Public Policy Matters? Palgrave, MacMillan, pp. 63-83.

-Aldo, Geuna, Llerena, Patrick, Matt, Mireille and Savona, Maria (2004) Collaboration between a research university and firms and other institutions. In: Cesaroni, Fabrizio, Gambardella, Alfonso and Garcia-Fontes, Walter (eds.) R&D, Innovation and Competitiveness in the European Chemical Industry. Springer (30 April 2004), pp. 145-173. ISBN 1402078668

-Savona, Maria (2002) Demand, innovation and growth in services. In: Gadrey, Jean and Gallouj, Faiz (eds.) Productivity, innovation and knowledge in services. New economic and socio-economic approaches. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 197-222. ISBN 9781840649697


Conference or Workshop Item


-Savona, Maria (2016) Invited keynote speech. In: XI Convegno Annuale: Sviluppo economico, tecnologia, industria. Per una politica italo-europea, 27 Oct 2016, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome.

-Savona, Maria (2016) Theory and trends of global structural change. In: 10th Jena Summer Academy: Innovation and uncertainty, 24 Jul - 6 Aug 2016, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany.

-Ciarli, Tommaso and Savona, Maria (2016) From quadratic to exponential changes: the relations between economic structure and sustainability. In: Eurkind GCW 2016, 22-24 Jun 2016, Valencia, Spain.

-Gonzalez, Javier Lopez, Meliciani, Valentina and Savona, Maria (2015) When Linder meets Hirschman: inter-industry linkages and global value chains in business services. In: IDB Seminar, Nov 2015, Washington DC.

-Savona, Maria (2013) Economics of innovation in services. KIBS, Hirschman linkages and knowledge in Europe. In: Joint Inter-American Development Bank-COLCIENCIAS workshop on innovation in services, Oct 2013, Bogota, Colombia.

-Savona, Maria (2013) What makes regions 'smart'? In: Réseau de Recherche sur L'Innovation (RRI) Research Network on Innovation, 28-31 Aug 2013, Belfort, France.

-Savona, Maria (2012) Regional specialisation in business services: evidence on agglomeration economies, Hirschmann linkages and knowledge in the European Union. In: ECLAC / REDLAS conference: Offshore services in global value chains: new drivers of structural change in Latin America and the Caribbean?, 18-19 Oct 2012, Santiago, Chile.

-Savona, Maria (2012) Agglomeration economies, input-output linkages and knowledge: determinants of specialisation in business services in the EU-27. In: European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) Steering Workshop on Industrial Research and Innovation, 14-15 Jun 2012, Seville, Spain.

-Savona, Maria (2004) Structural change and macro-economic performance: the structural bonus hypothesis for services. In: XIV International Conference of RESER (The European Network of Economic and Spatial Service Research) on ICTs and Service Relationship in the Global Economy: A Challenge for Enterprises and Societies in Europe., 23-25 September 2004, Castres et Toulouse, France.


Reports and working papers

-Ciarli, Tommaso, Savona, Maria, Thorpe, Jodie and Ayele, Seife (2018) Innovation for inclusive structural change. A framework and research agenda. Working Paper. SPRU Working Paper Series, University of Sussex.

-Ciarli, Tommaso, Lorentz, André, Valente, Marco and Savona, Maria (2017) Structural changes and growth regimes. Working Paper. SPRU Working Paper Series, University of Sussex.

-Ciarli, Tommaso and Savona, María (2016) De los cambios cuadráticos a los cambios exponenciales: relación entre estructura económica y sostenibilidad. Working Paper. United Nations, Santiago.

-Savona, Maria (2016) International technology transfer, next generation. Theory, evidence and policy. Project Report. UN ESCAP.

-Savona, Maria (2016) Rationales, objectives, instruments and mechanisms of industrial policy: recent experiences from China, Germany and United Kingdom. Project Report. UN ESCAP.

-Ciarli, Tommaso and Savona, Maria (2015) From quadratic to exponential changes: the relations between economic structure and sustainability. Project Report. UN ECLAC, Santiago.

-Garcia-Quevedo, Jose, Pellegrino, Gabriele and Savona, Maria (2014) Reviving demand pull perspectives: the effect of demand uncertainty and stagnancy on R&D strategy. Working Paper. University of Sussex, Brighton, Sussex.



E.: M.Savona@sussex.ac.uk;

T.: @maria_savona

T: +44 (0)1273 877139


© RESER 2012-2017
All rights reserved.
European Association for Research on Services
Authors: Brigada