Strategic planning documents developed for industrial regions of Russia deal with the strategic modernization of these regions. The problems associated with the development and implementation of these plans are connected with the quality of the theoretical and methodological basis, which requires the most modern ideas about the factors and road maps of industrial regions. The research objective was to systematize ideas about modern theoretical and methodological foundations of the strategic modernization of industrial regions. The success of strategic modernization proved to depend on a significant number of factors, including competitive advantages and local governments’ actions. There are two options for the strategic modernization of industrial regions: comprehensive diversification and the so-called smart specialization. The choice depends on the capacity of the local market, economic and geographical location, and the local significance of the area. The use of foreign experience plays a significant role in strategic modernization planning. The authors studied some cases of the most successful strategic modernization in the industrial regions of Western Europe, e.g. West Yorkshire, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Saarland, etc., where the local authorities used the opportunities of industrial culture to solve new production problems. The competitive advantages of these regions included agglomerations, favorable transport and geographical location, spatial significance, which allowed them to fully diversify their economy, develop the service sector, and apply various innovations. Unfortunately, this is not an option for most industrial regions of Russia. Therefore, these regions should resort to smart specialization, a more developed industrial culture, an innovative ecosystem, and a larger production complex. The authors recommend the authorities of Russian industrial regions to revitalize the most problematic areas and towns, as well as to develop an interregional approach to the strategic modernization and innovative ecosystems.
diversification, strategy, competitive advantages, smart specialization, industrial culture, socio-economic status, balanced development
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