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Kartbild Udd Symp 


These international symposia started in June 1998 within a four-year co-operative research project between the School of Business, Economics and IT, University West (former the University of Trollhättan/Uddevalla) and Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden. The purpose of the research project was to carry out an assessment of European Union related regional policy initiatives in the so-called "Fyrstadsregionen" ("The four cities region"). This region consists of the municipalities: Lysekil, Trollhättan, Uddevalla and Vänersborg, and the smaller surrounding municipalities within this labour market (commuting) region in the Western part of Sweden.


Following the tradition established by the previous symposia, starting in 1998, the Uddevalla Symposium is designed to bring together leading-edge views of academic scholars, researchers and insightful practitioners from various fields within business administration and management, including the fields of international business, economics, entrepreneurship and small business economics as well as from regional economics, regional planning, economic geography, economic history, informatics, political science and sociology in order to increase our knowledge as regards research questions related to innovation and Entrepreneurship in the perspective of regional development. 

The symposia developed to a fruitful venue and became very popular which led to the decision to let them be a continuing yearly scientific event with University West, School of Business, Economics & IT, as being the organizer of each symposia. During the years ten of twenty-one Uddevalla symposia have being hosted by academic institutions from almost all around the world; USA (Fairfax and Kansas City), Japan (Kyoto), Italy (Bari ,Bergamo and L'Aquila), Portugal (Faro), Norway (Fredrikstad), Denmark (Sönderborg) and United Kingdom (London). In 2017 we celebrated the 20th Anniversary Uddevalla Symposium which took place in Trollhättan, Sweden. In June, 2018 we arranged the 21st Uddevalla Symposium in Luleå, Sweden hosted by Luleå University of Technology, Sweden. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a decision to cancel the 23rd Uddevalla Symposium was forced to be taken and also an unfortunate but necessary decision not to continue to organize this series of great and unique Uddevalla Symposia had to be taken. A final report is written by Iréne Bernhard, Urban Gråsjö and Charlie Karlsson:

Report 2020 23 years of the Uddevalla Symposium 1998-2020.pdf


Each of the Uddevalla Symposium starts with plenary keynote sessions from morning up to lunch. These inspiring keynote speeches are related to the overall theme of each symposium. In the afternoons there are parallel paper-sessions, each of them run by a Session Chair and with one discussant allocated for each paper that will be presented.

List of keynote speakers

All keynote speakers through the years

Best paper awards

To stimulate high quality papers a best paper award of € 1.000 as well as a best PhD Candidate paper award of € 700 has been set up. The scientific committee decides on which papers are to be awarded. In the 2016th Uddevalla Symposium at Birkbeck, University of London a third Best Paper Award was launched; “Industry and Higher Education”, published by SAGE Publishing from the journal’s June 2016 issue, was sponsoring a best paper award and the winner(s) of the award received £100 worth of SAGE books vouchers.


From the start of these Uddevalla symposia there has been strong focus on international publishing. Except from 20 Uddevalla Symposium Proceedings with revised papers, so far 31 edited books and special issues of international scientific journals have been published. Leading–edge contributions not only of prominent key-note speakers and senior researchers but also from Doctoral Candidates have been published in different journal publications such as Papers of Regional Sciences, Small Business Economics, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, and in the form of edited books published by E. Elgar, Springer, SAGE or Routledge after each symposia.  – for a complete list see Publications. Furthermore in Bernhard, (2017) a list of the most quoted publications as searched from the “Web of Science” database in April 2017 is to be found.

pre-symposia and Regional Seminars – knowledge sharing and dissemination of knowledge

In connection with several of the symposia, pre-symposia or regional seminars during the symposia, have been arranged e.g. 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

In addition to this the Organisation Committee together with University West have organized a number of regional seminars where we have invited local and regional actors in order to convey, share and disseminate knowledge on research results originating from the different Uddevalla symposia during the years. 


Except for the three academic institutions - University West, Trollhättan, Sweden, Jönköping International Business School, Sweden and George Mason University, Schar School of Public Policy and Government, USA – also the following organizations have been co-finanzers' or sponsors of the symposia:

Part of European Union Projects

Except from the birth of the Uddevalla Symposium in 1998, 1999 and 2000, several Uddevalla symposia have been partly financed by European Union Interreg projects:

- The symposia 2003 and 2004 were both a part of a common research project on Entrepreneurship within Interreg III A Sweden-Norway. This was a co-operation established between University West, Sweden and University College Östfold, Norway.
- The 16th Uddevalla Symposium 2013 and the 17th Uddevalla Symposium 2014 were partly financed by European Union projects; Interreg Sweden-Norway and Interreg IV A. Sweden Denmark, Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerack (MARIFUS).
- The 18th Uddevalla Symposium 2015 was partly finanzed by INTERREG 4A, SYDDANMARK-SCHLESWIG, K.E.R.N. Europeiche Regionalfond
- The 19th Uddevalla Symposium 2016 was partly financed by TRIGGER, (Transforming Institutions by Gendering Contents and Gaining Equality in Research) a FP7-funded European Union project. This Birkbeck initiative explores gender inequality in Higher Education. 


Bernhard, I. (2017) Twenty Years of Uddevalla Symposia: 1998-2017. In: Iréne Bernhard (ed), Uddevalla Symposium 2017: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industrial Dynamics in Internationalized Regional Economies. Revised papers first presented at the 20th Uddevalla Symposium 15-17 June, 2017, Trollhättan, Sweden. (pp. 9-19). Trollhättan: University West.

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