8 - 12 July 2024

Economic Fitness & Complexity

summer ScHOOL 2024
Second edition

UNU-MERIT (Maastricht, the Netherlands)

A five-day Summer school on economic fitness and complexity for phd students, early career researchers, and practitioners

Organised by UNU-MERIT (Maastricht), Enrico Fermi Research Centre (CREF, Rome), and the Young Scholar Initiative (YSI-INET)

An extensive introduction to the economic complexity framework, with theoretical and practical classes, and presentations of state-of-art applications of economic complexity methods in different areas of social sciences


Using complexity analysis for...

Economic Development and Growth

Predicting trajectories of economic development, relying on various sources of data, from co-locations to machine-learning approaches

Economic Geography and Labour

Studying local labour markets, labour flows, skill relatedness, job complexity and geographical patterns of inequality and resilience 

Firm Dynamics

Mapping firm capabilities, creating new indicators of relatedness and diversification for understanding firm dynamics


Informing policy: an overview of the applications at the European Commission and at the World Bank Group


Identifying new pathways to a fair and just sustainability transition: the geography of green competitiveness, inequality, green technologies and policies 

Science and Innovation

Understanding micro and macro patterns of co-evolution of science and technology to provide insights on the national, regional and local innovation systems  


Courses and labs

The first three days of the school will focus on theoretical and practical classes covering the following topics: economic complexity measurement, network theory, machine learning, measurement of relatedness. Theoretical lectures will be followed by coding labs, where participants will apply the methodologies introduced in class to carry on assigned group projects. 


In the last two days of the school, many world-wide renowned scholars have been invited to present their frontier research, linking economic complexity with economic development, economic geography, labour economics, sustainability, economics of science, and innovation policy. At the end of the school, students will also get a chance to present their group projects, and to get feedback on them.



Chiara Burlina

Assistant Professor, University of Padova 

Masud Cader

Country Analytics Lead at International Finance Corporation – World Bank

Bernardo Caldarola

Researcher at UNU-MERIT, United Nations University

Davide Consoli

Research Fellow, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV), Valencia

Carolina Castaldi

Chair in Geography of Innovation, Utrecht University

Dario Diodato

Economist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

François Lafond

Deputy Director of the Complexity Economics group at the Institute for New Economic Thinking, University of Oxford

Nanditha Mathew

Research Fellow at UNU - MERIT, United Nations University

Robert Marschinski

Growth and Innovation Circular Economy and Industrial Leadership - European Commission, Joint Research Centre (Seville)

Dario Mazzilli

Researcher at CREF

Ljubica Nedelkoska

Senior Research Fellow at the Growth Lab, Harvard University

Frank Neffke

Team leader Science of Cities at the Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Neave O'Clery

Associate Professor at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London

Aurelio Patelli

Researcher at CREF

Luciano Pietronero

President at CREF

Emanuele Pugliese

Research Fellow at UNU - MERIT, United Nations University

Angelica Sbardella

Researcher at CREF and Research Associate at SOAS-University of London

Andrea Tacchella

Researcher at CREF

Bart Verspagen

Full Professor at UNU - MERIT, United Nations University

Fabiana Visentin

Assistant Professor of Economics of Innovation at UNU-MERIT, United Nations University

Reinhilde Veugelers

Professor in the department of management, strategy and innovation at KU Leuven

Andrea Zaccaria

Researcher at Institute of Complex Systems – CNR

The Venue

Boschstraat 24
6211 AX Maastricht
The Netherlands


 Fill in the application form here:


In collaboration with 

PRevious editions

The first edition of the EFC Summer School was held at Enrico Fermi Research Centre (Rome) in June 2023, and was attended by 40 participants.