The aim of the article is to determine the main factors responsible for development of Podlaskie Voivodeship in the last 15 years and to answer the question whether they were suffi ciently strong impulse to divert the region from its development path. The research is based on the results of in-depth interviews with the main actors of the regional scene (representing administration, business and science). Statistical data and strategic documents (regional development strategies and regional innovation strategies) was employed in a supporting role. The development of the region has long been based on natural resources, especially agri-food industry (in particular milk production) and tourism. Implementing the concept of smart specialization in the region is seen as a big chance for agri-food industry and sectors linked in the value chain. However the chance to changing the development path of the whole region and moving to higher levels of innovation is very doubtful.
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