The objective of the international research programme "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies" (SEEK) at the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research is to conduct application-oriented analysis of the most pressing problems for European economic policy. Since 2010, the State of Baden-Württemberg has been funding the programme to strengthen top- level research in economics. Thanks to the overall positive outcomes from the so far 45 projects conducted as part of the research programme, SEEK has been approved to receive funding for a further two years in 2019.
Since the launch of the research programme, the focus of the scientific projects has been on the factors which determine the competitiveness of increasingly knowledge-based economies. Against the backdrop of the European economic and financial crisis in 2007, awareness of the need for economic expertise and independent, scientifically grounded policy advice has risen further. The aim of SEEK research projects is to deepen our understanding of the economic development in Europe and to analyse the conditions for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in an increasingly internationalised, interconnected world. Ultimately, the research findings shall serve as a valuable contribution to the public debate and provide politicians and decision-makers with empirical, science-based expertise.