John Edwards is an experienced researcher and policy advisor in the fields of innovation, education and regional development. Between 2011 and 2020 John helped to set up and manage the Smart Specialisation Platform at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. John also led on key projects which addressed the role of higher and vocational education in smart specialisation strategies. John has worked extensively across Europe and internationally and, prior to his role at the JRC, was engaged in the academic, public and private sectors, predominantly from a policy perspective. John holds degrees from the University of St Andrews, the College of Europe in Bruges, and Newcastle University, where he completed his PhD in regional governance. John is a dual national of Portugal and the UK.