Andrea Conte is an Economist at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies where he is leading a team working on the "Stairways to Excellence" (S2E) Project. He holds a PhD and MSc in Economics from CORIPE and the Economics Department of the University of Turin, Italy (2007). He was a visiting research fellow at the CNR (Italian National Research Council), ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Office), Rome, Italy; ILO (International Labour Organization), Geneva, Switzerland; and Birkbeck College, London, UK. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany from 2005 to 2007. He joined the European Commission in 2008 in the Directorate General – Economic & Financial Affairs (ECFIN), Brussels, Belgium before moving to the Joint Research Centre, Seville (Spain). He is a specialist in innovation, public finance and regional policy, and has authored or co-authored a number of articles and policy notes on these issues.