The Port Authority as System Builder in Cross-border Regionalization: An Exploratory Study of Port Esbjerg in the Development of North Sea Wind

Henrik Sornn-Friese*, Petar Sofev, Kirils Kondratenko

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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This article enquires into the emerging governance function of port authorities as system builders in the development of cross-border technological innovation systems, i.e., cross-border regionalization. The argument is that port authorities, as hybrid organizations, possess a unique combination of resources allowing them to act as system builders and thus complement policymakers and other key decision-makers in solving transboundary governance issues. The empirical setting of the study is the Danish Port Esbjerg and the strategic system building activities performed by the Esbjerg port authority towards the ambitious European visions for expansion of the North Sea offshore wind industry, a key vision for the decarbonization of Europe. Particularly, Port Esbjerg assumes a leading role in cross-border networks and partnerships and contributes to solving transboundary governance issues by mobilizing and shaping its locational assets to fit the needs of the offshore wind industry and by international cooperation and partnerships with like-minded offshore ports.
TidsskriftMaritime Transport Research
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2023


  • Renewable energy
  • Offshore wind
  • North sea
  • Cross-border innovation system
  • System building
  • Port development