Expertise: Public

Capability Mapping

Building on the concept of Economic Complexity developed by academics from Harvard and MIT, Whiteshield has developed a methodology to gauge relative capabilities at national and subnational levels, incorporating manufacturing and services. The capability mapping enables policymakers to identify actions to strengthen their relative positioning in the knowledge economy and generate opportunities for developing new and related products & services.


Senior Partner


Elena Balter


Economic Modelling Lead

Capability Mapping represents productive knowledge in any economy; understanding it means understanding how the GDP and the future prosperity of a country will occur.

This means we must address fundamental questions such as:

  • How do we map and address the fundamental drivers of a knowledge economy and productive knowledge?
  • What are the opportunities for development and spill over effects of different products?
  • What are the geographies, capabilities or value chains that need focus?
  • How do we establish a constructive dialogue with the private sector?

How does Whiteshield address these questions?

Over the past ten years, we have improved and adapted the Harvard MIT approach to incorporate subnational, city-level, and product-level economic complexity data.

This is done in three ways:

  1. Adapting the mapping of productive knowledge to the manufacturing sector. Understanding the source of knowledge and productivity in manufacturing policy helps to better shape and drive manufacturing and industrial policies.
  2. Identifying the use of product level complexity and determining what future products could be produced in a certain economy. Anticipating potential future investments in R&D and in innovation enables us to foresee what potential products could be produced and exported.
  3. Going beyond these two items to develop a service-based economic complexity approach.  Looking at trade in services provides insights to address potential productive knowledge in the 12 areas of Balance of Payments and in trade in services.

To find out more about our approach, please contact our experts.

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