The concept of endogenous development assumes the use of specifi c resources of the region, difficult to copy, to its development, and even to gain a competitive advantage in a wider dimension. This concept has been used in the provisions of the Regional Innovation Strategy of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship for 2014-2020 for smart specialization (RIS3), especially in relation to leading smart specialization the quality of life, in the areas of: production and processing of ecological, regional and traditional food; renewable energy and distributed energy; agrotourism and ecotourism. It was targeted at the development of the entire region, not only the leading urban centers. The special role of the food economy lies in the need to guarantee food security and food sovereignty in the region. This issue is of strategic importance.
The aim of the article is to determine the main factors responsible for development of Podkarpackie Voivodeship in the last 15 years and to answer the question whether they were suffi ciently strong impulse to divert the region from its development model. The main method used for identifying the factors that determine the development of the region was individual, in-depth interviews with the main actors on the regional scene, supported by desk research analysis (of the voivodeship’s strategic and operational documents) and statistical data analysis (Central Statistical Office and Eurostat). The research highlights the importance of the immobile and intangible development factors – a high quality of strategic thinking of local and especially regional authorities and consistent implementation of development policies, a high level of social capital, extensive networks and the ability to co-operate – which have helped to eliminate the limitations resulting from the weakness of other factors.