The geographic focus of the ERLN is on the sub-national arena. This is generally at a scale smaller than provincial, but larger than a single metro or municipality. It is a level of focus which becomes critical when considering major infrastructure investments (for example, the spatial SIPs), understanding value chains and clusters, and where opportunities for developing competitiveness and innovation can be coordinated.
Working at the sub-national or regional level enables the drawing together of a number of factors spatially as well as with the implementation of processes (including collaboration with business and universities), and to use them as a lever to support development. An important issue for consideration in regional economic development is how to link rural to urban areas, as sources of market demand and infrastructure; as well as the role of cities as a key component of growth.