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European Commission announces 63 regions, seven cities and four states selected for regional innovation partnerships


According to EC representatives, participants in the pilot action are open to exchanging best practices, as well as jointly developing and testing tools to mobilize multiple sources of funding and policy, and linking regional and national programs to initiatives. EU for green and digital transformation.

These partnerships contribute to the new Innovation Agenda for Europe, in which innovation stimulates transformation for sustainability by linking local strategies with EU-level initiatives.

The call for proposals attracted a wide representation of the EU innovation ecosystem, Member States such as Slovakia, which participates at national level, and a wide variety of EU regions, such as Andalusia, the Azores, Hauts-de-France, Ostrobothnia, Podkarpackie, North Aegean, Emilia Romagna and more.

The call for proposals also triggered a collaborative and uplink networking process, already bringing together many participants as part of multiregional networks. This includes, for example, the Baltic Sea Region, the Instrument for Bioregions and an extended consortium “Cities 4.0” (Leuven, Bologna, Turku), in which Eindhoven (NL), Espoo (FI) and Cluj-Napoca also participate. RO).

In this context, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “We can only build stronger, cleaner economies and fairer societies if innovation is at the heart of the EU’s political agenda. If we want to successfully go through the double green and digital transition, we need innovation in every region and in every country, connecting with each other. These partnerships allow us to build bridges to facilitate synergies between investment and innovative solutions. I look forward to seeing the innovative ideas and approaches that will result from them. ”

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For her part, Cohesion and Reform Commissioner Elisa Ferreira said: “Cooperation and innovation are key ingredients for the sustainable and resilient development of EU regions. All territories have a potential for innovation to be exploited, so I was delighted to see such a high interest in the call for proposals. I look forward to the results of the pilot project, with the hope that it will help reduce the persistent innovation gap between regions, which limits the performance of the EU as a whole. “

Operational protocol of regional innovation partnerships

According to EC data, participants in the pilot project will explore new regional innovation partnerships based on the “Operational Protocol to Regional Innovation Partnerships”, an initial guidance document published today by the Joint Research Center.

The Operational Protocol proposes a wide range of governance tools and mechanisms to improve the coordination of regional, national and EU innovation policies in order to implement Europe’s dual green and digital transition and to address the EU innovation gap. .

A key element of the proposed approach is the introduction of local action coordination missions within a coherent directional logic, allowing for the exploration of broad policy combinations for system-wide innovation.

During the pilot action, participants will test these policy instruments, while jointly creating operational guidelines. The operational protocol and pilot action will also promote good practice, facilitate experiential learning and support public administrations and the wider ecosystem. The pilot action will not have an impact on the current funding process for the period 2021-2027.

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