EC and Committee of the Regions to set up "Regional Knowledge Platform"
The European Commission's DG Research and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) have engaged to enhance the role of regions as drivers for research and innovation, thus contributing to growth and job creation in Europe. This was agreed at the meeting of the CoR's Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) on 27 February 2015. Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas expressed his commitment to working with the CoR, in particular via the setting-up of a "Regional Knowledge Platform" aimed at bringing together knowledge and expertise from regions across the EU.
This Platform will be jointly led by the CoR and DG Research and Innovation. According to CoR President Markku Markkula, the Platform will be key in identifying investments in education, research and innovation, increasing their territorial focus and ensuring better synergies.
During the SEDEC Commission's debate with Commissioner Moedas on the regional impact of research and innovation, SEDEC members emphasised that it will be crucial to use the EU investment instruments, including the proposed European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), to tackle the increasing regional disparities in terms of innovation capacity between and within Member States. The new CoR President Markku Markkula confirmed that concrete steps would be taken for joint actions with the Commission's DG for Research and Innovation, such as the establishment of a Regional Knowledge Platform.
Commissioner Moedas called on the CoR to fully support the new Commission's Investment Package in order to make it a success, stating: "I wish to see the principles of Horizon 2020 reinforced by synergies with Structural Funds executed at regional level. For the first time, Horizon 2020 includes a clear legal mandate to maximise synergies with Structural and Investment Funds. Regions are in the best position to identify new opportunities for funding synergies in line with the relevant national or regional Smart Specialisation Strategies".
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