Commission publishes Communication on Strengthening Innovation in Europe's Regions
The European Commission (EC) published a Communication on "Strengthening Innovation in Europe's Regions: Strategies for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth" on 18 July 2017. The EC's intention is to help regions build resilient economies in the era of globalisation, by proposing a new set of actions to further help Europe's regions invest in their niche areas of competitive strength ("smart specialisation") and generate the innovation, resilience and growth needed.
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness said: "To reap the benefits of globalisation we need to create enabling environments, where the advances from trade and technology can materialise. Locally-led and locally-owned investment and innovation strategies are key to take up this challenge and empower our regions."
Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: "We have entered the 'glocal' era, as President Juncker said, whereby the impact of global challenges is felt first at the local level. Our economies are undergoing deep changes; we can't reverse that process. But we can help our regions equip themselves with the right tools for robust and lasting growth – this is what smart specialisation is about."
Building on positive experience with the smart specialisation approach, the EC is launching two pilot projects, tailored support for the specific challenges of regions facing industrial transition, and interregional innovation partnerships supported by EU funds. In parallel, the Commission intends to step up its efforts to help Member States address remaining bottlenecks to growth and establish business-friendly environments. Particular attention will be given to the quality and openness of public research, cooperation between businesses and universities and the alignment of local skills-bases with market demands, with the help of Commission support facilities. In addition, the Commission will also look at ways of facilitating further synergies and combinations between the different innovation, growth and competitiveness EU programmes and instruments that currently exist, and will provide experience-based input into the preparation of the next Multiannual Financial Framework.
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