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EU local leaders gather in Tarnów to discuss how to best support innovation and entrepreneurship locally
​Innovation as a key aspect of regional competitiveness and entrepreneurship in Europe is the topic of the conference of the commission for economic policy (ECON) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on 20 June in Tarnów, Poland. The conference also marks the opening of Tarnów's 9th Investment Forum.

The European economy is slowly recovering from the crisis, however it is struggling to raise its global competitiveness. Innovation in form of new products, services and business models is crucial for economic success. It is the task of local, regional, national and EU authorities to facilitate the conditions under which entrepreneurs can exploit and commercialise knowledge and can create value and jobs.

"Innovation is all about solving problems through new ideas. We are here to discuss the problems and challenges innovative businesses and entrepreneurs face and to get some fresh ideas how we as local and regional leaders can best nurture our talents and support them to succeed, grow and create jobs and prosperity" , said Christian Buchmann, Chair of the CoR Commission for Economic Policy (ECON) and Minister for Economy of the Region of Styria (Austria), opening the conference.

Focusing on support for new technologies in business and a strong partnerships between the local government, entrepreneurs and scientific institutions has earned the Małopolska Region the EER* label for 2016. The award is given to EU regions showing an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy.

" This title is the culmination of many years of our efforts to build the best environment to run and development of a business. Previously it was we who learned from western standards but now Małopolska has become an example for other European regions how to support entrepreneurship. We are proud of our great scientific potential, deeply educated employees, more and more innovative technical facilities and fast growing number of start-ups", said Jacek Krupa, Marshall of the Małopolska Region. He added, " We also pay great attention to investing in research and technical development, innovations and entrepreneurship. Thanks to the previous supports derived from EU funds we have been able to finalise projects in this area in total value of over 10 billion PLN! The topics discussed here will be an important voice in the European debate about entrepreneurial development and improving the intersectoral cooperation in this field. "

Part of the efforts of the region is Tarnów's Investment Forum that is already held for the 9 th time. It brings together over 1.300 start-ups, investors and policy-makers from all over Poland and Europe discussing, liaising and cooperating on technology based innovation.

" From the city’s point of view, innovative economy is not just applying the latest technologies, but collecting new ideas to solve everyday problems of the citizens. We have numerous examples of such e.g. in public transport. The citizens in Tarnów may pay for their tickets with a city card – and it is not just convenient but offers discounts and pay-as–you-go tariff. The blind and visually impaired passengers have a special device to identify the bus lines via announcements being played at the buses. The local authorities constantly look for new and innovative solutions to be implemented in the city, also in other areas of life ", said Roman Ciepiela, Mayor of Tarnów. “ We are especially proud to be involved in implementing projects that help to protect the environment and introduce energy efficiency.”

The conference will be followed by the external ECON commission meeting of the CoR on 21 June in Kraków where local and regional leaders will discuss EU state aid rules for public services, the European Deposit Insurance Scheme and the Action Plan on VAT.



Committee of the Regions

Carmen Schmidle +32 (0)475 63 22 76
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Malopolska Region

Agnieszka Grybel-Szuber
+48 12 61 60 962
+48 883 354 662
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Tarnów City Hall

Grzegorz Pulit
+48 14 688 24 77
+48 501 230 894
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