Opinion Factsheet  

Strengthening Innovation in Europe's Regions: Strategies for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth

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Opinion Number: CDR 4757/2017
Rapporteur: IRUJO AMEZAGA Mikel
Commission: SEDEC
Status: Adopted
Date: 16/05/2018
 
to react to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Strengthening Innovation in Europe's Regions: Strategies for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth
to assess a first impression of the pilot actions announced by the Commission
to provide useful input in preparing the next budget framework, in the context of the ongoing reflection on the future of EU finances
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS



 recommends that, in the next programming period, the EU through the Commission and the JRC, should initiate a new phase of the S3 2.0, based on developing an "inter-regional discovery process" in which regions pool their S3, involving the "interregional triple helices"

 considers that the regional discovery process should be based on a bottom-up process where regional authorities share their development objectives with other EU regions, draw up lists of the main actors involved in development in their regions, make a joint assessment of their regions' shortcomings and challenges and analyse the support instruments available

 considers that the regions should be encouraged to map the regional priorities set out in their S3s and the various financial and investment systems at regional, national and EU levels (Horizon 2020, COSME, etc.).

 points out that the challenges that the regions face when developing an interregional cooperation project can be summarised in three layers. Layer 1 covers initial activities related to the configuration of the demonstration infrastructure (networking of regional operators, detection of synergies in activities etc.). Layer 2 includes the operating costs of demonstration activities based on the development of specific projects. The final layer (3) includes expenditure related to the possible industrial production or access to the market of the product or service developed during the previous phases, as a result of interregional cooperation projects, once the demonstration activities have been successful, i.e. they have been validated and certified;

 calls for urgent steps to be taken to create appropriate and flexible ad hoc financing instruments to promote interregional cooperation meeting the needs of the three layers mentioned in the previous point. These instruments could take the form of combinations of financing (including combinations of credits and loans, and public and private funding at different levels) with the innovative use of funds to support experimental pilot projects for interregional cooperation networks that establish direct contact with industry and have a marked impact.