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EER: EU local leaders in Milan to discuss Lombardy Region entrepreneurial strategy  

The European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award is an initiative of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) that rewards EU regions and cities with prominent future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies, with the aim of supporting the implementation of SME-focused policies at local level. The territories with the most visible, forward-looking and promising political strategy are granted the EER label for a specific year.

In July 2015, the Lombardy Region was awarded the label for its strategy promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in small and medium enterprises, as well as for its execution of fundamental European policies such as the Smart Specialisation Strategy, the Small Business Act and the Strategy Europe 2020 for growth and employment.

A delegation of EER jurors, led by Tadeusz Truskolaski (PL/EA), assessed today the progress made by Lombardy in implementing the EER action plan and the impact of the specific measures carried out by the region during its EER year. However, in line with the EER approach, CoR members are also there to learn from Lombardy's good practices and effective actions to support entrepreneurship and SMEs, as the Committee of the Regions strongly encourages peer-learning and joint initiatives between local and regional authorities in the EU.

On this occasion, a political exchange with the Regional Council and representatives of Regional Ministries was organised, with the participation of Raffaele Cattaneo (IT/EPP), President of the Lombardy Regional Council and Chair of the CoR COTER commission, and Luca Del Gobbo, Regional Minister for Universities. A case-study visit to the "Lombard agri-food incubator" at Parco Tecnologico Padano (PTIP), in Lodi, was also part of the programme.

"It is inspiring to learn about the broad range of measures that Lombardy has realised as part of its EER action plan" said Mr Truskolaski during the visit, highlighting that: "The Open Innovation Platform, which has also been recognised by the European Commission, is a forward-looking example of how stakeholders and citizens can be involved in bottom-up innovation processes. I am confident that Lombardy will further build upon these achievements, and I believe that many of the projects have an excellent potential to be replicated as good practices throughout Europe" .

"Our region alone contributes to 2.6% of the EU GDP, thanks to the presence of 813,000 companies, 8 for every 100 inhabitants"
said Raffaele Cattaneo, citing among Lombardy's best practices the 'JRC Ispra' and the 'Parco Tecnologico Padano' in Lodi. He added that "The 'Lombardia is Research and Innovation' law ended a journey that began with the 'Enterprise Lombardia' and 'Manufacture 4.0' laws, a sign of the attention dedicated to our manufacturing base, also enhanced by 1287 start-ups. The Lombardy Region policy goes towards change management: business support schemes are changing, research and innovation is valued and internationalization is turned into a great opportunity for growth."

Pierluigi Boda
Tel: +32 2 282 2461

Diandra Vanigioli
Tel: +32 2 282 2299

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