Science meets Regions pilot project will include local events around Europe
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) considers that recognising
the role of
regional ecosystems and innovation hubs is essential to boost research
and innovation in Europe. In an opinion presented by Birgitta Sacrédeus
(SE/EPP), Member of Dalarna County Council, the CoR highlights the need
to better coordinate EU's cohesion policy with research and innovation
policy and warns against growing inequalities between more and less
, which was adopted unanimously at the CoR plenary session on 6 February,
calls for the legislative texts for
– EU's next framework programme for research and innovation – to include a
precise definition of regional ecosystems and innovation hubs and to
further boost the links with regional smart specialisation strategies.
"Making more strategic use of local and regional innovation ecosystems, and
taking more advantage of the complex collaborative research and innovation
processes developed jointly between universities, industry, public
policy-makers and civil society, is the key to success when it comes both
to knowledge development in general and to knowledge transfer and the
implementation of the results of research and innovation", rapporteur Birgitta Sacredeus said.
According to the rapporteur it is crucial to tackle regional disparities
which risk growing as a consequence of probable cuts to cohesion policy
funding. Therefore State aid rules need to be further simplified to achieve
innovation-friendly regulations that allow the combination of different EU
funding instruments, such as the
the European Social Fund
"There is a direct correlation between economic development and rates of
investment in innovation and research. As R&I outcomes are inextricably
linked to research infrastructure, this needs to be boosted by directing
part of EU funds, such as the Structural Funds or Horizon Europe, towards
EU regions with greater development needs, Ms Sacrédeus said.
Local and regional authorities insist to be fully involved in the planning
and implementation of Horizon Europe, as well in the
European Innovation Council
alongside representatives from academia and business. Council's scope
should also include social and societal innovations including service
innovations, which to a large extent take place in cities and regions.
Science meets Regions 2019
The European Committee of the Regions also welcomed the funding allocated
Science meets Regions pilot project
, which was officially launched at the European Parliament on 6 February.
The objective of 23 local events across EU in 2019, many of them involving
CoR members, is to build closer links between scientists and EU
policymakers through regular dialogue and to establish and improve a
culture of evidence-informed policy-making in close connection to regional
smart specialisation strategies.
"This is a proof of good progress. Multi-level and territorial aspects of
R&I policy and local ecosystems have been explicitly recognized by both
the European Commission and the European Parliament. We, the CoR members,
want to move forward even faster. Knowledge and European partnerships are
crucial in tackling burning societal challenges", said Markku Markkula, First Vice-President of the European
Committee of the Regions, who contributed to the launch event alongside Christophe Clergeau (FR/PES), CoR rapporteur for Horizon
The 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities
The next generation of EU programmes in the context of the EU long-term
budget for 2021-2027 will be among the main points for discussion during
8th European Summit of Regions and Cities
to be held in Bucharest, Romania, on 14-15 March – just two weeks before
the U.K.'s expected exit from the EU on 29 March, and two months ahead of
the European elections
Over 500 European, national, regional and local leaders from all EU Member
States will be welcomed over in the Romanian capital to focus on the
contribution of local and regional governments to the "Future of Europe".
Under the title "(Re) New EUrope", the Summit will be the largest political
gathering of mayors, regional presidents and other elected local and
regional representatives from across the Union this year.
The event will also gather 100 young local and regional politicians to
actively engage in the debate on the future of Europe. It will also see the
official launch of the Committee's initiative on a new
Network of Regional Hubs
in the presence of the 20 participating regions.
Should you wish to participate in the event, you are
kindly requested to register via
the media accreditation page of the EU Romanian Presidency
(deadline: 1 March) Please note that only registered journalists will be
able to get media accreditation to the event.
Tel. +32 22822063