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Mobilisera innovationspotential för tillväxt: Johannes Hahn uppmanar EU: s regioner att agera

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Hahn_EPImproving the competitiveness of the EU’s regions through EU investments and targeted planning was underlined on 8 November by Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn (avbildad). Speaking at the conference ‘Regions as motors of new growth through smart specialisation’ in Brussels, Commissioner Hahn urged regions to identify their key assets and focus resources on them to enhance their competitive advantage. The high-level event, organised by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and the Region of Flanders, takes stock of how these so called smart specialisation strategies are progressing across Europe’s countries and regions. These are a core element in the new EU Cohesion Policy as well as a pre-condition for the use of investments under the European Regional Development Fund.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Commissioner Hahn said: “European regions urgently need to move upwards on the innovation ladder. Identifying, building on and exploiting regional strengths are necessary to lead to smarter and more targeted investments, with more added value and greater impact. This will allow us to do more with less, and to activate the innovation potential of every region in Europe.”

He added: “Smart specialisation strategies should be developed alongside the private sector, researchers and the innovation community. Only then can we meet the needs of the real economy, of the businesses and people that drive it. Existing strategies, such as the focus on blue growth in the Canary Islands, the health care innovation strategy in Flanders, or the modernisation of the Italian shoe industry in the Marche Region in Italy, are successful examples of regions joining up with different stakeholders to drive common growth and innovation goals.”

Government of Flanders Minister-President Kris Peeters said: “Through co-operation and smart use of our complementary assets, we have to maximize our industrial growth potential. That ambition should be shared by the political leaders of all regions with a desire to keep and to reinforce their industry. That is why I firmly believe in the great added value of the ‘Vanguard Initiative for growth by smart specialization’ that was launched today by 10 leading European industrial regions. With this initiative, we emphasize that regions have to take up responsibility in shaping and strengthening European policy.”

The debate comes at a crucial time, as the proposals for the new Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 are at a final phase. Key to the new reformed policy is the introduction of conditions that should be met before funds can be spent. One of those is the development of a clear and carefully designed “smart specialisation strategy” for research and innovation. This should guide how investments are used over the next 7 years and ensure clear aims are delivered on the ground.

Europeiska rådets ordförande Herman Van Rompuy kommer att hålla huvudtalet vid evenemanget. Vid sidan av kommissionsledamot Hahn, ordförande Danuta Hübner i Europaparlamentets utskott för regional utveckling (avbildad) och Kris Peeters talar också konferensen. Inriktad främst på beslutsfattare, forskare och industrisektorn inom områdena forskning, innovation och regional utveckling är idén med sammankomsten att utforska gränsöverskridande samarbete och synergier mellan befintliga strategier.

The Commission is also stressing the complementarity of Cohesion Policy funding and EU research funding in boosting innovation in the regions. The new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, will support twinning of emerging and advanced institutions, teaming to create Centres of Excellence, staff exchanges and expert advice and assistance, as well as new ‘ERA-Chairs’ to attract excellent scientists.

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Smarta specialiseringsstrategier syftar till att hjälpa regioner att fullt ut utnyttja sin innovationspotential genom att fokusera resurser på ett begränsat antal smarta tillväxtprioriteringar med konkurrensfördelar. Skyldigheten att utveckla en strategi för smart specialisering tillkännagavs 2010 som en del av flaggskeppsinitiativet Innovationsunionen i Europa 2020-tillväxtagendan. Kommissionen inrättade en Smart specialiseringsplattform 2011 för att ge stöd till medlemsstater och regioner som utvecklar sin strategi för smart specialisering (RIS3). Den har för närvarande 140 registrerade regioner från 13 medlemsstater.

Nyckelaspekter av en smart specialiseringsstrategi:

  1. elaborated through a process of “entrepreneurial discovery”, actively involving business, research, education, the innovation community and relevant public actors in a structured way
  2. utnyttjar EU, nationella, regionala och lokala offentliga medel och investeringar från den privata sektorn
  3. gör det möjligt för alla regioner att positionera sig i den globala kunskapsekonomin
  4. är utåtriktad och uppmuntrar internationalisering
  5. bygger synergier mellan olika policyer och finansieringsinstrument, särskilt. Horisont 2020

Videor exempel på smarta specialiseringsstrategier:

  1. Flaris – the creation of innovative aircraft in Lower Silesia in Poland
  2. Hälsovårdsinnovationer i regionen Flandern i Belgien
  3. Användning av avancerad tillverkning för att modernisera den italienska skoindustrin i regionen Marche i Italien
  4. Plocan – focus on blue growth in the Canary Islands

Mer information

Konferensprogram

Smart specialiseringsplattform

Videor exempel på smarta specialiseringsstrategier

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