The Commission is proposing a new set of actions to further help Europe's regions invest in their niche areas of competitive strength ("smart specialisation") and generate the innovation, resilience and growth needed.
Introduced in 2014 in all regional policy programmes, the smart specialisation approach has proven to deliver. The Commission intends to build on this positive experience with two pilot projects:
- Tailored support for the specific challenges of regions facing industrial transition: on their request, certain regions can work in partnership with teams of Commission experts to boost their innovation capacity, remove investment barriers, equip citizens with the right skills and prepare for industrial and societal change, on the basis of their smart specialisation strategies.
- Interregional innovation partnerships supported by EU funds: inspired by the success of the Vanguard initiative, the aim of this pilot project is to identify and scale up 'bankable' interregional projects that can create European value chains in priority sectors such as big data, bioeconomy, resource efficiency, connected mobility or advanced manufacturing.
The calls for interest for the industrial transition regions pilot action will be launched in the autumn this year. The interregional partnerships will be set up during 2017 and run throughout 2018.