On 31st January, ERRIN, led by its Policy Working Group, organised an event titled “Regional R&I Ecosystems: contributing to a competitive Europe” together with the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, showcasing a number of regional innovation ecosystems. The event was an opportunity for nine ERRIN members to pitch their successful initiatives and highlight the challenges faced and solutions found, main impacts achieved, and lessons learned with the aim to attain further support during the next funding period.
The examples were followed by an exchange of views between the regional actors and the European Commission. Directors Kurt Vandenberghe, and Jean-David Malo, from DG RTD, and Peter Berkowitz, Head of Unit at DG REGIO, actively engaged in the discussion throughout the morning.
Regions expressed the need to further emphasise the “bottom up” and demand-led research and innovation approach linking to the “top down” challenges – or missions – that will be proposed under the new framework programme. Several regions also called for a dialogue between the European Commission and regional innovation actors to discuss further what type of funding and financing instruments create regional and EU added value.
The session was closed with concrete recommendations from ERRIN members on how to better support regional innovation ecosystems under the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and in particular within 9th Framework Programme. As a follow-up to the event, a summary of the recommendations will be prepared and circulated to keep the discussions going with the European Commission services.
ERRIN will be emphasising the need for a comprehensive approach to European research, innovation and skills agenda again at the high-level conference organised by the Committee of the Regions on 20th February on “Connecting Territories: the Role of European Regions and Cities in the Future EU Policies for Research and Innovation". More information on the CoR conference can be found here.