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WIRE2014: Rebooting Regional Policy for Innovation and Growth 

Conference topics



European Funding for Regional Development in 2014-2020

EU reformed cohesion policy (2014 -2020), the principle investment tool for delivering the Europe 2020 goals for growth, innovation and development, lies at the center of WIRE2014 attention. Designed to reinforce the strategic dimension of regional policy, EU cohesion policy for the period 2014-2020 reflects a new perspective for EU structural funds, one which relies on smart specialization strategies and builds synergies with other EU policies and funding instruments such as Horizon 2020 and INTERREG.

The introduction of ‘Smart Specialisation Strategy’ in the regulation for the Structural and Investments Funds for 2014-2020 -a strategy to stimulate investments in sectors in which regions have a competitive advantage- poses a clear-cut break with previous EU strategies for funding. Aiming at eliminating innovation disparities in Europe by targeting at key growth sectors and adapting policies to territorial specificities, EU reformed cohesion policy promotes cooperation and synergies that will lead to a new R&D landscape in Europe.

In that context, WIRE 2014 will present the key priorities for research, innovation, entrepreneurship and regional growth for the current programming period and will display the technical frame of EU funding for regional growth. Pointing to the challenges that the new social and economic conditions pose for regional development, sessions will demonstrate how regions can efficiently use policies and budget under Horizon 2020 and ESIF, targeting investments on key growth priorities.The sessions under this topic will also stress the role of complementary EU policies designed to address the impact of the economic crisis on the research and innovation landscape in Europe, opportunities and bottlenecks for regional stakeholders. This topic area will raise key questions on the design and implementation of an effective Innovation Strategy and will highlight the role of a knowledge-based economy in the territorial Cooperation.

Regional authorities will be invited to share their experience in RIS3 utilisation of EU funds and discuss how they can translate Smart specialization Strategies into policy, build and implement successful Regional Innovation Strategies under economic crisis.Seeking new models to counterbalance crisis, spread excellence and widen participation under Horizon 2020, sessions will stress the role of synergies between research institutions, local government and knowledge intensive companies. What are the best practices to transfer knowledge from one region to another? How can Terittorial Cooperation contribute to innovation policies and urban development? The session will conclude with enlightening talk on how Europe could get more growth out of the Investments in R& D.

Business Driving Regional innovation

‘Business Driving Regional Innovation’ will examine the links between regional innovation and business performance and will focus on how enterprises can optimally contribute to the regional ecosystem for knowledge-based growth and job creation. In the reformed cohesion policy (2014-2020), Regions are treated as the main facilitators for financial growth and competitive industries lie at the heart of regional development.The European Regional Development Fund will target key priorities such as support for small and medium sized enterprises, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Based on the widespread experience of regional innovation strategies, sessions in this topic will present key business achievements and best practices regarding the successful integration of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3).This topic aims to build our understanding on how can Regions create effective synergies between ESIF, H2020 and business and how can they achieve greater co-operation among private and public stakeholders.Policymakers will find answers regarding how to engage enterprises in RIS3 and business representatives will discuss how can they have access to finance in Horizon 2020 and how can they profit from regional policies.

Scientific Excellence, Open Data and Knowledge Re-use for Regional Growth

The conference topic ‘Scientific Excellence, Open Data and Knowledge re-use for regional growth’ addresses the role of a knowledge based economy in promoting research, innovation and regional development. The utilization of open data and free knowledge-sharing are treated as preconditions for regional growth, entrepreneurship and local development.They will highlight the importance of Science and Technology metrics in designing, planning and monitoring efficient evidence-based regional policies.

Discussions will focus on how to best exploit open public data for entrepreneurial decision-making and development of commercial products/services.Speakers will provide technical information –tools and methodologies- on how knowledge reuse can contribute to regional planning and will present successful examples of enterprises utilizing open data for decision-making and development of services. In this thematic area, we will try to answer questions such as ‘what does it take to transform existing knowledge (open data, research results) into an efficient policy or an entrepreneurial success? How can this process transform traditional business and spaces in Regions?


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