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Connecting regional and smart specialisations towards innovative solutions

Connecting regional and smart specialisations towards innovative solutions

On 23 April 2015 in Brussels there was a debate under the title “Connecting regional and smart specialisations towards innovative solutions”. During the meeting, the smart specialisations of regions located within the Central European Transport Corridor were presented and potential cooperation areas which could contribute to the regions’ economic growth were identified.
The event also featured a presentation of the analysis of the regional strategies of the smart specialisations of particular CETC regions carried out by Zachodniopomorska Grupa Doradcza (West Pomeranian Advisory Group). The analysis included 47 regions of 11 countries and was based on data available on the European S3 platform. The most common thematic areas shared by the mentioned regions identified in the analysis were biotechnology, public health, the metal, automotive and machinery industries, and broadly defined electronics, automation and mechatronics as an umbrella specialisation in the context of developing the R&D infrastructure. Moreover, the following support areas were identified: advanced materials, ICT, renewable energy sources, sustainable environment and logistics.
During the event a speech was given by the representative of the Directorate General of the European Commission for Mobility and Transport Mr Paweł Stelmaszczyk, who discussed the opportunities offered to Member States and regions by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation in terms of the identified smart specialisations. Mr Alfonso Alcolea Martinez, representing the EUWT Platform in the Committee of the Regions, mentioned the issue of the opportunities and challenges to be faced by the European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation, in particular with respect to funding applications within cross-border cooperation programmes. In turn, Esteban Pelayo Villarejo, a representative of the Office of the Region of Murcia for the European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN), drew attention to the possibilities of implementing innovations and using smart specialisations for effective development.
During the event, Marek Orszewski, a representative of the Westpomeranian Region, spoke about the identified smart specialisations and the process of resourceful discovery, pointing out that the possibility of the corridor’s regions avoiding competition and replication lies in cooperation based on a common chain of values and seeking industry complementarity. The experiences of the Swedish region Skåne were presented by Daniel Kronmann, who emphasised the importance of, among other things, advanced materials, called “the materials of the future” and ecosystem development, for material innovation.
The debate was followed by the 3rd General Assembly of the Central European Transport Corridor – the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Ltd.
The event was organised within the project “The North-South transport axis as a direction for increasing the innovation and dynamic development of the Central European regions” implemented with the support of the International Visegrad Fund.

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