Dear readers,

With the adoption of the new European Innovation Agenda back in July, the EU entered into an innovation spree, both at the political and operational level.

The Innovation Agenda proposes bold actions to foster deep tech innovation, a new wave of innovation, as the EU Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel highlights in her article for TerritoriALL. However, she writes, innovation policy documents - as usual - are not enough to achieve the necessary transformations. We need deep tech innovation to drive Europe’s competitiveness and to ensure the health and well-being of its citizens, she adds.

This is also the focus of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU: the possible role of societal innovations in helping the regions lagging behind, as the Czech Minister of Regional Development, Ivan Bartos, underlines.

The close correlation between economic performance and innovation is well known, according to Minister Bartos, but we need to realise that that not only states, but also regions are important actors in promoting innovation.

Indeed, the ‘Entrepreneurial Regional Governance’ study that ESPON conducted for the Czech Presidency concludes that the role of regional governance in introducing innovation into regions is essential.

But, can we diffuse innovation at the regional level, engage local actors and combine territorial competitiveness with cooperation?

We can if we focus on the societal challenges, such as climate change, the energy crisis and the disruption of supply chains. Those are common problems, yet their impacts differ strongly across countries, regions and cities, says the JRC Director for Growth and Innovation, Mikel Landabaso, introducing the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI).

PRIs, Mr. Landabaso notes, propose an approach to draw linkages across multiple policy domains and funding instruments, exploit synergies and address possible tensions to generate co-benefits for the economy, society and the environment.

And while promoting interregional innovation investments and regional innovation valleys, PRIs manage to include regions lagging behind others, emphasises Tanya Hristova, Mayor of Gabrovo, and Chair of the CoR CEDEC Commission.

We must increase the synergic use of different European and national financing sources, says Ms Hristova, specifically targeted to strengthen the innovation base at local and regional levels.

And Pirita Lindholm, Director of the ERRIN Network explains that the New Innovation Agenda reinforces the links between regional smart specialisation strategies, Horizon Europe and other funding mechanisms.

The proposal to prioritise interregional innovation projects linked to key EU priorities, with the joint participation of less and more innovative regions, is important also for Maurizio Mensi, EESC rapporteur for the New European Innovation Agenda.

But is it enough, when countries outside Europe, such as Israel, have made innovation one of the defining features of their economic and social set-up, creating an environment that attracts talent and nurtures start-ups, as Mr Mensi points out?

We do not have the answer yet. But in this issue we share some good examples of regional innovation policies from regions in Czechia that make us feel a bit more optimistic. And in the interview with the new director of URBACT, Teofil Gherca, and DG Regio team leader, Thomas de Bethune you can find more information how cities can use URBACT to improve their capacities and performance.

And let’s keep in mind that also ESPON supports local, regional, national authorities and even European institutions and organisations to design innovation or innovative policies. In the last pages of the magazine we are presenting the main priorities of the ESPON 2030 Programme.

Václav Havel, in his speech ‘Europe as a task’, back in 1996, encouraged Europeans to rediscover their responsibility for global environmental, social and economic problems – as minister Bartos reminded us. The time has come to fulfil this task.

                                               Enjoy your reading

This article appears in Regional innovation

Go to Page View
This article appears in...
Regional innovation
Go to Page View
Wiktor Szydarowski, director ESPON EGTC
Territorial cohesion, innovations and regions lagging behind
Ivan Bartoš, Deputy Prime Minister for Digitisation and Minister of Regional Development
A New European Innovation Agenda
Mariya Gabriel is the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
Territorial Analyses
Open Invitation for Territorial Analyses
Partnerships for regional innovation: A new strategic and systemic approach to innovation policy
Mikel Landabaso, Director Innovation and Growth; Margherita Bacigalupo, Scientific officer; Guia Bianchi, Researcher and policy analyst; Joint Research Centre, European Commission
Regional partnerships support Europe’s innovation capacity
Tanya Hristova, Mayor of Gabrovo, Chair of the SEDEC Commission, European Committee of the Regions
Innovation at regional and local levels from a social perspective
Maurizio Mensi, Rapporteur for the opinion INT/996, A New European Innovation Agenda, European Economic and Social Committee
Regional innovation performance and regional comparative advantage of Czech regions
Viktor Kveton, Assoc. Prof. at Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development
A New European Innovation Agenda – a push for supporting innovation in Europe’s regions
Pirita Lindholm Director, European Regions Research and Innovation Network (ERRIN)
KHK data portal and local open data catalogue of the Hradec Králové region
Radmila Velnerová, Head of the analysis and management support department, Hradec Králové Region
RESTART Unit dealing with a Strategy of Economic Restructuring of Usti, Moravian-Silesian and Karlov
Simona Štastná, Department of Strategies and Analysis of Regional Policy and Housing Policy, RE:START Department, Ministry for Regional Development, Czech Republic
Entrepreneurial regional governance
The programme of the ESPON seminar in Prague, 7-8 December 2023
URBACT IV: Addressing urban challenges through cooperation and networking
Interview with Thomas de Béthune, Team Leader in DG Regio for the unit of Inclusive Growth Urban and Territorial and Teofil Ghercă, director of URBACT
Towards uniform greenhouse gas quantification in European territories
Kimmo Lylykangas, Professor of Architecture; Head of the Academy of Architecture and Urban Studies, Tallinn University of Technology
Cross-border housing markets: how to measure cross-border interrelations
Franziska Sielker, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy
The role of spatial planning in facilitating offshore renewable energy in Europe
Professor David Shaw and Hannah Jones, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool
Functional areas in the EU: From Cohesion Policy to practice through a pilot project
ESPON dialogue with project team and coordination
Entrepreneurial regional governance
ESPON Thematic Action Plans and how can one engage with ESPON
Outlook of the Swedish Presidency
Sverker Lindblad, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Department for Rural Affairs, Division for Regional and Rural development
Looking for back issues?
Browse the Archive >

Next Article
Regional innovation
Page 4