Events Events


Smart Regions 2.0 Conference: Maximising Europe's Innovation Potential

General Information

The second edition of the high-level Smart Regions event, due to take place this 1-2 June in Helsinki, will provide the opportunity to national and regional authorities to share experience of how smart specialisation has been implemented in their countries and regions. In 2014 smart specialisation strategies were introduced in the European Union's Cohesion Policy as the basis for research and innovation investment. As a result, over 120 strategies have been established to shape investments from 2014-20.  It is now time to assess what has been achieved, exchange experience and reflect on how the impact of projects can be maximised on the ground and what lessons should be drawn for the future.

The event will provide the opportunity to share experience between projects supported by the European Structural Investment Funds and other EU programmes and policies in the areas of research, industrial policy, education and skills. It will enable project promoters to learn from experience in other regions and find cooperation partners across EU in areas such as energy, agri-food, industrial modernisation, cybersecurity, health, and the maritime industry.

As well as highlighting best practice and lessons learnt, there will be an opportunity to debate the future of innovation in the context of European regional development with senior representatives from the European institutions and national and regional governments. The conclusions of the discussion will be an important contribution to the discussion on the future of Cohesion Policy post-2020.


Why you should participate?

  1. The Smart Regions 2.0 Conference is the next step in building a 'Community of practice' to implement Smart specialisation strategies. Over 120 Smart strategies are already being implemented. It is time to assess achievements and discuss how to maximise the impact of Smart specialisation investments. This conference will be an occasion for you to learn from good practices while at the same time contributing with your own experience.
  2. The European Commission will publish a Communication on Smart Specialisation and its contribution to European innovation policy. The Conference will be the occasion to meet the Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Cretu and to participate in high-level debates about the future of Smart specialisation and regional innovation policy in the context of our common challenges.
  3. The implementation of Smart specialisation has generated an increasing demand for interregional collaboration, to spur investment in innovation across borders, based on complementary strengths. The Thematic Smart Specialisation Platforms for Energy, Agri-Food and Industrial Modernisation aim at supporting such partnerships. By now, more than 15 partnerships have been created, involving more than 60 regions. This Conference will mobilise committed regions and the ones who want to explore possibilities for interregional cooperation to discuss next steps.

This Conference is the place-to-be, to meet, connect, discuss and learn on national and regional innovation investments. It provides space for match-making and for an exhibition of your region's  projects in smart specialisation areas and collaboration opportunities with other regions and their innovation actors.

What opportunities are open for you?

  1. Register for the Conference:
  2. Participate with an information stand of your region (likely via your managing authority):
  3. Bring experts for discussion in the parallel sessions on 'Tailoring support for the needs of regions' and 'Investing in innovation across EU regions'.  
  4. Lead-regions of the partnerships are invited to 'pitch' their partnership in the 'Investing in innovation across EU regions' parallel sessions. They are invited to host table-discussions with other participants on some common questions i.e. what intelligence is needed to build collaboration, how the collaboration can be arranged and what capacity is needed in regions to be able to collaborate at EU level. Results will be harvested for general conclusions to enable better tailoring EU support for regions and for interregional cooperation in smart specialisation areas.



Agenda and Presentations

Event Agenda



Smart Regions 2.0 Conference: Maximising Europe's Innovation Potential venue
MESSUKESKUS Expo and Convention Center, Messuaukio 1, Helsinki 00520, Finland

Registration information

Registration is now closed.