Changes in climate, technology, and demography are transforming our societies and way of life. Europe must lead the transition to a healthy planet and a new digital world. The Smart Regions conference will be a good occasion to strengthen the links between people, nations, and institutions. Between expectations and delivery of smart specialization strategies. Between words and deeds. People of Europe who design, implement and master regional economic development through innovation will discuss where and how it makes sense for public authorities to act, leaving European, national, regional and local actors to deliver where they are best placed to do so.
The European Commission, Member States and Regions will present achievements in the current financial period 2014-20 and key directions for smart specialization as a tool for an effective economic transformation in 2021-27.
It will focus on three topics:
Boosting innovation-led growth in the EU industrial transition regions
Supporting the catching up EU regions to close the innovation gap
Integrating regional economies in the global value chains
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, around 180 strategies have been established to shape investments from 2014-20. The Conference will provide the opportunity to national and regional authorities to share experience on how smart specialization strategies have been implemented, present projects financed and discuss impacts on the ground.
As well as highlighting best practice and lessons learned, there will be an opportunity to debate the future of innovation in the context of European regional development with representatives from the European institutions and national and regional governments. The conclusions of the discussion will be an important contribution to the implementation of post-20202 Cohesion Policy.