Connecting regional innovation valleys through circular industries

  • 21 Jun 2023 to 22 Jun 2023
  • Gijón. Asturias (Spain)


The Principality of Asturias and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission co-organize the event Connecting regional innovation valleys through circular industries, building on the experiences and learnings of the pilot project Partnership of Regional Innovation, promoted by JRC in cooperation with the Committee of the Regions and supported by Commissioner Ferreira, Commissioner Gabriel, where 74 European territories have been experimenting a new strategic approach to innovation-driven territorial transformation, linking EU priorities with national plans and place-based opportunities and challenges.

The Partnerships for Regional Innovation will help to deliver on the New European Innovation Agenda establishing 100 Regional Innovation Valleys across Europe. The PRI Pilot participants agree that inter-territorial innovation cooperation offers new avenues to address common challenges in areas such as low carbon technologies, food security, circularity, health or climate resilience.  

The event in Gijón, led by the Asturias regional experience, will open cooperation opportunities in one of the "burning challenges" identified by the New European Innovation Agenda, Achieving Circularity. The discussion will be ignited from one of the domains most impacted by the climate and energy challenges, process and energy Intensive Industries, connected upstream with the reliance on Strategic Raw Materials, and downstream, with the industrial value chain. The Green Deal Industrial Plan, the roadmap for low-carbon technologies, the human-centric approach of Industry 5.0 and the New European Bauhaus will be part of the debate. At the end of the event, under the PRI approach, participants will have shared their regional interests and capacities, identified common challenges and proposed joint missions.

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Day 1 | 21 June 2023, 10.00-17.30 CET

  1. Welcome coffee

    Master of ceremony: SEKUENS (Former IDEPA)

  2. 10.00-10.20
    Institutional welcome
    • Borja Sánchez. Regional Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities & President of SEKUENS
    • Nieves Roqueñí. Regional Vice Minister of Environment and Climate Change
    • Margherita Bacigalupo. Team Leader. Joint Research Centre. European Commission
  3. 10.20-10.35
    Keynote speech from Asturias

    Eva Pando. SEKUENS Executive Director

  4. 10.35-11.45
    European Industrial scene. Perspectives for a Secure, Sustainable and human centric industry

    Moderated by Carmen Sillero Illanes. Joint Research Centre. European Commission

    • Green Deal Industrial Plan for the Net-Zero Age – Benoit Esmanne. DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW)
    • Industry 5.0 - Laura Roman. DG Research and Innovation
    • Interreg Cooperation Experience - Marc Pattinson. Thematic Expert – Research and Innovation. Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform 
    • The New European Innovation Agenda. Fostering connected regional innovation valleys across the EU.
    • Implementing co-funded action plans for connected regional innovation  valleys - Panagiotis Sevdalis. Innovation Policy & Access to Finance. DG Research and Innovation
    • Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument - Eric Amaral Garcia. Smart and Sustainable Growth. DG Regional and Urban Policy


    Q&A from audience

  5. 11.45-12.10
    How can we cooperate for speeding up the technology needed for reaching the European Green Deal objectives?
    • Open conversation: Moderated by Antonio Novo. European Cluster Alliance
    • Speaker: Pauline Sentis. Industrial Research, Innovation & Investment Agendas, RTD.E.1


    Q&A from audience

  6. 12.10-13.00
    Circularity Challenges and Avenues for collaboration among High Intensive Energy Industrial regions

    Round Table: Moderated by IQPA (tbc)

    • Cementos Tudela Veguín SA. Fernando Fernández-Tresguerres. Manager of Energy and Environment in Masaveu Industry 
    • University of Oviedo. Jesús Daniel Santos Rodríguez. Internationalisation Vice-rector 
    • Carbon Science and Technology Institute (INCAR). Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).  Fernando Rubiera. Director
    • ArcelorMittal, Pedro Prendes. Global R&D Process Portfolio Leader


    Q&A from the audience

  7. Guided visit to Laboral Centro de Arte
  8. 13.00-15.00
    Lunch hosted by SEKUENS
  9. 15.00-15.15
    Introduction to the operational block

    Methodology for identifying common challenges to face in cooperation
    Moderated by Dynamisation team


  10. 15.15-16.15
    Introducing our territories - done by Territories

    Plenary participatory Session based on the inputs provided by the territories:

    • Territorial agency and priorities
    • Experience
    • Capacities
    • Interest
    • Actors


  11. 16.15-17.00
    Identification of challenges

    Work in small groups. Moderated by Dynamisation team

  12. 17.00-17.20
    Agreeing on common challenges

    Plenary Session. Moderated by Dynamisation team

  13. 17.20-17.30
    Debriefing of the sessions

    Moderated by Dynamisation team

  14. 20.00
    Dinner hosted by SEKUENS

Day 2 | 22 June 2023, 09.30-14.00 CET

  1. 09.30-09.40
    Recapitulation Day 1. Organisation of the session.

    Dynamisation Team

  2. 09.40-10.30
    From common challenges to joint missions (I)

    Participatory Session: After identifying common challenges, participants will agree on the missions to be addressed

    Moderated by Dynamisation team

  3. 10.30-10.50
    Learning from Processes4Planet co-programmed Partnership

    Angels Orduña. A.SPIRE Executive Director

  4. 10.50-11.05
    Coffee break
  5. 11.05-12.30
    From common challenges to joint missions (I)

    Which 'impulses’ are needed for achieving the mission?

    Moderated by Dynamisation Team


  6. 12.30-12.45
  7. 12.45-13.00
    Closing and next steps
  8. 13.00-14.00
    Farewell cocktail and finger food

    (depending on attendees’ confirmations)

Practical Information

21 Jun 2023 to 22 Jun 2023

Gijón. Asturias (Spain)


Registration Information

Registration is open until 16 June 2023.




  • Setting the European scene for industrial strategic autonomy and transition to sustainability, including their impact in the territories specialised in high energy-intensive industries.
  • Promoting collaboration among the regions that, like Asturias, share the challenge of an industrial transition to circular and carbon-neutral economy in energy-intensive and process industry.

Areas of collaboration

●    Deep tech innovation: waste recovery and processes: industry and science
o    Increase circularity in the process industry
o    Infrastructures for scaling recovery technologies

●    Impact-based policy: Society and Government 
o    Impact assessment of eco-innovative strategies
o    Stakeholders’ involvement: multiple futures
o    Funding mapping and synergies to support the transitions.


Territories (at local, national, European level), represented by policy officers, industry, technology and research actors, and citizen organisations interested in inter-territorial cooperation in industrial circularity.
All the territories wishing to participate to the event are invited to submit one fiche of regional information by 9 June 2023, following the template provided. Other professionals and institutions, not territorially bonded to the topic, could participate in the event as observer or expert (acceptance to the event will be limited by the maximum capacity).

EU policies of references


    JRC methodology based on mission-oriented dynamics  

Dynamisation team

  • Margherita Bacigalupo, JRC
  • Guia Bianchi, JRC 
  • Carmen Sillero, JRC
  • Pauline Sentis, DG RTD
  • Laura Roman, DG RTD
  • Paz Palacio, SEKUENS
  • Ana E. Fernández Monzón, SEKUENS

More information

SEKUENS website