• Posted 12-Oct-2020

Regions and cities gain prominence on the EU's R&I agenda

Members of the European Committee of the Regions have welcomed the European Commission's increased focus on regional and local innovation ecosystems.

On 30 September, the Commission published a c ommunication on a new European Research Area for Research and Innovation . It promises strategic and coordinated support to regions and cities, building on successful initiatives such as the Knowledge Exchange Platform and Science meets Regions, which will be upgraded to a strategic level.

The CoR's Commission for Social Policy, Employment, Culture, Education and Research (SEDEC) hosted on 1 October a debate with Jean-Eric Paquet , European Commission's Director-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD). Mr Paquet highlighted the good experiences from the Knowledge Exchange Platform, a concept jointly developed by the CoR and DG RTD to present new R&I solutions, innovative products and best practices in response to societal challenges facing the regions and cities of Europe.

During the exchange of views with Director-General Paquet, various members also expressed concerns on the innovation gap between EU regions, which the brain drain phenomenon risks to exacerbate. SEDEC vice-chair Matteo Bianchi (IT/ECR), Member of Morazzone Municipal Council, suggested providing support and fiscal incentives to companies that invest in innovation in less developed regions.

Director-General Paquet concluded that " Europe needs to team up across policy areas and work with citizens to make R&I not only the best science in the world with ground-breaking innovations, but also a policy framework which provides knowledge and solutions Europe needs on digital and green transitions and artificial intelligence".

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre published the end of term report for the Science meets Parliaments/Regions pilot project, concluding that there is need to further improve evidence-informed policymaking in all levels of government.

Source: European Committee of the Regions News (https://bit.ly/3iO2JJf)