The Region of Crete takes part in the high-level European Conference and Exhibition on "Smart Regions 2.0", which is held in Helsinki, Finland, and is aimed at exchanging experiences between the European Regions to the implementation of European projects on Research and Innovation investments, as part of the Smart Specialization. The conference enables the European regions to exchange information and experiences regarding to the opportunities of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and EU Competitive Programmes. The EU Competitive Programmes are actually funding programmes which are aimed at contributing to the implementation of EU Policies, research, innovation, education, industry and improvement of professional Skills in a variety of thematic areas such as the natural environment, waste management, water resources, energy, agri-food, industrial modernization, tourism and culture, cyber security, health, shipping, ICTs, etc. Reputable speakers and representatives of the European Institutions and National and Regional Authorities from all over Europe will discuss the future of innovation in the European Regional Development Framework, which is expected to contribute significantly to the dialogue on the future of the Cohesion Policy in Europe In 2020. The Smart Regions 2.0 Conference emphasizes the innovation through implementation of specific projects in Europe by Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme in cooperation with Research institutes, national and regional bodies, and business initiatives.
 The Region of Crete, the only Greek Region is participating in the Conference Exhibition on "Smart Regions 2.0", with its In-Booth Presentation of regional actions aiming at the implementation of Smart Specialization Strategy and projects related to thematic priorities of the strategy. Dr. E Hatziyannis, Director of Environment and Spatial Planning and Project Officer of the RIS3 Crete Project for the European Competitive Programmes, presented all the actions of the Region of Crete concerning:
1.    The completion of the First Round of Consultation of the "Environment-Energy" and "Culture-Tourism" Pillars by the Development Planning Directorate in collaboration with the RIS3 Crete coordinators and platforms,
2.    The process and methodology of business discovery for the interconnection between Research institutes, entrepreneurs and local investors,
3.    The innovative actions developed in collaboration with FORTH (Institute of Informatics) and the Transport and Communications Department of Heraklion
4.    The European Competitive Programs implemented by the Region of Crete and concern various EU Framework Programmes (Horizon 2020, Interreg MED, Interreg EU, LIFE, etc.) on issues related to: energy saving in buildings, regional practices and policies, energy efficiency, agri-food and local entrepreneurship, innovation in the agricultural sector to tackle climate change, the circular economy, corporate social responsibility, the adoption of environmentally friendly solutions to urban planning and other practices such as innovative nanotechnology materials construction to counteract soil pollution, the estimation of the variance of soil pollution on beaches related to the seasonality of tourism in regional strategies and practices for high value and sustainable tourism. Visitors to the kiosk of the Region of Crete had the opportunity to know about the activities of the Region and its extrovert actions in Crete, the rest of Greece and abroad with the contribution of its Office in Brussels, along with a variety of available information material for the implementation of RIS Crete, the business discovery in the island and the innovative actions of the European programmes implemented by the Region of Crete. The dynamic activities of the Region of Crete triggered the interest of a large number of visitors, representatives of the Commission services, ministries, regions, scientists and young entrepreneurs.