The ecoRIS3 project was represented by Dr John Hobbs from the Cork Institute of Technology at Europe Let’s Cooperate Workshop took place at the Wild Theatre, Brussels on the 10th of April 2019.

During the opening session of the fifth edition of 'Europe, let's cooperate!', keynote speakers Marie-Antoinette Maupertuis, Executive member of the Corsican regional authority; Tudor Gușet, General Directorate for European Territorial Cooperation; Giannantonio Ballette, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, Europena Commission and Anne Wetzel, Director of the Europe department of the Hauts-de-France Region discussed the importance of Interreg Europe for the Cohesion Policy.  

The main points from the session related to the growing role and importance of interregional cooperation, laying foundations and paving the way for regions to realise their full potential impact of interregional cooperation. Furthermore Erwin Siweris, Programme Director, Interreg Europe outlined the impact of Interreg Europe programme from the 1st and 2nd calls to date, which includes over 140 action plans published, with 108 verified policy changes which influenced €300 of funds invested across Europes regions. 

Image: Erwin Siweris, Programme Director, Interreg Europe presenting on programme Impacts at Europe Let’s Cooperate 10/4/2019

The second session When Europe cooperates: results worth sharing, it sought to dig deeper into the world of interregional cooperation, focusing on a journey across Europe to discover how Interreg Europe has impacted the regions. Speakers included Nuria Pou Alvarez, Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia, from BID-REX; Diane Smith, Town & Country Planning Association, PERFECT project; Sara Minisini, Bretagne Développement Innovation, from SET-UP and Paulo Aguas, Município do Fundão, OSIRIS. Paulo shares the OSIRIS story about changes related to improving design, delivery and implementation of open and social innovation policies in the craft sector. 

Image: Dr John Hobbs, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland, ecoRIS3 Project with Nadine Teles, Agência Nacional de Inovação, Portugal, S34Growth at Europe Let’s Cooperate 10/4/2019 

The afternoon brought together a number of thematic sessions: The session from digital nodes to virtual houses – improving the innovation capacity of SMEs through digital networks, had Claus Zeppelzauer, ecoplus - The Business Agency of Lower Austria; Sebastien Chable, Bretagne Développement Innovation and Perrine Franca, University of Bretagne as the Keynote speakers. The session was moderated by Marc Pattinson, thematic expert Research and innovation, Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform. The INKREASE project and the interregional learning pathway, showcased well-established good practices from France, Brittany and how they inspired the creation of similar initiatives in Austria. The participants gained practical advice and ‘policy lessons’ for the uptake of digital networking solutions to connect their regional ecosystems. 

Image: The panel for the digital nodes to virtual houses at Europe Let’s Cooperate 10/4/2019.

In the afternoon, participants had a chance to explore and experience different dimensions of interregional cooperation. Through hosting or joining a networking session in the networking zone. Discussing questions with the Interreg Europe staff and the Policy Learning Platform experts, and learning more about policy learning activities, peer reviews and policy matchmaking. 

For further information and resources from the event visit the Europe Let’s Cooperate micro site