How does a peer review work?

Peers from a selected number of regions are invited to your region – the host region – to examine the specific territorial and thematic context and make recommendations based on their experience and expertise. In general, this onsite visit lasts two days and consists of analysing the regional situation among peers, discussing approaches, solutions and recommendations, drafting a 'to-do list' for follow-up action and receiving immediate feedback.

Being driven by the spirit of interregional learning, the peer reviews require an overall readiness to share, reflect and improve among all parties involved. Preparation is required on all sides to ensure the selected peers are well matched to the needs of the host region. In addition, you can be a host receiving advice on one occasion and provide your expertise as a peer the next time around. This is a true win-win exchange!

Technically speaking, peer reviews should involve peers from at least two countries, other than the country of the host. The Platform experts will identify suitable peers as well as facilitate the thematic exchanges during the onsite visit. The platform can cover the travel and accommodation costs for up to six peers per peer review. The host region should arrange and pay for the organisational aspects of the visit (venue, local visits). Catering and translation costs can be covered, if needed. 

How do I apply to host a peer review?

On 9 October the new call for peer review is launched and is now open permanently. Applicants can submit their application at any time here. To ensure timely consideration and evaluation of submitted applications, a series of cut off dates are foreseen. The first cut off date is 22 November 2019.

You can consult the terms of reference here. This document will give you information about the application process as well as a practical guidance for the different steps of the peer review.

How are peers identified?

Based on the request of the host region, the Platform experts will contact regions across Europe with the relevant thematic expertise to identify and invite relevant peers, including partner organisations from Interreg Europe projects. It is envisaged that a targeted call of interest will be held to identify the most relevant peers for the submitted requests.

Success stories of previous peer reviews

Are you eager to discover examples of previously performed peer reviews? Take a look at previous peer reviews that took place in Berlin (Germany), Sofia (Bulgaria), Eupen (Belgium), Gävleborg (Sweden) and Lille (France).

Internationalisation and Transnational Cooperation in Berlin

The peer review in Berlin was hosted by Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises in Berlin. The two-day discussions focused on the optimisation of the startup support landscape. Through sharing of experiences, good practices and inspirational ideas, the Senate Department received hands-on feedback on the optimisation process. Read the summary report for more details. 

Structuring Centres of Excellence and Centres of Competence, Sofia in June 2019

This peer review focused on one Centre of Excellence dedicated to mechatronics and clean technologies and one Centre of Competence dedicated to clean technologies for sustainable environment – water, waste, energy for the circular economy. 

During this two-day event, the peers and the host country discussed management models, governance structures, private sector involvement, extra-regional cooperation, and financial models to ensure sustainability. The exact policy recommendations can be found in the summary report.

The German speaking community in the East of Belgium, Eupen in May 2019

The focus of the peer review in the German speaking community was on practical approaches and challenges in coordinating and implementing a multi-municipality SECAP and in supporting the local authorities regarding energy-related measures. The community aims to improve its management strategy to measure implementation, reporting and overall coordination together with local stakeholders, to reach its ambitious climate goals for 2030.

 The peer review was very well received. Johanna Punkari, Project Manager at South Ostrobothnia Energy Agency Thermopolis mentions ‘I have learnt a lot of things about funding schemes and tools used in other regions. And I have seen that other peers are facing the same issues for example in the area of mobility. When I am back in Finland, I will share with the 100 employees in my region what I have learnt during the Peer Review in East Belgium’. 

Discover more about the experiences exchanged and lessons learned during the peer review.

Regional council of Gävleborg, Sweden in January 2019

During this two-day meeting, the challenges of leadership and governance of regional innovation processes were discussed. The policy challenges were pointed out, peer analyses were performed and joint brainstorming sessions for solutions helped to prepare concrete policy recommendations for follow-up actions. You can access the experiences and outcomes of the Regional council of Gävleborg.  

Hauts-de-France region, France in October 2018

Our first peer review that was held in Lille in October 2018. Together with the region Hauts-de-France, the topic of improving the absorption of structural funds for energy efficiency in social housing and public buildings was tackled. Read about the Hauts-de-France's journey and outcomes.