During the European Week of Regions and Cities (10 October 2018 in Brussels) the Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform team and the DG GROW ReConfirm team took the opportunity to bring together some 25 regional research and innovation actors from their respective project communities.

The meeting sought to build on the first exchanges that took place during a dedicated exchange meeting held in Lapland in April earlier this year. Indeed, this first meeting has already led to collaboration exchanges between Interreg Europe projects and S3P-Industry partnerships, for example between the Tourism and Sports partnerships and the respective Interreg Europe projects.

The meeting brought together representatives of one Interreg Europe project (HoCare) and seven S3P-Industry partnerships including Textiles, Chemicals, Sports, Personalised Medicine, Tourism, Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence. Each S3P-Industry partnership presented their current progress, notably regarding their scoping papers and actions linked to the development of interregional co-investment projects. A number of these partnerships have also succeeded in securing support from Interreg Europe, for example in the Inno4Sports and Medtech4Europe projects. These initiatives will undoubtedly lead to reinforced interregional cooperation between project partners and stakeholders in order to address together common challenges at regional level as well as laying down the foundations for future collaboration.

One of the main objectives of the meeting was to showcase the Action Plan and policy development experiences of Interreg Europe project HoCare and to see how the implementation experiences can help S3P-Industry stakeholders develop their own project portfolios. The HoCare project is closely aligned with the S3P-Industry partnership on ‘Personalised Medicine’, aiming to boost digital technologies and accessing to data to improve general health and wellbeing with a focus on aging and treatment of chronic diseases.

HoCare project coordinator Eleftherious Loizou from the Nicosia Development Agency (ANEL) described the process through learning and gathering healthcare best practice experiences from project partners (Slovenia) and engaging with Cypriot policy makers to secure a policy change and financial resources from the ERDF Operational Programme. 

Some of the key challenges that need to be addressed to succeed include:

  • Engagement of stakeholders in the Action Plan’s development process (notably Managing Authority)
  • Match-making real local needs with international experience (review available Good Practices)
  • Overcoming complicated public procedures
  • Convincing “purseholders” to acquire funding through ESIF (during the middle of the programme period).

As a result of these efforts HoCare was able to reallocate some EUR 400,000 of funding to the development of the “Smart Integrated Healthcare and Long-term Care System” (eCare) initiative. HoCare also offered some smart tips for helping the S3P-Industry partnership progress with their project development actions: 

  • Involve the stakeholders from the very beginning of the interregional project’s implementation (especially in interregional activities) → attract their interest;
  • Select the main stakeholders – if necessary create a sub-stakeholder core group → offer them the opportunity to become the ‘initiators’;
  • Define carefully the real local/regional needs → methodology and sources;
  • Exchange information regularly with all stakeholders → keep everybody informed.

 

Mr Eleftherious Loizou from the Nicosia Development Agency (ANEL)

Such meetings clearly demonstrate the benefit of sharing learning experiences and the nature of the complementarities and synergies that can be developed to help accelerate collaboration between the Interreg Europe projects and S3P-Industry partnership. The synergies can be both at the thematic level and/or concern more horizontal and methodological issues.

A further exchange between regional research and innovation actors will be possible during the S3 Platform sponsored event to be held in Bilbao on the 27-28 November. During this meeting all three S3P communities will be present (AgriFood, Energy and Industrial Modernisation) and many project partners are also engaged in Interreg Europe projects. 

Further details about the Policy Learning Platform can be found at https://www.interregeurope.eu/policylearning/ meanwhile details of ReConfirm and the Industrial Modernisation platform can be found at http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reconfirm and http://s3platform.jrc.ec.europa.eu/industrial-modernisation.