The Policy Learning Platform is a space for continuous learning, dedicated to those involved in managing regional policies. It is also the tool to use if you are struggling with a regional challenge or you are simply searching for inspiration and recommendations related to: research and innovation, SMEs competitiveness, low-carbon economy or environment and resource efficiency. 

This year's edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities was a great opportunity for us to meet with our audience, policymakers all around Europe.

We were present in Brussels on 9 October and we started the day with a participatory lab. What better way to discover our services than experiencing them? We therefore proposed to our participants to get to know the Platform services throughout two easy steps:

  1. #Inspiration. Our premium service, the peer reviews, was presented throughout the eyes of past beneficiaries. They all underlined the high value of tapping into the collective intelligence that exists around Europe rather than developing policies in an isolated manner. (See testimonies below)
  2. #Experience. The participants were asked to note down a particular policy challenge they are facing and our thematic experts organised group discussions after having grouped the items together. These vivid exchanges facilitated the networking among participants and allowed our thematic experts to deliver policy advice on the spot. Each participant equally benefited from the experience and expertise of all the other group members. And this is where the Platform plays an important role: we ease such exchanges, making the road to solutions faster!

The workshop was also an excellent opportunity to announce our current call for peer reviews, now open permanently.

We continued the day at the Interreg Europe stand where our thematic experts were available throughout the day. A matchmaking session on the subject of enhancing the competitiveness of local SMEs through Makerspace Movement was organised for the benefit of Valmiera Development Agency, Latvia. This meeting was moderated by Rene Tonnisson and Luc Schmerber, our SMEs competitiveness experts, and brought together four peers with relevant experiences from around Europe.

What past participants think about our peer review service?

'It would be too expensive not to do it. Indeed, we neither have the funding nor the time to miss the opportunity of benefitting from the experiences of others, good and bad. Furthermore, the peer review process helps strengthen European networks of experienced peers capable of fostering growth and development, a competitive advantage for Europe.
Also, the examples from the peers have been very useful, we feel confidence in driving regional development and the peer review has shown to be a strong convincing argument towards policymakers who have the responsibility to trigger change and innovation. In fact, the peer review allows you to show that new ideas and approaches work elsewhere, a powerful tool.' (Jan Nylander, Project Manager, Gävleborg Region, Sweden)

'Learning shouldn’t end with the graduation. We live in a fast changing world and it is vital for policy analysts to focus on continuous learning. And this is what the Policy Learning Platform offers: an incredible opportunity to stay up to speed with what happens around Europe.' (Nicolle Lambrechts,  Policy Advisor for CleanTech & Innovation, Region of Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands)

'The peer review has proven very useful for the implementation of our recently approved SECAP (Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan). At the moment, we are in the process of discussing the uptake of the given peer recommendations with our local stakeholders. For sure, active stakeholder involvement and the organisation of the peer review at an early stage of policy design help to get the most out of the cooperation.’ (Emilie van de Weyer, Project Officer for Energy and Mobility, Ministry of the German-speaking Community of Belgium).

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