Coronavirus response and recovery: EU support for regions to work together in innovative pilot projects

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The Commission has announced the winners of a new EU-funded initiative for interregional partnerships in four areas: coronavirus-related innovative solutions, circular economy in health, sustainable and digital tourism, and hydrogen technologies in carbon–intensive regions. The aim of this new pilot action, which builds on the successful experience of a similar action on “interregional innovation projects” launched at the end of 2017, is to mobilise regional and national innovation actors to address the impact of coronavirus. This initiative also helps the recovery using the new Commission programmes through scaling up projects in new priority areas, such as health, tourism or hydrogen.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Interregional partnerships are proof that when we cooperate beyond borders, we are stronger as we come up with smart and useful solutions for all. This new pilot initiative supporting interregional innovative partnerships is especially important in the current coronavirus context, showing how much cohesion policy is committed to contribute to Europe’s prompt response and recovery.”

Following a Commission’s call for expression of interest launched in July 2020, four interregional partnerships were selected, with one or several coordinating regions in the lead:

  • País Vasco (ES), together with three regions, will focus on the support to an emerging industry sector for prediction and prevention of the coronavirus pandemic;
  • In the field of Circular Economy in Health, the RegioTex partnership on textile innovation involves 16 regions led by North Portugal (PT);
  • In the field of Sustainable and Digital Tourism, the partnership coordinated by the Time Machine Organisation, an international cooperation network in technology, science and cultural heritage, involves five regions and Cyprus, led by Thüringen (DE); 
  • In order to enable the development of innovative solutions based on Hydrogen technologies in carbon–intensive regions with a broad geographical coverage, two partnerships will merge: the European Hydrogen Valleys partnership gathering 12 regions led by Aragon (ES), Auvergne Rhône Alpes (FR), Normandie (FR) and Northern Netherlands (NL), and the partnership led by Košice Region (SK) with four other regions.

These partnerships will benefit from the Commission experts’ support, providing, among others, advice on how to best combine EU funds to finance projects. In addition to this hands-on support from the Commission, each partnership can benefit from external advisory service of up to €100,000 for scale-up and commercialisation activities. The money comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Next steps

The work with the partnerships will start in this month and will run for one year.This pilot further stimulates interregional cooperation, with the possibility for the partnerships to apply for support under the new programmes and the “Interregional Innovation Investment” instrument from 2021 onwards.

Background

In recent years, the Commission has called on national and regional authorities to develop smart specialisation strategies aiming at more effective innovation policies and enhanced interregional cooperation in value chains across borders. To date, more than 180 regional smart specialisation strategies have been adopted. Their implementation is supported by €40 billion of EU Cohesion policy funds.

As part of a set of actions presented in 2017 by the Commission to take smart specialisation a step further, a pilot action on “Interregional innovation projects” sought to test new ways to encourage regions and cities to develop new value chains and scale up their good ideas in the EU single market. This pilot action, which involved nine partnerships in high-tech priority sectors, was completed in 2019 and showed significant potential to accelerate the investment readiness of interregional investment projects.

The lessons learned will be integrated in the new “Interregional Innovation Investment” instrument proposed in the framework of the post 2020 Cohesion Policy package.

The new pilot action has similar goals. Moreover, in the context of the crisis, it aims at finding solutions to the coronavirus challenges and accelerating the recovery through the commercialisation and scale-up of innovation investment. 

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Climate change is destroying a barrier that protects the US from hurricanes

Why the fight against nature loss should be a business priority

In an era of global uncertainty, the SDGs can be our guide

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

State aid: Commission approves €380 million German rescue aid to Condor

Future fit: 3 ways fashion can be more sustainable

Data Protection Regulation one year on: 73% of Europeans have heard of at least one of their rights

The British are the most positive in Europe on the benefits of immigration

FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken

Ignorance or Refusal: Determinants in the individual’s choice for palliative care

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

France breaks budget promises once again and the EU’s finance offices are shaking

6 ways social innovators are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Hope for ‘long-elusive progress’ in negotiating peace in eastern Ukraine

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

5 Ways Companies Can Progress More Women into Leadership Roles

This Latin American country is keeping COVID-19 firmly under control. How?

Shaping Europe’s digital future: op-ed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Reducing disaster risk is a good investment, and ‘the right thing to do’, says Guterres

Burning Amazon rainforests: Darting towards the doom of Human Race

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

The four top Americans who flew to Europe perplexed things about Trump’s intentions

3 actions for business to prepare for a post-pandemic future

Germany and OSCE support an east-west dialogue in Ukraine without exclusions

The global liberal order is in trouble – can it be salvaged, or will it be replaced?

Humanitarian Aid 2016: The needs, the highlights, the crisis and the relief

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Safeguarding civilians, strengthening Ebola response in DR Congo, marking Fistula Day, updates on CAR and Syria

Burundi election countdown amid ‘deteriorating’ human rights situation

This Syrian national has been trapped at Kuala Lumpur airport for 3 months

UN chief urges Hamas and Israel to ‘step back from the brink of another devastating conflict’ in Gaza

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

These 3 countries are global offshore wind powerhouses

We need to talk about mental health at work, say employees

COVID-19, higher education and the impact on society: what we know so far and what could happen

Investing in education and skills can improve the health of both humans and planet. Here’s why

We need better alignment between climate and trade. Here’s a roadmap

The unpleasant truth of plastic straws

Asia and Pacific on course to miss all Sustainable Development Goals, says UN region chief

How global tech companies can champion ethical AI

European Union launches WTO trade dispute against Colombia’s unfair duties on frozen fries

EU Cohesion policy: Commission and EBRD promote innovative use of data in public procurement involving EU funds

FROM THE FIELD: What do you want to be when you grow up? One day I will…

Why the downturn is good news for subscription companies

Aid convoy for north-east Syria postponed over security concerns – UN relief chief

China’s stock markets show recovery signs while EU is closely watching in anticipation of the €10bn investment

Governments should step up their efforts to give people skills to seize opportunities in a digital world

Digital Single Market: Europe announces eight sites to host world-class supercomputers

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF

Gender Hierarchy in Medicine: From University to Specialization

On youth unemployment: unemployment is even bleaker for youth with disabilities

Youth not prioritised in new Commission

Can ECB’s €60 billion a month save Eurozone?

‘Complacency’ a factor in stagnating global vaccination rates, warn UN health chiefs

The EU Commission is lying to the “Right2Water” campaign

‘You can and should do more’ to include people with disabilities, wheelchair-bound Syrian advocate tells Security Council in searing speech

Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s