Smart specialisation for regions19/07/17Government
The European Commission is taking action to help regions build resilient economies in the era of globalisation.
Globalisation, the commission says, has brought enormous benefits to the less-developed economies of the world, as well as opportunities for EU member states.
While these benefits are spread across the globe, the costs are often borne unevenly, as a commission paper on harnessing globalisation describes.
Europe needs to empower its regions and help them create value in order to take up the challenge of economic modernisation, which means embracing innovation, digitisation, decarbonisation and developing skills.
Hence why the commission has proposed a set of actions to help Europe’s regions invest in niche areas of competitive strength, i.e. smart specialisation.
It is hoped that cities and regions can then generate innovation, resilience and growth.
European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: “We have entered the ‘global’ era, as President [Jean-Claude] Juncker said, whereby the impact of global challenges is felt first at the local level. Our economies are undergoing deep changes; we can’t reverse that process, but we can help our regions equip themselves with the right tools for robust and lasting growth – this is what smart specialisation is about.”
The calls for interest for the industrial transition regions pilot action will be launched in the autumn, with the inter-regional partnerships launched throughout the remainder of this year and next.
Under these strategies, local businesses are set to receive financial support to develop innovative products and expand beyond local markets.
Likewise, the strategies have inspired better links between science and business, as well as improved co-ordination at all levels of local governance.