Research and Innovation: CoR and European Commission to set up a ‘Regional Knowledge Platform’

| February 27, 2015 | 0 Comments

logo_cor_enThe European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation have engaged to enhance the role of regions as drivers for research and innovation, thereby contributing to growth and job creation in Europe. Speaking at the CoR Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC), Research, Science and Innovation Commissioner Carlos Moedas committed to work with the CoR, in particular via the setting-up of a ‘Regional Knowledge Platform’ aimed at bringing together knowledge and expertise from regions across the EU. Welcoming the proposal, CoR President Markku Markkula stressed that such a platform, jointly led by the CoR and DG Research and Innovation, would be key in identifying investments in education, research and innovation, increasing their territorial focus and ensuring better synergy to fuel productivity, growth and job creation.

To kick off the activities of the newly-formed SEDEC commission – which will guide the CoR work in research and innovation, among other fields, for the next five years – more than 100 EU local and regional representatives who make up the SEDEC commission engaged in a debate with Moedas on the regional impact of Research and Innovation.

Addressing the commissioner and SEDEC members, Chairman of the SEDEC Commission Yoomi Renström (SE/PES), Mayor of Ovanåker, pointed out that a proper use of the EU Investment instruments will be crucial in tackling the innovation divide between and within Member States in terms of innovation capacity. She went on to underline: “There are increasing regional disparities in terms of Research and Innovation, which means that regions lagging behind in the field are deprived from a key lever for growth and job creation. This is why we need to use EU investments, including the European Fund for Strategic Investments, to set the framework conditions for innovation in the areas of knowledge, industry and green economy. The CoR, and its SEDEC commission in particular, will follow closely developments in this field, which is crucial for territorial cohesion.”

CoR President Markku Markkula stressed: “I do believe that investments in education, research and innovation as well as better synergies between these three elements of the so-called Knowledge Triangle can considerably fuel productivity, growth and job creation in Europe. However, I am also fully convinced that this aim might not be achieved if we do not start to adopt an increased territorial approach to research and innovation.”

President Markkula confirmed that concrete steps would be taken for joint actions with the Commission’s DG for Research and Innovation, such as the establishment of a Regional Knowledge Platform.

Commissioner Moedas made a strong plea for the CoR to be fully on board to make the new Commission’s Investment Package a success for funding opportunities. The Commissioner emphasised: “I wish to see the principles of Horizon 2020 reinforced by synergies with Structural Funds executed at regional level. For the first time, Horizon 2020 includes a clear legal mandate to maximize synergies with Structural and Investment Funds. Regions are in the best position to identify new opportunities for funding synergies in line with the relevant national or regional Smart Specialisation Strategies.”

Following the intervention of Commissioner Moedas, the Deputy Director-General of DG CNECT Zoran Stančič addressed the SEDEC members on the opportunities to build a Digital Single Market, the role of implementing high technologies and the importance of involving regions in the process of creating a vibrant social and digital economy. He announced that concrete cooperation in that respect would ensue between DG CNECT and the CoR. An active debate followed on the topics of broadband access, cyber security and data protection, the Telecom Single Market, net neutrality, roaming and copyright modernization.

The European Committee of the Regions’ SEDEC commission – The Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC) coordinates the European Committee of the Regions’ work in the areas of employment, social policy, equal opportunities, innovation, research and technology, Digital Agenda, education and training, audio-visual industry and media, youth and sport, multilingualism and culture. It gathers about 110 regional and local elected representatives from the 28 EU member states. It is chaired by Yoomi Renström (SE/PES), Member of Ovanåker Municipal Council.

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Category: A Frontpage, Committee of the Regions (CoR), EU, Politics

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