14th June 2012 | Brussels (Belgium)

EU Structural Funds are seen as an ever more valuable source of growth-enhancing investments for Member States and regions. But how can we programme and spend the funds effectively to help transform our regional economies and yield long-term economic impact and sustainable jobs and growth? The European Commission in its proposals for the 2014-2020 programming period suggests a concentration of major parts of ERDF spending around three thematic goals: 1) Research and Innovation, 2) SME competitiveness and 3) Shift to a low-carbon economy. In addition, it invites Member States and regions to unlock the power of innovation by drawing up comprehensive research and innovation strategies for smart specialisation. This has effectively been proposed as a pre-condition for using ERDF funds for the next programming period.These strategies do five important things:They focus on each country’s/region’s priorities, challenges and needs for innovation and knowledge-based development.They aim to stimulate private sector investment in research and technological development (RTD).They build on each country’s/region’s capabilities, competitive advantages and potential for excellence.They get stakeholders fully involved and encourage innovation and experimentation.They are evidence-based and include sound monitoring and evaluation systems.This 5th Regions For Economic Change conference will discuss the challenges, benefits and possible limitations of implementing the smart specialisation conditionality through EU Structural Funds and how to best tailor smart specialisation to different national/regional frameworks and contexts.

Registration Information: By invitation only

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