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Mobilising innovation potential for growth: Commissioner Hahn calls on EU regions to act

(08 November 2013)

Mobilising innovation potential for growth: Commissioner Hahn calls on EU regions to act

Improving the competitiveness of the EU's regions through EU investments and targeted planning is underlined today by Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy. Speaking today at the conference "Regions as motors of new growth through smart specialisation", in Brussels, Commissioner Hahn urges regions to identify their key assets and focus resources on them to enhance their competitive advantage. The high-level event, organised by the Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and the Region of Flanders, takes stock of how these so called "smart specialisation" strategies are progressing across Europe's countries and regions. These are a core element in the new EU Cohesion Policy as well as a pre-condition for the use of investments under the European Regional Development Fund.

The debate comes at a crucial time, as the proposals for the new Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 are at a final phase. Key to the new reformed policy is the introduction of conditions that should be met before funds can be spent. One of those is the development of a clear and carefully designed "smart specialisation strategy" for research and innovation. This should guide how investments are used over the next 7 years and ensure clear aims are delivered on the ground.

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