Over 140 participants from the entire EU 28 (and beyond) representing national, regional and local authorities involved with EU funds, stakeholders in textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries, namely companies, industrial associations, research and innovation centres as well as education and training providers exchanged their views on existing regional initiatives on smart specialisation in the context of the Investment Juncker Plan and the Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills.
The speakers also included high level regional ministers of economy representing Lombardy and Piedmont of Italy, Norte of Portugal, North East Romania, Valencia of Spain and West Flanders of Belgium.
During the event, the participants:
- shared experiences on regional initiatives related to technological development, innovation, clusters and upgrading skills in textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries,
- discussed how to develop synergies in interregional cooperation among the stakeholders in the textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries (for instance, the RegioTex initiative put forward by regions specialising in textile and clothing sector)
- promoted better use of EU funding opportunities by the stakeholders in order to boost the competitiveness of the textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries.
The event was organised in the framework of the Investment Juncker Plan. In this context, the European Commission has created a Smart Specialisation Platform on Industrial Modernisation to provide hands-on support to regions in order to attract investment related to industrial modernization and skills. The ultimate aim is to create investment pipeline of mature projects in new growth areas with the support of different EU investment instruments (e.g. the European Structural and Investment Funds, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)).
An important factor of the success of the economic modernization and growth is an adequate set of relevant skills. Within the framework of A New Skills Agenda for Europe, under the Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills, 6 industrial sectors have been selected, including textile, clothing, leather and footwear industries to deliver sector-specific skills solutions, which will be financed under Erasmus+ and COSME.
The presentations during the event included:
Key note speeches:
Panel 1: Attracting investment for industrial modernization: good practices of cooperation between regions, enterprises and research centres
Panel 2: Upgrading skills - good practices of cooperation between enterprises, education centres and regions