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Guide to Social Innovation

Guide to Social Innovation (February 2013)

Social innovation is in the mouths of many today, at policy level and on the ground. It is not new as such: people have always tried to find new solutions for pressing social needs. But a number of factors have spurred its development recently.

There is, of course, a link with the current crisis and the severe employment and social consequences it has for many of Europe's citizens. On top of that, the ageing of Europe's population, fierce global competition and climate change became burning societal challenges. The sustainability and adequacy of Europe's health and social security systems as well as social policies in general is at stake. This means we need to have a fresh look at social, health and employment policies, but also at education, training and skills development, business support, industrial policy, urban development, etc., to ensure socially and environmentally sustainable growth, jobs and quality of life in Europe.
PDFen (5 MB)


Green Growth

Connecting Smart and Sustainable Growth through Smart Specialisation - A practical guide for ERDF Managing Authorities (November 2012)

The Europe 2020 strategy is built on the three objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth to be implemented as 'three mutually reinforcing priorities'. In order to deliver on these goals and provide a response to the economic and financial crisis, it is of utmost importance that all involved actors connect these areas of action, involving all relevant stakeholders, developing synergies and boosting the added-value of public investments.

To promote a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy it is clear that the way ahead has to include significant innovation: sustainable growth needs to go hand in hand with smart growth in order for the EU and its citizens to reap the full benefits of a switch to the green economy.

pdf en (12 MB)


Research Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation

Research Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation
Factsheet - February 2012 pdf bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv




Guide to Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation

Guide to Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation
This guide has been conceived as a methodological guidance for policy-makers and implementing bodies on how to prepare for and how to design, draft and implement a national/regional research and innovation strategy for smart specialisation (RIS3). Rather than an all-encompassing, prescriptive document, the guide is to be understood as a general orientation document which will evolve as the concept develops. Indeed, the document will be improved and updated on a regular basis.
Guide to Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (2012)




Guide to braodband investment

Guide to broadband investment PDFen(September 2011)

The "EU Guide on Broadband investment models" is the first attempt by the Commission to advise public authorities managing EU funds on the strengths and weaknesses of different models of investment in high speed internet infrastructures. It provides advice to managing authorities and project promoters on the issues that should be considered when planning a public sector investment in broadband infrastructure based on a detailed review of several broadband investment projects (mostly ERDF co-funded) and includes messages on success factors and lessons learned. This guide was born under the Digital Agenda for Europe and has been co-signed by Commissioners Hahn, Kroes, Ciolos and Almunia. It complements other activities by the Commission services such as the European Broadband Portal and the Bottom up Broadband initiative.



The balance between sectoral and integrated approaches and the involvement of sub-national levels in EU Member States: analysing policy practices in the fields of innovation, transport and labour markets:




Connecting Universities to regional Growth : A practical guide

Connecting Universities to regional Growth : A practical guide - pdf en

This EU Guide has been designed to enable public authorities to promote the active engagement of universities and other higher education institutions in regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation, in cooperation with research centres, businesses and other partners in the civil society. It can also be used by academic and economic partners to explore the benefits they can expect from working together for regional development. It is not an academic publication but a practical tool with recommendations, part of a series of guides prepared in the framework of the Smart Specialisation Platform set up by the Commission for providing methodological assistance and practical guidance to national and regional policy makers involved in designing and delivering innovation strategies for smart specialisation. It will be useful for the last years of the current programming period and for preparing the next one.




smarth growth

Regional Policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020 - COM(2010) 553 - 06/10/2010

EU regional funds can help unlock the growth potential of the Union as a whole, by targeting investment in innovation in all regions.  This is the central message of a Commission Communication 'Regional Policy contributing to smart growth in Europe 2020' adopted on 6 October 2010.  The Communication encourages national and regional authorities to design 'smart specialisation strategies' to help regions identify their best assets. Concentrating resources on a limited number of priorities will ensure a more effective use of public funds and help to leverage higher levels of private investment.

Communication : pdf български čeština dansk deutsch en español eesti keel ελληνικά suomi francais italiano latviešu valoda lietuvių kalba magyar Malti Nederlands polski português Româna slovenčina slovenščina svenska - Annex pdf en




smarth growth

Regional Policy for smart growth in Europe 2020 pdf en

Innovation is key to staying competitive in a rapidly changing world. Europe's competitiveness, its capacity to create new jobs, its social fabric and cohesion, and, overall, our future standard of living depend on the ability to drive innovation in products, services, businesses and organisations. Europe also needs more innovation to deal with challenges such as ageing societies, climate change, energy and resource efficiency and to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as outlined in the EU 2020 strategy1. Success in achieving these goals will be determined to a great extent by decisions made at local and regional levels. Regional policy is, therefore, vital for mobilising the full innovation potential of EU regions.

Regional Policy for smart growth in Europe 2020 pdf en




smarth growthRegional Policy contributing to sustainable growth in Europe pdf en

Investing now in sustainable growth is crucial for Europe and its regions to seize the many opportunities of a low-carbon, resource-efficient and climate-resilient society. This is a strategic investment in times of austerity, which can build on an internationally recognised European competitive advantage, to boost regional development in the Union. Our ability to preserve nature and its resources, to save energy and boost the take-up of renewable energy sources, and to tap into the potential of eco-innovations, will have a decisive impact on our growth opportunities, the creation of new jobs and the well-being of the EU's citizens. It will also determine whether we can achieve the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth targeted by the Europe 2020 strategy.

Regional Policy contributing to sustainable growth in Europe pdf en




Regional impact of technological changes

Study on the development of diagnoses and regional innovation strategies in the French regions under the ERDF Operational Programmes for the 2007 – 2013 programming period

The aim of this study was to analyse the development of diagnostics and of the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS), and more particularly to examine: the process of developing and adapting the RIS in the regions, and the chosen methods of governance; - the main developments or reorientations in relation to the initial situation in 2007, and how the process and its constitutive elements may have contributed; the main conclusions drawn from the RIS exercise, particularly with a view to the mid-term review of the ERDF operational programmes.

Foreword pdf en fr - Summary pdf en fr - Synthesis pdf en fr - Regional Factsheets pdf fr




The regional impact of technological change in 2020

The regional impact of technological change in 2020

This study highlights the great diversity in development pathways and trajectories of innovation across European regions. A regional knowledge-based economy has multidimensional aspects. It includes a variety of knowledge activities and multiple interactions among a range of actors including universities, research institutes, enterprises, knowledge workers and institutions. The spatial patterns and trends for the different aspects of the knowledge-based economy vary significantly across Europe. Most aspects show convergence and generate catching-up processes, while some show divergence between European regions.

Synthesis Report pdf en




Investing in our regions

Investing in our regions : Research and Innovation

A selection of Research and Inovation projects co-funded by regional policy, demonstrating how they have had an impact on the lives of people across the European Union.

This publication is extracted from a collection of 150 projects grouped around ten themes.

pdf de en fr




Creativity and Innovation - Driving competitiveness in the Regions

Creativity and Innovation - Driving competitiveness in the Regions
Inforegio Panorama Magazine n°29 - Spring 2009

"Innovative practices and creative solutions are a springboard to the growth and well-being of our regions and countries"

pdf bg cs





Innovative strategies and actions - Results from 15 Years of Regional Experimentation

Innovative strategies and actions - Results from 15 Years of Regional Experimentation (2007)

An analyse of the results of regional experimentation supported by the Union over the last 15 years
highlighting the methodologies and tools which can be used by regions as they develop or refine their innovation strategies.

pdf de en fr




Regional Innovation Governance

Regional Innovation Governance (2010)

Regional Focus n°02/2010

This study provides an overview of and insight into different approaches towards innovation and the contribution of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes. It presents different approaches towards the governance of innovation; examines complementarities between the ERDF and the national/regional funds for innovation; shows an obvious effort to involve partners in the design and in some cases in the implementation of the programme; and argues that there is still room to improve the effectiveness of ERDF support for innovation.

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