The objective of the RegioStars Awards is to identify good practices in regional development and to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions. The RegioStars awards form part of the Commission's Regions for Economic Change initiative, which aims to highlight good practice in urban and regional development.
RegioStars 2014 Finalists
The RegioStars Awards Jury has announced the finalists for the RegioStars 2014 awards which honour Europe's most inspirational and innovative regional projects. The RegioStars Awards Jury singled out 19 finalists from 80 projects supported by EU cohesion policy funds on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership.
The finalists come from regions and cities in 17 Member States: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
They will be showcasing their projects before the awards jury, chaired by former Committee of the Regions President Luc Van den Brande, on 8 October during the 11th annual European Week of Regions and Cities – OPEN DAYS 2013. The winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony presented by Commissioner Hahn in Brussels on 31 March 2014.
The 2014 finalists, in no particular order, are as follows:
CAT. 1 Smart growth: SME innovation
"JIC Innovation Park" – South Moravia (CZ)
JIC Innovation Park is a set of services and infrastructure in South Moravian Region in the Czech Republic. It houses almost 60 innovative companies and start-ups ranging from online services, software engineering, computer security, civil engineering, to biotechnology, bioinformatics, robotics and other areas. The Innovation Park provides tailor-made consulting services and organizes workshops, conferences, educational and networking activities. It provides access to in-house PR services and office space and provides a network of specialized service providers. This makes JIC Innovation Park the biggest and above all most complex organization of its kind in the Czech Republic, which would not have been possible without the support from Structural Funds.
More info: JIC Innovation Park
"The Road Towards Entrepreneurial Poland" - Masovian Voivodeship (PL)
The “Road Towards Entrepreneurial Poland” project has been designed with a view to develop modern and pro-innovative services for young entrepreneurs and to support the implementation of innovative organizational, technological and IT solutions. The strategic objective of the project is to create favourable conditions to shape and develop entrepreneurship in Poland. The project focuses on the modernization and development of the resources of the business environment in Poland in the area of providing pro-innovative start-up services. New and innovative businesses have been started and developing dynamically.
More info: Academic Business Incubators (ABI)
"Art on Chairs" – North (PT)
Art on Chairs is an ingenious and innovative approach to the problem of linking creative industries to traditional industries, in particular the furniture industry. Aiming at supporting SMEs to evolve in the value chain and acquire further control of it through the incorporation of creative knowledge and a focus on innovation, Art on Chairs was promoted by the Municipality of Paredes in association with local partners and universities: University of Aveiro, Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, Matosinhos School of Art and Design and the Institute for Research in Design, Media and Culture (ID+). Art on Chairs focuses on approximating the furniture industry to designers and create a large scale demonstration effect that could effectively boost a new attitude towards cooperation and the development of creative capacities within the manufacturing SMEs.
More info: Municipality of Paredes
"NovaMedTech" - East-Mid Sweden (SE)
NovaMedTech aims to support new products and services in the field of biomedical engineering. NovaMedTech's model is a sustainable way to bring innovation to the market that will lead to an increased quality of health care. The project enables partners in industry, academy and health care services to cooperate in an innovative and entrepreneurial environment. Thanks to the project, new products and services have reached the market, new innovations have come of use in the health care area and knowledge growth has been promoted.
More info: NovaMedTech
"Innovating For Growth" - London (UK)
Innovating for Growth is a premium relationship-managed growth project designed to help ambitious and committed SMEs to grow and create high value knowledge based employment across all parts of London. Based in central London, the project holds the largest collection of published business and intellectual property information in the UK to support innovators and entrepreneurs from inspiration through to successfully launching and developing new businesses.
More info: Innovating for Growth
"CATE" - Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak (ETC – SE, DK, NO)
CATE "Cluster for Accelerator Technology" is a project initiated by researchers from universities in the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak region, the ÖKS-region, in collaboration with regional councils and business organisations as well as with ESS, the European Spallation Source. The 19 partners come from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The purpose of the project is to strengthen the skills of local companies in the field of accelerator technology so they can take advantage of the potential of the two large research facilities to be built in the ÖKS-region. They will primarily, when completed, be used for studies in materials science, life sciences and medicine. Together they represent an investment in the ÖKS-region of about 3 billion Euros, but companies involved in CATE will also be able to take advantage of other large-scale research facilities that are built worldwide.
More info: Cluster for Accelerator Technology - CATE
CAT. 2 - Sustainable growth: Green growth and jobs through Bio-economy
"Ecoponto em casa" – North (PT)
Maiambiente is a local public company, dedicated to waste collection and street cleaning, serving the municipality of Maia and their 135,000 inhabitants. The objective of the project was to provide an innovative door-to-door waste collection service, based on an easy to use disposal system with dedicated wheeled bins for paper, packaging, glass and rest fractions, in each house, equipped with RFID technology for identification, communication, monitoring and reporting. The project contributes to reinforce the recycling industry, upgrade jobs qualifications, improve urban health and safety, reduce natural resources consumption as well as reduce pollutant emissions.
More info: Maiambiente company
"BEACON" - West Wales and the Valleys (UK)
The development of plant/crop bio-refinery technologies is the goal of the BEACON project. The project aims to use the concept of bio-refining to work with Welsh end user companies to produce a wide range of products from plant material tailored to their future product requirements. It seeks to give Welsh manufacturing companies support by developing these renewable products as well as in the future environmental and economic sustainability of their businesses through application of these developing technologies. This means the potential to generate highly skilled jobs across business sectors in rural, coastal and industrial areas and generate economic growth in Wales.
More info: BEACON
"ORGANEXT" - Euregio Meuse-Rhine (ETC – BE, DE, NL)
ORGANEXT, an Interreg IV-A Euregio Meuse-Rhine project including project partners from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, investigates and valorises the intelligent and sustainable solutions that organic nano-materials can offer for many different domains e.g. cleantech applications, renewable energy solutions and (nano)electronics. ORGANEXT uses a coordinated cluster approach combining the strengths of the various research institutes in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine into one virtual "Euregional Nanomaterials Analysis Lab" that supports the business community to reach successful economic valorisation in the sector. This contributes to the further development of green growth and jobs through bio-economy in the European Union.
More info: ORGANEXT
"ARBOR" – North West Europe (ETC – UK, IE, DE, LU, NL, BE)
ARBOR fosters and accelerates sustainable development and use of biomass in North West Europe to facilitate the sustainable achievement of 2020 energy objectives, and to make the EU a world-class centre for Biomass utilisation. The partners triple helix organisations from UK (West Midlands), Ireland (Dublin), Germany (Saarland), Luxembourg, Netherlands (Gelderland) and Belgium (Flanders), along with observers from France and Switzerland. ARBOR’s innovative transnational approach provides smart solutions to help address individual country supply and demand issues around biomass. Innovative pilot projects have contributed to the implementation of biomass energy transformation solutions. The project helps to reach the achievement of targets set in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans for renewable energy by 2020.
More info: ARBOR
CAT. 3 - Inclusive growth: Creating jobs for the young generation
"Einstiegszeit" (All aboard for young people in Brandenburg) – Brandenburg (DE)
The project “Einstiegszeit” is an important service provided by the state of Brandenburg for unemployed youngsters who have completed vocational education or higher education to enter a profession, as well as for SMEs with regards to human resources and consulting. The project promotes unemployed young adults up to the age of 30 with an individualised placement service taking into account individual needs. SMEs who employ youngsters also receive human resources and organisational consulting with a goal to develop skilled workers. Due to the sparse population in some areas, especially along the border to Poland, unconventional solutions are necessary with regards to the design of the work place and working hours to carry out the job placement. The project is implemented in the entire federal state of Brandenburg with an emphasis on rural areas.
More info: "Time for entry of youths in Brandenburg"
"SAS – Springboard for the active guidance of young job-seekers" – Limousin (FR)
The project “SAS pour l'orientation active des jeunes” (“Springboard for the active guidance of young job-seekers”) aims to enable young people up to the age of 25 and who have been looking for a job over a year with a professional experience of 3 months. This initiative enhances their confidence, expands their professional opportunities and increases their skills. By now, 70% of the young people who completed this session found employment after a few months.
More info: SAS project
"Ideas! New enterprises!" – Umbria (IT)
The project provides "mobility grants" for the inhabitants of Umbria who have a business idea to undertake an international traineeship hosted by enterprises, research institutes, science parks, business incubators located in Europe. Tutoring and accompanying services are offered to the beneficiaries during the whole process. Secondly, the project also offers "financial incentives to support business creation" to those former beneficiaries of the mobility grant who developed a business plan. Those resources are used to finance start- up costs, including the purchase or leasing of equipment, machinery and tools required for operating new production plants.
More info: "Ideas! New Enterprises!"
"Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme" – Cornwall (UK)
Fifteen Cornwall and its high profile Apprenticeship Programme is a public-private-social partnership inspiring people through food to transform lives and career opportunities for disadvantaged young people who need a second chance. Linking an international brand led restaurant business (Jamie Oliver) with a local commercial enterprise (Watergate Bay Hotel), the charity works with the local Department of Work and Pensions and Cornwall College to develop a Work Integrated Social Enterprise that has led food innovation in one of the least developed regions in the EU. The Fifteen Cornwall Restaurant was built with ERDF investment. The restaurant offers vocational training environment for disadvantaged unemployed young people who face a range of complex challenges including substance misuse, criminality, disability, lack of education and training.
More info: Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme
"Mini Europe" – Province of Flevoland (ETC – NL, UK, SE, ES, HU, RO, GR, IT)
MINI EUROPE focused on the main themes of promoting entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure for innovation to SMEs. In particular, it addressed the issues of increasing involvement of under-represented groups (like young people, minorities, disabled people, and women) in entrepreneurship. The overall objective of MINI EUROPE was to improve the political instruments and the strategies to sustain the development of small and medium enterprises and put these supporting schemes into concrete practice. The way MINI EUROPE pursued this goal was through interregional networking: bringing together experts, stakeholders, practitioners from eight European countries who shared information, meeting each other virtually (via videoconferences) or physically (via study visits). The following regions were involved: Flevoland (NL, lead), Tameside, Greater Manchester (UK), Észak-Alföld (HU), Maramures (RO), ALMI Mid (SE), Valencia/IMPIVA (ES), Patras Science Park (GR) and Veneto region (IT).
More info: MINI Europe
CAT. 4 - CITYSTAR: Investments projects in sustainable urban public transport
"Ecological transport" – Gdynia (PL)
The project aims to enhance the power supply system of the trolleybus traction network. It also purchased 28 new trolleybuses to increase the number of modern, eco-friendly and accessible trolleybuses. The direct objectives of the project are to increase the competitiveness of environmentally friendly public transport and to improve quality of service. Those improvements have rebuilt the image of public transport in Gdynia, causing an increase in the number of passengers, and creating direct benefits for the residents and the local economy.
More info: Trolleybus Company Gdynia
"Transport in Kielce" – Kielce (PL)
The development of the public transportation system in Kielce Metropolitan Area is the largest project of the city of Kielce. It will increase the region's competitiveness; improve road infrastructure and public transport quality in the city. Expansion and modernisation of the transport infrastructure will contribute to the increase of professional and spatial mobility of the citizens, extending their possibilities on the job market. The project will be completed at the end of 2013.
More info: City of Kielce
"Swansea City Bus Station" - Swansea (UK)
The new Swansea City Bus Station was formally opened to the public on 6th December 2010. The new bus station is clean, safe, light and airy with modern facilities including direct and convenient access to the Quadrant Shopping Centre to which the bus station is joined. 20 bus bays are provided along with an additional 3 coach bays. The new Bus Station has led to an increase of bus passengers and improved customer experience, as citizens feel safer while using the bus station during evening hours. The renovation of the bus station has also improved public transport interchange.
More info: Swansea Government
"Ticket to Kyoto" (T2K)" - Brussels, Bielefeld, Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam (ETC – BE, DE, FR, NL, UK)
In March 2010, 5 highly qualified and motivated public transport companies - moBiel (Bielefeld), RATP (Paris), RET (Rotterdam), STIB (Brussels), and TFGM (Manchester) - joined forces in “Ticket to Kyoto (T2K)”, a 4-year Interreg IVB NWE project. T2K implements the principle of low CO2 emissions as a new standard for European urban public transport operators. It offers smart transferable solutions to increase public transport without increasing the CO2 emissions it produces, and to reduce dependency from fossil fuel. Through genuine transnational cooperation enhancing the potential of local green economies, T2K successfully delivers: best practices, innovative investments, long-term strategies for CO2 and energy reduction, effective solutions, and smart communication to the general public about the benefits.
More info: Ticket to Kyoto
The 6th annual edition of the Awards attracted a record 149 applications, with 27 highly commended finalists. But 5 of them have outshined the competition: flagship projects of innovation in Porto, the North West of England, Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Berlin and Lithuania have this year been honoured with the Awards and taken centre stage in Brussels.
The RegioStars Awards have been organised by the European Commission since 2008.
See project descriptions and videos of past finalists and winners :
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