Regions for Economic Change
'Regions for Economic Change' was an initiative that complemented the cohesion policy's Territorial Cooperation Objective 2007-13. Its goal was to promote the exchange of good practices between Europe's regions as a way of boosting innovative activity. The initiative was aimed at helping regional policy to support the EU's strategic goals of boosting growth and jobs across Europe.
Networking activities under 'Regions for Economic Change' were operated though the interregional cooperation programme, INTERREG IVC, and through URBACT II, the cooperation programme for urban issues. Those programmes had a combined budget of EUR 375 million for the period 2007-13. The initiative provided the Commission with the possibility to label some projects as 'fast-track' networks where they made a particular effort to ensure that good ideas reach the main investment programmes supported by EU Structural and Cohesion funding.
'Regions for Economic Change' also included dissemination and communication activities. The Commission held an annual conference, at which the best regional innovation projects were crowned 'RegioStars' as part of an awards scheme.
The ‘Regions for Economic Change’ initiative was one of the inspirations for the idea of ‘smart specialisation strategies’. The RegioStars awards, one of the most successful elements of the strategy, continue to be held annually.