Side events

OPEN DAYS 2014 > Programme > Side events

Side events

In parallel to the OPEN DAYS official programme, a number of related events are taking place in Brussels throughout the week. These are referred to as OPEN DAYS side events. Their content, registration process, access to them and their location are entirely the responsibility of the respective event organiser.

The side events are listed in chronological order. Please click on the title for the extended information.

Contribution of the Slovak Republic to the European Research Area. New Research Infrastructure

15 October 2015, 09:00 - 15:00
Slovak Liaison Office for Research and Development (SLORD), Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Centre for Scientific and Technical Information, Permanent Representation of Slovak Republic to the EU
Venue: Premises of the Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU - Avenue de Cortenbergh 107, 1000 Brussels

Since 2007 till 2013 Slovak Republic invested more than €1.4 billion from European structural funds in research and development (10% of overall allocation) particularly in building of new research infrastructure. During the seven years, brand new research infrastructure has been established or upgraded in all key research institutions. These investments also support new cooperation between academia and industry and therefore improve technology transfer of new knowledge.

The main goal of Slovakia is to build centers of excellence of European importance through the integration of these infrastructures and new upgrades funded from European Investment and Structural Funds in period 2013-2020. Slovakia is with four supported projects together with Portugal the most successful country in Teaming for Excellence first call for proposals.

The main aim of the conference is to introduce new Universities science parks and Research centers in different scientific areas. The event will provide space and opportunity for establishing further research collaboration.

Contact: Daniel Straka

Registration: Please, register online by 13 October 2015 -


Czech is Nano - overview of the nanotechnology sector in the Czech Republic

15 October 2015, 10:00 - 13:00
CzechInvest (the Investment and Business Development Agency of the Czech Republic) - CZELO (Czech Liaison Office for Research, Development and Innovation)
Venue: Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the European Union, Rue Caroly 15, Brussels

Main aim of this event is to provide an overview of the nanotechnology sector in the Czech Republic with several case studies of successful companies with high international profile (Contipro, IQ Structures, Pardam) and to offer a networking platform to establish closer contacts between various parts of the nanotechnology field in the European Union. Apart from the introduction, the topics will cover the areas of nanomedicine, 3D nanoprinting, and nanostructures for energy storage or security measures. Among the speakers will be high level representatives from the Czech Republic as well as from the European Commission and Czech nanotechnology stakeholders.

Contact: Jiří Fusek - Kateřina Slavíková

Registration: All participants are kindly requested to register in advance by completing the registration form at before October 12, 2015.


In the northern reaches of Europe: local strategies for cross-border cooperation

6 October 2014, 11:00-12:00
Organiser: The Local Federation of East Lapland & Salla Gate- Kolarctic ENPI CBC project
Venue: East and North Finland EU Office, avenue Palmerston 24, B-1000 Brussels

Finnish East Lapland, like many other border regions of the High North, has sparse population, harsh climate and long distances. This part of Europe is also specifically affected by high unemployment rate, and demographic change. In this specific context, the cooperation promoted by the EU, in particular ENPI CBC programme, is providing new and important scopes for action and development opportunities for the local communities living close to the EU’s external border.

The seminar contains two presentations. In the first one attention will be paid to the lobbying and development strategies of the region of East Lapland. The second one will focus on practical problems and show concrete results of the ENPI CBC between East Lapland and South Kola peninsula. This will allow to assess to what extent, in this particular case, the EU cooperation is providing a tangible opportunity to “think and work across” the current institutional framework.

Participation is free.The conference is open to participants representing regional or national authorities, ENI/ENPI-programme authorities and other stakeholders, scholars and students of cross-border studies.

Presentations will be made in English. Discussions in English, French and Finnish. No interpretation will be provided.


Registration (open until 1 October)


Modern, Healthier, Educated and Safer Cities in line with ISO 18091:2014 for local governments. Microsoft CityNext best practices. Working lunch

6 October 2014, 11:00-14:00 (and 7 October 2014, 13:15-14:30)
Microsoft Corporation, Central & Eastern Europe Headquarters
Venue: Microsoft Executive Briefing Center in Brussels, Rue Montoyer 51, Brussels

Today, cities account for more than 50 percent of the world's population and produce 80 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). They also face extreme pressure to modernize infrastructure and provide more services to citizens while coping with economic austerity and dwindling financial resources. This is an opportunity and a challenge at the same time for governments, local & regional administration and potential beneficiaries of EU funds.

The objective of ISO 18091:2014 is to provide local governments with guidelines for achieving reliable results through the application of ISO 9001:2008 on an integral basis. Cities and regions today can provide stability and promote good governance when these are lacking at a national level. Microsoft’s CityNext is dabbling in increasing the efficient use of resources and the quality of life of its citizens in a bid to create healthier, greener, more prosperous cities for the future. 

Invitation and registration: Patrycja Kulpa, CEE Public Sector Marketing


The future of wine-growing in Europe: Challenges, opportunities or threats through CAP and TTIP?

6 October 2014, 12:00-14:30
Organiser: Ministry of Environment, Agriculture, Food, Winegrowing and Forestry of Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany)
Venue: Brussels Representation of Rhineland-Palatinate, 60, Avenue de Tervueren, B-1040 Brussels

Wine-growing is a core identity of many European countries and regions. For a durable and sustainable development of wine-growing, the wine sector in Europe needs reliable framework conditions. In November 2013 the basis for a reformed Common Agriculture Policy CAP was adopted. With the new rules for the authorization of vine plantings and the introduction of a direct payment scheme the wine sector is facing a paradigm shift. What will be the impacts on the wine market?

The free trade agreements currently negotiated with Canada and the USA – CETA and TTIP – also already loom on the horizon or closer. What will happen to Geographical Indications? Will there be GMOs used in the wine-making process? 

Contact: Ingeborg Niestroy



For an efficient, sustainable and smart conservation and management of natural resources in the Mediterranean area

6 October 2014, 14:00-17:30
Organiser: Association Internationale Forêts Méditerranéennes (AIFM)
Venue: European Forestry House, rue du Luxembourg 66, B-1000 Brussels

As part of the MEDLAND 2020 project, 14 partners from 13 MED projects created a common Policy Brief, titled 'Solutions of innovative tools and solutions for an efficient, sustainable and smart conservation and management of natural resources in the Mediterranean'. This document has been prepared as an extension of the Strategic Framework on Mediterranean Forests to other natural areas of the Mediterranean, including agricultural and suburban territories.

The Conference will be an opportunity to present the Policy brief to anybody who has an interest in natural resources in the Mediterranean area, and in particular to stakeholders and policy makers of all levels (European, national and regional). 

Contact: Sophie Vallée, Project manager & Coordinator

Innovative solutions for sustainable urban planning

6 October 2014, 14:30-18:30
Fondazione Alma Mater
Venue: Emilia Romagna Region Office, 21, Rue Montoyer, Bruxelles

The Build SEE project has the objective to set up guidelines to develop a 'green building management model' of cities, areas and suburbs, for supporting sustainable urban new constructions and requalification in residential buildings, supplying public administrations, enterprises and citizens with tools, recommendations and actions to bridge the gap to achieve low environmental impact and become eco-friendly.

At this event, the focus will be at presenting innovative solutions for urban planning from different countries (partners of Build SEE project) and discussing on the success factors of such good practices and how policy makers can stimulate the development of such solutions. 

Contact: Giulia Righetti
Draft agenda (pdf)
Registration: please send an email mentioning the name, organisation and country of the registree

On-site registration possible. Participation is free. 


The Architecture of Małopolska, Silesia and Opolskie - Ten Years of Poland in the EU

7 – 17 October 2014, all day and night
Organiser: Małopolska Region Brussels Office
Venue: Esplanade Solidarność, European Parliament, B-1000 Brussels

The exhibition presents the major architectural works realized in Małopolska, Silesia and Opolskie thanks to the co-funding of the European Union (EU). Displaying the most representative works undertaken since Poland’s integration to the EU, the exhibition pictures the current state of realisation of the 'Strategy of Southern Poland 2020'. 

Contact: Renata Jasiołek


Sustainable BiogasHeat for Europe’s regions – Final Project Conference

7 October 2014, 08:30-13:30
Organiser: Euroheat & Power
Venue: Silken Berlaymont, Boulevard Charlemagne 11-19, Brussels

Biogas is a domestic resource supplying sustainable energy and generating income in rural areas. It has many advantages for local communities: heat usage does not simply increase the efficiency of biogas plants, it increases self-sufficiency, decreases emissions and provides affordable comfort. Therefore, it is even more important to use this resource in the most efficient way.

The BiogasHeat project provides expertise to municipalities, local authorities, plant operators, planners, farmers, policy makers and many others, as well as insights in what has been achieved throughout the project including know-how about markets, legislative frameworks, technical solutions and business strategies. 

Contact: Ingo Wagner

On line registration open until 3 October. On-site registration generally possible. Participation is free. 


BiogasHeat project


Franco-Belgian health cooperation

7 October 2014, 09:30-13:00
Organiser: Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Managing Authority of the INTERREG France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen Programme
Venue: Embassy of France, Résidence de France, 41 Boulevard du Régent, 1000 Brussel 

The aim of this seminar related to the Franco-Belgian Health cooperation is to foster exchanges through round tables and networking moments. Our target will be operators from our cooperation area or even outside, as well as INTERREG Programme managers and experts.

The speakers will be beneficiaries of the actions led through our Programme and projects promoters. Here are the name of the speakers:

Panel discussion

  • Nathalie CHAZE, representative of DG SANCO, health and consumer (European Commission)
  • Doctor Robert DE FAYS (Vivalia, Arlon - Belgium)
  • Simone GERARD, President of ‘l'Asmup 08’ (Givet - France)
  • President of the patients association of Givet (Belgium) ;
  • Doctor Jean-Yves GRALL, Director of ‘l’Agence Régionale de la Santé Nord-Pas de Calais’ (France)
  • Eric LUYCK, Director of Ypres’ Health Center (Belgium)

Moderation: Henri LEWALLE, Franco-Belgian health observatory

Sabrina CURZI

Registrations: Taking into account that the capacity of the room at the Embassy of France in Brussels is limited to 80 participants, personal invitations to the potential participants will be sent by mid-September 2014.


The Urban Dimension of the Digital agenda: Polis workshop on opening up transport data

7 October 2014, 09:00-13:00
Organiser: Polis – European Cities and Regions networking for innovative transport solutions
Venue: Polis Conference Room, 98 rue du Trône, B-1050 Brussels

The main aim of this morning workshop is to share with a non-specialist audience the open transport data experiences of a number of European towns and cities. The audience will learn about why cities are publishing transport data, how they are doing this and what have been the results so far. The audience will also learn about what the next steps are for opening transport data in cities and the European Union can support the movement. 

Contact: Cleo Davies

Competitive Agrofood Policy Promotion through Linking Emergent Regions in the E.U

7 October 2014, 10:00-11:30
Organisers: Iasi County Council (RO) (Cristian Mihai ADOMNITEI, CoR member), European Office of the National Union of County Councils of Romania and Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union
Venue: Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, rue Montoyer 12, B-1000 Brussels

This event is connected to the debate organised within Open Days 2014, Think Smart Locally – Grow Competitive Regionally, thematic priority 1 - Connecting regional strategies – smart specialisation. The seminar will be the occasion to discuss, compare and exchange practices in implementing agricultural S3 in different geographical and cultural backgrounds using local assets as tools for sustainable development. The best practices cover various countries in Europe and will provide a platform for discussions on a number of issues surrounding clustering cooperation and agribusiness projects. Participants will present concrete project ideas and identify partners for future joint actions. 

Contact: Fulga TURCU


Urban policy for Climate neutral urban districts in Europe

7 October 2014, 10:00-12:00
Organiser: The CLUE project, City of Stockholm
Venue: Stockholm Region EU Office, Avenue Marnix 28, B-1000 Brussels

Climate neutral urban district development, CLUE, is a successful tool in cities’ climate mitigation work. The transformation towards a green economy and green branding are keys for cities’ sustainable future.

The CLUE project has investigated how best to approach policy making for achieving climate neutral urban districts, with experiences from the green capitals Hamburg and Stockholm and seven other European cities and regions.

At this event, the focus will be at discussing the success factors of such districts, and also how local and regional policy makers can stimulate the development of such districts. Come and get a clue about CLUEs! 




Using biomass to mitigate climate change and increase economic benefits – Development of regional biochar clusters in Central Europe

7 October 2014, 10:00-15:00
Organisers: Czech Liaison Office for Research, Development and Innovation (Brussels) and the Energy Research Center VSB-TU (Ostrava, Czech Republic)
Venue: Helmholtz Association, Rue du Trône 98 (6th floor), B-1000 Brussels

The event is based on objectives of E2BEBIS project which aims at development of regional energy clusters adopting the biochar technology and advancing the related policies through adoption by authorities at the regional, national and EU levels. The clusters involve actors representing the whole biochar lifecycle: biomass and energy suppliers, companies, energy and biochar end-users and investors.

The workshop will consist of a panel discussion of project representatives and actors representing the cluster approach from different European regions. The idea is to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach and to offer multiple points of view on the issue, proposing a more clear and unbiased picture on the biochar at European level. The panel discussion will include project representatives, energy producers, politicians, investors and others.

Contact: Michaela Vlková


The future of Open Data in the Digital Agenda for Europe

7 October 2014, 10:00-17:30
Organiser: Agency for the Management of Agriculture and Fisheries of Andalusia, Spain
Co-organisers: Directorate for Innovation, Research, University and Sustainable Energy Development, Piemonte, Italy; Internet New Generation Foundation, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Venue: Hotel NH du Grand Sablon, rue Bodenbroek 2/4, B-1000, Brussels

Open Data (OD) initiatives are facing new issues; the results achieved are below expectations, requiring a specific reflection. The HOMER project targets all challenges related to the opening of PSI.

With the aim to exchange on Open Data challenges and future, the event will focus on speeches from European experts to assess the expectations of the next EC ICT strategy (smart cities, OD harmonisation); round tables dealing with technical aspects related with OD harmonisation, with experts moderation: Eurovoc, metadata exchanges, DCAT, legal practices, etc.

Audience will be European, national and regional technical and policy makers.

Contact: Rafael Fernandez-Gomez

Registration: Registration open as of September 2014. Eventbrite form will be used (Event name in Eventbrite: HOMER project Conference: The future of Open Data in the Digital Agenda for Europe) 

HOMER project website
Event's website
Draft agenda and registration

HOMER project

LGBT for an inclusive Europe – Put health equity on the agenda

7 October 2014, 10:00-12:00 or 14:30-16:30 (two seminars)
rganisers: The Public Health Secretariat of Region Västra Götaland, forum SKILL (non-profit organisation) and RFSL (The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights)
Venue: Nordic House, Rue du Luxembourg 3, B-1000 Brussels

Region Västra Götaland is committed to work towards a socially inclusive society, acknowledging the connection between health and growth. Social inclusion must thus include the concept of health, which in terms requires a holistic approach to the individual. Early investment in people’s abilities, and the right to live the life one wants to, is a fundamental aspect of health. 

In their efforts to make reality of the EU2020 goals for social inclusion, the region has come across marginalized groups. People who challenge the standard values concerning gender, sexuality and ability are invisible on the health equity agenda, and thus even further away from a socially inclusive society. The seminars aim at connecting the LGBT* perspective and inclusion for people who are intellectually challenged to the health equity agenda. A film screening and the presentation of a web forum will provide some examples of best practices in this field. 

A high-level networking cocktail is foreseen the evening before, on the 6th of October.

*LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender 

Contact and registration (by 30/09/2014): Irma Ganibegovic


A slice of life. New ways of using digital storytelling for lifelong learning

7 October 2014, 10:00-17:00
Organiser: Instituto Luigi Sturzo, Rome, Italy – Project leader in the KVALUES project
Venue: Petit théâtre Mercelis, rue Mercelis 13, B-1050, Brussels

The conference will present the findings of the project and focus on the future of the methodology and its application to tackle unemployment. The project is a starting point to open a debate on how digital storytelling leads to enhance growth and development of people and institutions toward paths never imagined.

In the morning, representatives of the stakeholders in the validation of the competences will debate on the criticalities encountered. Moreover Daniel Weinshenker from the Center for Digital Storytelling of Berkeley (USA) will conduct an interactive session by involving the audience to explore further perspectives about the digital storytelling effectiveness. 

Contact: Antonia Liguori

Common approaches of sustainable buildings in Europe in 2030

7 October 2014, 14:00-16:00
Organiser: FEDARENE
Venue:Offices of the Alps-Mediterranean Euroregion, 62 rue du Trône, B-1050 Brussels

CESBA stands for Common European Sustainable Building Assessment. It is the up-and-coming, bottom-up European initiative towards a harmonisation of sustainable building assessments in Europe. The aim of this high-level seminar is to inform political stakeholders at the EU level about this growing initiative. Currently, there are more than 80 building assessment schemes in Europe, which can be confusing. CESBA has developed a set of Key Performance Indicators whose adoption by different assessment schemes will facilitate the comparability of buildings. During this event, Mercedes BRESSO, Member of the European Parliament, will present the CESBA policy paper.

Registration is mandatory. The event is free of charge and will be in English only. 

Contact: Dominique BOURGES

Renewable Smart Cooling for Urban Europe – Final Project Conference

7 October 2014, 14:00-18:00
Organiser: Euroheat & Power
Venue: Silken Berlaymont, Boulevard Charlemagne, 11-19, Brussels

Cooling demands in European cities will continue to rise. District Cooling offers a sustainable and low-carbon solution that can increase the life quality of citizens in urban Europe while decreasing pollution.

The project REnewable Smart Cooling for Urban Europe (RESCUE) is an IEE-funded project aiming at the development of sustainable cooling markets in Europe. This workshop will provide municipalities, local authorities, utilities, technical experts and many more with valuable insights in markets, technical solutions, guidelines and tools on how to implement District Cooling and an overview of best practice cases from European cities (More information under ).

Contact: Ingo Wagner

Online registration open until 3 October. On-site registration possible.

Participation is free.

Project website


Innovative Solutions for smart infrastructure and services in cities

7 October 2014, 11:00-13:00
Venue:Fundacion Galicia Europa, Rue de la Loi 38, 1040 Brussels

As part of the smart cities debate, UDITE and VEOLIA ENVIRONNMENT will present a series of case studies underlining how private sector operators have solutions to implement connected regional strategies for smart cities involving partners from universities, the public and private sectors. The debate will be kicked off with two examples from Nice Metropole and Vadollid in Spain and will explore how digital technology can improve local authorities’ sustainable development strategies. Speakers will specifically look at the different technologies and smart solutions that can contribute effectively to low carbon, resource efficiency in the built urban environment using the new opportunities offered by Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and Horizon 2020. 

Contact: Simon Pascoe


UDITE website


Designing city policies to stimulate cross innovation and spill-overs

7 October 2014, 15:00-16:30
Venue: Berlin Partner for Business and Technology GmbH, Brussels Office, square Ambiorix 13, B-1000 Brussels 

Europe has a unique source of innovation – its creative potential. It is at the local and regional level that this potential is best supported and stimulated, but it is a challenge now for Europe to find ways of using its cultural assets to help tackle the great economic transformation of our time, in the context of globalisation. Our heritage, the skills of our local artists and inventors, the expertise of our creative industries – all have enormous potential to lead our societies to a better life.

How to make it possible?

How to unleash the creative potential of our territories to trigger socio-economic innovation? 

This workshop will explore, through the experience acquired by various EU funded projects: 

  • the most effective ways of designing policies to advance innovation through the creative sectors.
  • New tools and methods to facilitate cross-sectoral collaboration (Creative SPIN) and to strengthen the role of creative industries as key drivers for innovation (Cross Innovation).
  • incubation processes between artists, scientists and business (KiiCS).
  • case studies and best practices through discussion and challenge, with the main purpose of doing what creatives do best: provoking a change of mindset in local policy making, to further stimulate innovation.

Registration is mandatory.


Urban-Rural Cooperation: Contributing to territorial cohesion and improved governance? - Joint Conference

7 October 2014, 16:00-18:30
Organiser: European Territorial Cooperation projects URMA and RURBANCE
Venue: Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place, 5 rue Duquesnoy, 1000 Brussels

Urban-rural partnerships can create mutual benefits for both urban and rural actors, provided that they meet at eye level with each other.

On the basis of the findings of the INTERREG IVC project 'URMA – Urban-Rural Partnerships in Metropolitan Areas' and the Alpine Space project 'RURBANCE – Rural-Urban Governance' policy makers and experts will discuss in this event the following questions:

  • What is necessary to establish and stimulate more intensive urban-rural relationships?
  • In which sectors and thematic fields could urban and rural areas benefit from a closer cooperation?
  • How could urban-rural cooperation contribute to new forms of shared spatial responsibility and territorial cohesion?
  • Which actors should be involved and how should their modes of cooperation look like?
  • How to aggregate public and private stakeholders around a co-development model?

Contact: Lars Schieber
Registration: Online registration until 3rd October. On-site registration upon availability

Northern Sparsely Populated Areas heading for smart growth – Europe 2020 and beyond

7 October 2014, 16:00-18:00
Organiser: NSPA (Northern Sparsely Populated Areas)
Venue: Norwegian Mission to the EU, rue Archimède 17, B-1000 Brussels

The event is an opportunity to get an update on the, Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA ) network achievements and current initiatives and to network, with a special focus on: Europe 2020, smart specialisation, European Innovation Partnership of Smart Cities and Communities, and the NSPA network as a tool for interest promotion in the EU. 

The NSPA network, Northern Sparsely Populated Areas, represents the interest of the four northernmost counties of Sweden (Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jämtland, Västernorrland), the seven northernmost and eastern regions of Finland (Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, North Karelia, Pohjois-Savo and Etelä-Savo) and North Norway (Finnmark, Troms and Nordland).

Contact: Janika Luukinen, Special Advisor, East and North Finland EU Office

Young women: A key target group for rural development in Europe

7 October 2014, 17:00-20:30
Organiser: Ministry of Regional Development and Transport Saxony-Anhalt
Venue: State Representation of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt, Boulevard Saint Michel 80, 1040 Brussels, Belgium 

The event is dealing with young women as a key target group of regional development strategies to tackle demographic change in rural areas. Female and youth sensitive concepts and experiences from companies and regions to limit further bran-drain of young females will be presented. The transnational forum focusses especially on the importance of female networks and the image of rural regions. In this respect approaches for the improvement of living and working conditions for women in rural areas from six regions in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia will be discussed with committed women, EU-policy makers, entrepreneurs and regional representatives. 

Andreas Schweitzer
Carolin Kaufhold

Registration will be open from August 25th, 2014 on Entrance is free of charge. The language of the transnational forum is English.


Start-up Slovakia

7 October 2014, 17:00-18:30
Organisers: Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU, Slovak Liaison Office for Research and Development and Bratislava Region
Venue: Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU, Avenue de Cortenbergh 79, B-1000 Brussels 

The Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic will present the activities to support the Slovak start-ups, which will be included in the conception for the support of the Slovak start-up ecosystem that is currently under preparation. The successful project implemented in the countries of the Central Europe i.e. SMART will be presented by the mayor of Bratislava Mr. Milan Ftáčnik (Bratislava is one of the project partners) and by Mr. Stuart Simpson from the Vienna Board on Education (Leading Partner). Presentations will be followed by the panel discussion, the aim of which is to discuss the opportunities and threats for the start-ups. 

Contact: Gabriela Sabelová
Registration by 6 October

'Energy Transmission Networks – An Investment to Consumers', The way to achieve full market integration and price convergence

8 October 2014, 08:30-14:30
Organiser: REN, REE and Enagás (Portuguese and Spanish Transmission System Operators for Electricity and Gas)
Venue:Portuguese Permanent Representation, avenue de Cortenberg, 12, 1040 Brussels

The event is intended to debate on the key role of energy interconnections for integrating indigenous energy sources, diversifying the energy mix and ensuring security of supply, climate sustainability and the building up of the internal energy market. The following themes will be focused:

  • an introductory presentation on “Setting the Scene: Sustainability and Competiveness”, where the role of RES and natural gas generation for climate change mitigation will be discussed together with how getting more connected will contribute to energy prices convergence;
  • a 1st discussion panel on “Security of Supply – RES generation and Natural Gas diversification sources; the technological and deployment edge”, where the Portuguese and Spanish TSOs will share their experience on how an adequate level of cross-border interconnection is essential to tap the full potential of the Iberian Peninsula region enhancing EU energy solidarity, and
  • a 2nd discussion panel on “Long Term Sustainable, secure and Competitive Energy – Policy and regulatory contributions: The regulatory edge”, where the achievement of a robust and truly internal energy market will result from the fulfillment of the EU strategy targets for 2030.



Contacts: Jamila Madeira (REN), Antonio Lucio-Villegas (REE), Francisco De la Flor Garcia (Enagás) 



Innovative financing for energy efficiency and renewables: feedback from successful projects

8 October 2014, 08:30-16:30
Organiser: Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, European Commission
Venue: Husa President Park Hotel, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 44, B-1000 Brussels 

Up-scaling investments in energy efficiency and renewables is a major challenge to meet the European Union’s energy targets for 2020. Lack of public resources requires new approaches to investment. Local and regional authorities have a key role to play in mobilising stakeholders, developing a project pipeline and creating the business case for attracting private investment.

This shift to innovative financing approaches is supported by the European Union’s Intelligent Energy Europe and Horizon 2020 programmes.

The conference will focus on the detailed presentation of 8 successful projects across Europe, which are developing new ways to set up and finance investments in public buildings, street lighting and housing. Local and regional authorities will have the opportunity to learn how to concretely implement similar approaches in their own territories. 

Pierre-Loïc NIHOUL 

Registration (by 30 September 2014)


Accessing new EU (structural) funds for Cloud solutions for municipalities and SMEs

8 October 2014, 09:30-12:00
Organiser: Association of Towns and Communities of Slovakia (ATCS), OTE Academy in Romania
Venue: The Permanent Representation of Romania to the European Union, Rue Montoyer 12, B-1000 Brussels

A panel discussion of high level speakers from public institutions and industry will cover aspects such as cloud computing and interoperability among public administrations based on the concrete projects funded by EU Structural Funds 2007-2013.  

Presenting best practices relevant for local, regional and national public institutions and associations is the best way to share experience and innovative solutions. The discussion will focus on ERDF & ESF project conception and eligibility issues for cloud projects, rather than the technical solutions. Speakers:

  1. DG REGIO: Mr. Christopher Todd – Head of Unit Slovakia; ‘EU funds for ICT sector in Slovakia’
  2. ERDF SLOVAKIA: Mr. Adrian Belanik - Director of Data Center of Towns and Villages; ‘Cloud computing solution for Slovak municipalities’
  3. ESF ROMANIA: Mr. Claudiu Petre – Business Development Manager T-Mobile Romania; ‘Improve SMEs competitiveness through durable entrepreneurship’

Contact: Ewelina Ziedalska

Viewing of the videos from the Interreg Video Contest 'Border issues, border solutions'

8 October 2014, 09:00-17:00
Organiser:European Commission, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, Unit D2 European Cross-Border Cooperation
Venue: Committee of the Regions, Remorqueur building, angle rue Belliard 93/rue du Remorqueur, B-1000 Brussels

For the 1st time, INTERACT and the European Commission have co-organised an Interreg video contest 'Border issues, border solutions'.

All eligible entries to this competition will be shown during the OPEN DAYS on the 8th and 9th October 2014 in Brussels at the Committee of the Regions Cinema Room (Remorqueur building). 

Discover the four winners
Contact: Kypros KYPRIANOU
No prior registration necessary – access with OPEN DAYs badge

Metropolitan dimension to European Affairs (conference)
Europe's metropolitan dimension (evening event)

8 October 2014, 10:00-17:00 - evening event 18:00-21:30
Organiser: METREX - The Network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas
Venue: Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union, Rue Belliard 60-62, B-1000 Brussels

This METREX Conference aims at discussing the role of metropolitan regions and areas in reaching the Europe 2020 goals. The discussions will focus specifically on the issues of governance, macroregions, low carbon, sustainability and smart mobility. The meeting will bring together high level speakers from the European Institutions, experts from Metropolitan authorities, international organisations, business representatives and other key stakeholders.

The conference will start with a keynote address by Mr. Walter Deffaa, Director General, DG Regional and Urban Policy and finish, in the evening event, with a speech (among others) by Mr. Günther Oettinger, Vice President of the European Commission. 

Contact: Roger READ, Secretary General, METREX
Programme (PDF)

European Projects Awards - Impact of EU regional strategies in South East Europe

8 October 2014, 13:00-14:30
Organiser: European Projects Association
Venue: European Parliament, Room PHS 5B001

The event will focus on European Union political strategies in South East Europe and practical aspects of local and regional development as immediate outcome of these strategies. The fourth in line European Projects Awards will present 12 examples of excellence financed by the European Commission and will reward personalities that contributed to the development of the European Union in the programming period 2007-2013. 

The event is organised by the European Projects Association in partnership with the Association of Local Democracy Agencies. It is hosted by the Member of the European Parliament Mr. Ivan Jakovčić.

Contact: Katarina Sipic



European Projects website

A Better Society Campaign website

EPA Awward EPA Awward

Why investing in ICT for ageing? A regional perspective

8 October 2014, 13:00-17:00
Organiser: AAL ASSOCIATION (Ambient and Assisted Living Joint Programme and Active and Assisted Living Programme) in co-organisation with Coral, AER, AGE and ENGAGED
Venue: The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium (Throne Building), Hertogsstraat 1 Rue Ducale, 1000 Brussels

This event aims at connecting regional strategies on social inclusion, boosting innovation and creativity in ways to promote and keep the well-being of an aging society. An interactive session will facilitate a lively exchange of experience, good practices and opinions among representatives of local and regional authorities and with ICT industry representatives in particular on relevant policies, implementations of such policies as well as financing through new business models and innovative procurement of ICT based solutions for ageing well. An increased mutual understanding between the different stakeholders’ points of view regarding needs, use and procurement in this area is the main outcome expected.

Registration: Send an email to Jacqueline Teller, Management Assistant of the AAL-CMU, mentioning: First Name - Last Name – Organisation - Country

More information: Raquel Fernandez Horcajada



Urban regeneration to a quake-proof district and citizens

8 October 2014, 13:00-15:30
Organiser: Municipality of Gaziosmanpaşa
Venue: TUSIAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association) Representation to the EU and BUSINESSEUROPE, avenue des Gaulois, 13, B-1040 Brussels

Gaziosmanpaşa’s objective to transform 4.300.000m2 of inhabited districts is ambitious. This is about 40% of the total transformation taking place in Istanbul. It is even more challenging for a municipality as citizens will need to be moved from their living houses to get them renovated. Gaziosmanpaşa has over 600.000 citizens.

Gaziosmanpaşa will be in Brussels on the 8 October 2014 to exchange about its practices in terms of transformation of entire districts. We hope to build long-lasting partnerships with other municipalities, from Europe and beyond. 

Expected attendees: mayors of various European countries, NGOs, businesses and other stakeholders.

Contact: K E Jonathan Idil


Role of small and medium sized urban areas (thereinafter – SMSUAs) in common territorial development context

8 October 2014, 13:00-17:00
Organiser: The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional development of the Republic of Latvia
Venue: Permanent Representation of the Republic of Latvia to the EU, avenue des Arts 23, B-1000, Brussels

The workshop aims at highlighting the role of small and medium sized urban areas (thereinafter – SMSUAs) in regional development, providing the basis for further debate concerning unlocking and utilising their economic development potential in the context of common European Urban Agenda.

The workshop will gather different opinions, scientific findings and experiences related to economic development potential of SMSUAs, their provisional contribution to the common European goals,, the strategy EU 2020 and future European Urban Agenda. Provisional topics that could be covered during the workshop: role of SMSUAs at EU; national and regional level; challenges, sustainability and liveability aspects of the SMSUAs; urban rural linkages; smart solutions (including governance, social entrepreneurship); provisional development scenarios; policy mechanisms to unlock the potential of SMSUAs; considerations for further policy reviews/ improvements, new policy initiatives.

Contact: Indra Ciuksa
Programme (PDF)


Alps-Adriatic Area: Strengthening integration through regional cooperation

8 October 2014, 14:00-17:00 (approx.)
Organiser: EU-Representation Office of Carinthia
Venue: Espace Monte Paschi, Avenue d’Auderghem 22-28, 1040 Brussels

The debate shall demonstrate the possibilities of integration in the Alps-Adriatic Area which can be considered as a crystallization point for European integration. The focus lies on two instruments, the Alps-Adriatic-Alliance (consisting of 3 Austrian regions, 7 Croatian and one Hungarian County and Slovenia) on the one hand and the EGTC 'Euregio Senza Confini' (Carinthia, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto) on the other. The side event intends to point out the potential of strengthening the cooperation of these regions.

Political representatives as well as experts from the EU-institutions and the regional level will discuss and present best-practice examples and EU-funding possibilities for transnational projects. The idea of the debate is to illustrate the significance of both instruments with regard to the implementation of the EU’s growth strategy 'Europe 2020', focusing on the five main targets by showing how transnational projects can foster smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the Alps-Adriatic Area and help reach the goals set for 2020.

The debate will also highlight how initiatives in other fields (culture, innovation, energy and environment, gender, inclusion, mobility and sports) can break language barriers and contribute to improving mutual regional understanding and strengthening co-operation between neighboring regions. 



Contact: Ninette Fichtner

Regional Health Research Strategies – 14th meeting of the Committee of the Regions interregional group on health

8 October 2014, 14:30-16:00
Organiser: EUREGHA – European regional and local health authorities
Venue:, Committee of the Regions, rue Belliard 101, B-1000 Brussels, Jacques Delors building, room JDE70 

The meeting shall focus on regional health research strategies, guided by the thematic priorities of this year’s OPEN DAYS. The meeting will include a presentation of an innovative forthcoming project supported by the new EU research framework: Horizon 2020. The project - RegHealth RI - seeks to create a networking platform for actors in health research and innovation in order to widen participation in EU research and address the innovation divide in Europe. This will be followed by an example of good practice from the region of Valencia, and a discussion facilitated by the Chair of EUREGHA, Dr Toni Dedeu. 

Contact: Ingrid Jansson
Registration: Please contact Ms Ingrid Jansson, providing your name, affiliation, and contact details.


‘Energy transition – engine of growth in Europe’s regions?’ (workshop & panel discussion)

8 October 2014, 15:00-18:30
Organiser: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Brussels.
Partners: CEDEC - European Federation of Local Energy Companies; Energy Cities - European Association of Local Authorities in Energy Transition
Venue: rue du Trône,108, 1050 Brussels

A significant increase in the use of renewable energies and further improvements in energy-efficiency are key elements of the EU climate goals 2020. At the same time, many studies confirm the important contribution that an actively pursued energy transition can make towards growth and economic development.

This half-day event will highlight how the shift towards renewable energy and greater energy efficiency can both be economically viable and spur regional economic development. The event will particularly explore the role and scope of action of local and regional authorities in this respect.

This will be done by presenting a number of case examples from different regions and cities in the EU. Based on these case studies and an introductory panel discussion, participants will jointly explore success factors, lessons learned and challenges with regard to economic viability, the promotion of appropriate SMEs and industries, and the implications of policy and regulatory regimes that are often decided upon at national or regional levels. The planned event will also raise awareness of different funding opportunities of EU regional policy to promote investments in renewable energies and greater energy-efficiency.

The event will be designed to stimulate active engagement and learning from other EU regions. It is aimed at regional and local representatives (i.e., elected local politicians, officers from local authorities, practitioners), relevant networks and associations, as well as officials at the Commission, the Committee of the Regions, from member states and other stakeholders. 

Contact and registration: Reiner Forster, GIZ


European Region of Gastronomy Information Meeting

8 October 2014, 16:00-18:00
Organiser: International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism
Venue:Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union

A network of regions are organising an award (with support from European institutions), administered by IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism) in order to stimulate, collect and disseminate knowledge on how to contribute to a better quality of life in European Regions by promoting food cultures and stimulating gastronomic innovation. 

During the Brussels Open days there will be an exhibition of the different regions and several guest speakers. 

Contact:Dr. Diane Dodd

Registration (please send registree'ss Name, job title, institution name, city/region,country, email address)

Smart Cities and Urban Dimension: Impact on city agglomerations – Use of ITI

8 October 2014, 14:00-18:00
Organisers: Czech Liaison Office for Research, Development and Innovation (CZELO), together with the Olomouc Region (CZ), the Bratislava Region (SK) and the Cornwall Region (UK)
Venue: KoWi conference room, rue du Trône 98, B-1050 Brussels

The event will focus on the use of Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) for solving problems of city agglomerations with a link to EIP Smart Cities and Communities and its Urban Dimension. Possible synergies with EU FP Horizon 2020 will be looked at. ITI will be presented by DG REGIO, followed by three case studies: Olomouc Region, Czech Republic; Bratislava Region, Slovakia; Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, UK (as an example of ITI for rural area). Common issues will be identified, best practices will be shared. The workshop will be followed by a social event offering opportunities for networking with a view to future closer cooperation. 

Contact: Anna Voseckova

New ways to engaging the unemployed in the workforce

8 October 2014, 17:30-19:00
Organiser: KPMG EU Office
Venue: KPMG EU Office, 60 rue du Trône 1050 Brussels

The workshop intends to explore new approaches to welfare to work in Europe through the experiences of DG Employment (Mr. Loris Di Pietrantino, Deputy Head of Unit ‘European Employment Strategy’), the European Parliament (MEP Danuta Jazlowiecka), national governments (UK Department for Work and Pension, tbc) and private sector. The aim is to exchange best practices and create a meaningful debate on innovative solutions that can support policy-makers in making a real change.

KPMG will mainly present experiences of designing and implementing welfare to work programmes in Poland and United Kingdom, highlighting the challenges and learning.

Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion.

Contact: Florence Roger



European Energy Service Award 2014 – Awarding Ceremony

8 October 2014, 18:00
Berliner Energieagentur GmbH (Berlin Energy Agency)
Venue: Representation of Hesse, rue Montoyer, 21, 1000 Brussels

The European Energy Service Award honors outstanding achievements in the field of energy services. Since 2006, the presigious prize is regularly given to projects, businesses and multipliers who have made an extraordinary contribution to the European energy service market:

  • Best Energy Service Promoter,
  • Best Energy Service Providers,
  • Best Energy Service Project.

The winners' best practice experiences will be presented.Representatives of the European Commission and regions (confirmed: Hessian Minister of Economics Al-Wazir) will bestow the prize, selected by a jury of international experts. The ceremony will be followed by a get-together with light dinner and drinks. 

The EESA 2014 is organised in the context of the IEE project 'EESI 2020'. 

Contact: Laurenz HERMANN

Registration: email the Fedarene or the Berliner Energieagentur

The event is free of charge. Participation upon registration only.


European Energy Service AwardEuropean Energy Service Initiative 2020

OPEN DAYS market place: European local products to European local actors!

9 October 2014
Organiser: LAG LEADER Pays de la Jeune-Loire et ses rivières (France), LAG LEADER Tara Vrancei (Romania)
Venue: Place Jean Rey, Brussels

As part of a Transnational Cooperation LEADER project, LAG (Local Action Group) du Pays de la Jeune-Loire et ses rivières and LAG Tara Vrancei plan to organise the 'open-days market place' with the aim to make local products of European territories well-known to actors of European territories.

This event will gather producers from some dynamic rural areas of France, Romania and Holland for them to jointly promote their products and know-how through a cooperative festive market. Workshops will be organised in parallel, showing projects developed by local actors in the frame of Local product’s promotion and direct selling.

Entrance: free

More information (PDF)

Contact: Joris MATHE

OPEN DAYS market's place

How to improve energy efficiency at regional level with EU funding: STEP Project (Interreg IVC Program)
STEP. Improving Communities' Sustainable Energy Policy Tools

9 October 2014, 09:00-12:30
Organiser: SARGA (Government of Aragon) in collaboration with Aragon Permanent Representation
Venue: Office of Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU (REPER), Boulevard du Régent, 52, 1000 Brussels

An exploitation/dissemination event that contribute to EU 2020 Strategy, in particular tools that financially allows regions to improve their efficient energy policies. The conference will be the occasion to discuss funding instruments for energy efficiency, better implementation of sustainable energy policies at local level and sustainable energy management systems.

Contact: Carlos Franco Uliaque

Registration via the project website


Viewing of the videos from the Interreg Video Contest 'Border issues, border solutions'

9 October 2014, 09:00-17:00
Organiser: European Commission, Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy, Unit D2 European Cross-Border Cooperation
Venue: Committee of the Regions, Remorqueur building, angle rue Belliard 93/rue du Remorqueur, B-1000 Brussels 

For the 1st time, INTERACT and the European Commission have co-organised an Interreg video contest 'Border issues, border solutions'.

All eligible entries to this competition will be shown during the OPEN DAYS on the 8th and 9th October 2014 in Brussels at the Committee of the Regions Cinema Room (Remorqueur building). 

Discover the four winners

Contact: Kypros KYPRIANOU

No prior registration necessary – access with OPEN DAYs badge


The energy transition at local level: its economic impact and financing opportunities

9 October 2014, 09:30-16:30
Organiser: Energy Cities
Venue: Leopold Hotel Brussels EU, rue du Luxembourg 35, Brussels

The energy transition has multiple benefits on local economies. This networking event aims to:

  • Showcase the economic impact of energy transition policies at local level, illustrate them with concrete examples and provide local authorities with economic arguments to lead the energy transition (morning session);
  • Highlight different initiatives and opportunities for financing the energy transition at local level and identify the resources at local and EU level (afternoon session).

This event is organised in the framework of the ManagEnergy initiative of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Commission.

Contact: Laura Guérin
Event's website

Partnership for smart investments in Bucharest-Ilfov REGIOn

9 October 2014, 10:00-14:30
Organisers: Bucharest-Ilfov Regional Development Agency (ADRBI) and European Office of National Union of County Councils of Romania (UNCJR)
Venue: European Office of National Union of County Councils of Romania (UNCJR), rue Montoyer24, B-1000 Brussels

This event aims at promoting the results achieved so far in implementing regional development REGIO projects in Bucharest-Ilfov region. It will also be an opportunity for you to discover the Bucharest-Ilfov Region, sharing good practices, and especially to develop new contacts (networking lunch).

The target audience is: representatives of DG REGIO, representatives of European decision-makers, experts from public&private institutions for exchanging and discussing projects and issues related to regional and local development and mass media. 

Attendance is free of charge. 

Claudia Ionescu, Manager of Regional Promotion and Investments Department
Simona Curpan, Regional Promotion Expert, ADRBI 

More information and draft agenda

Registration (Registration can also be made on site on 9 October, 10:00-10:30)


‘Charter’ Launch on Culture and Heritage for Sustainable Tourism Development, for connecting regional strategies as a result of territorial cooperation

9 October 2014, 10:30-13:00
Organiser: CHARTS (Culture and Heritage Added value to Regional Policies for Tourism Sustainability) INTERREG IVC Project Management and Coordination Unit
Venue:Radisson BLU EU Hotel, Meeting room: 'Schuman', Rue d`idalie 35, B-1050, Brussels, Belgium

Launch of ‘CHARTS Charter’ for ‘Culture and Heritage Added value to Regional policies for Tourism Sustainability’ - a statement of principles on regional policies and strategies which guide the sustainable development, planning, management, operations and promotion of cultural and heritage tourism, in the European Union and beyond, for the benefit of destinations, host communities, citizens and visitors.

The event is aimed at EU institutions (EC, CoR, EP), regional and local government authorities, destination management agencies, tourism promotion bodies, tourism boards, tourism associations, tourism networks, cultural networks, international organisations, other interested bodies and relevant stakeholders.

Charter is result of INTERREG IVC. 

Contact: Ieva Treija

Final Conference 'Stronger Senior Networks – Active Ageing and Social Capital'

9 October 2014, 13:00-16:00
Organiser: INTERREG IVB NWE project SeNS – Seniors Network Support, LP OCMW Genk, Michel Bortels
Venue:RIZIV/INAMI Building, Avenue de Tervueren, n°211 / Tervurenlaan 211, 1150 Brussels

The SeNS final conference will highlight the importance of social networks, co-creation and the potential of the social capital of seniors. After presenting major project results, SeNS is proud to give the floor to key note speaker Anne-Sophie Parent, (AGE Platform) who will discuss the aforementioned topics and pertinent related issues and present the AFE-INNOVNET EU-funded project. Finally a panel (a.o. Professor Dominique Verté, SeNS representative) will discuss the value and need of social networks, the importance of co-creation, the potential of social capital and the (future) role of local, regional, national and European stakeholders. 

Contact: Daniel Zerweck, +49 (0)176 62515841,



Info Session Horizon2020 call "Peer learning of innovation agencies"

9 October 2014, 14.30-17.00
Organiser: EASME, Unit A.2
Venue: Auditorium Breydel, Avenue d'Auderghem 45, 1040 Bruxelles

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises is taking the opportunity of the Regional Open Days to organize an Info Session about the Horizon2020 call for proposals "Peer Learning of Innovation Agencies". The call is open to any entity that is designing or delivering innovation support programmes to SMEs. The support in the form of lump sums (EUR 50.000 or EUR 15.000) is provided for the collaboration and peer learning between innovation agencies following the two methodologies: "Twinning advanced" and "EFQM framework for Innovation Agencies". The two methodologies will be presented during the info session as well as all the submission and awarding modalities. The call will be open throughout 2014 and 2015 with 5 cut-off dates and a total budget of 1.42 M EUR.

For registration please contact

Web site: