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.
RegioStars 2014 Winners
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy and Luc Van den Brande, former Committee of the Regions President have announced the winners of the prestigious RegioStars 2014 Awards to Europe's most promising and innovative regional projects. In this 7th edition of RegioStars, the Jury singled out 19 shortlisted finalists from 80 projects on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership. 4 projects outshined the competition: in Paredes (North Portugal), Cornwall (UK), West Wales and the Valleys (UK) and the Polish region of Gdynia.
The winners for 2014 are:
- Category 1: Smart Growth - "Art on Chairs" More information on the project
- Category 2: Sustainable Growth - BEACON More information on the project
- Category 3: Inclusive Growth - "Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme" More information on the project
- Category 4: CityStar - Ecological Transport" More information on the project
This year's event came at a crucial time as Member States are finalizing their strategic investment plans, the so-called "Partnership Agreements" on how to spend the European Structural and Investment Funds over the next seven years. The Awards Ceremony showcased the first projects reflecting the reform of Cohesion Policy.
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 have been 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 RegioStars Award Ceremony will take place on 31 March 2014 at 19.00 (doors open as from 18.30) in Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR)
Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles.
The 2014 finalists, in no particular order, are as follows:
CAT. 1 Smart growth: SME innovation
"JIC Innovation Park" – South Moravia (CZ)
Since its launch in 2003, the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) has helped to stimulate innovation and growth in South Moravia. It houses almost 60 innovative companies and start-ups ranging from online services, software engineering, computer security, civil engineering to biotechnology, robotics as well as other high technology fields. The Park provides accommodation for up to three years to those companies during which time they receive tailor-made advice on their business plan and how to develop and grow. In the last ten years, more than 100 innovative companies and start-ups have benefited from its business support programme, showing how a strong regional partnership can empower people to create businesses that change the world.
Name: JIC Innovation Park
Duration: 08/2005 – 06/2008
Funding: EUR 12 519 000 of which EUR 9 026 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Ms KANIOKOVÁ Lucie
Tel.:+420 511 205 330
"The Road Towards Entrepreneurial Poland" - Masovian Voivodeship (PL)
With the strategic objective to shape and accelerate entrepreneurship in Poland, the project focuses on the development of a dynamic business environment for start-up companies. The business programme has helped more than 6 000 start-ups, by providing low-cost office and research space, business support services and encouraging the implementation of innovative solutions. The main result is the creation of Europe’s largest network of business incubators, with an income of around EUR 35.5 million, and beneficial effects to the economic growth of the region.
Name: The Road Towards Entrepreneurial Poland
Duration: 10/2008 - 04/2015
Funding: EUR 15 800 000 of which EUR 11 400 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr SKIBA Lukasz
Tel.:+48 22 745 19 19
"Art on Chairs" – North (PT)
The furniture industry has for years been one of the most important economic activities in the city of Paredes, which has the highest concentration of chair factories in Europe and accounting for 65% of national furniture production. But although the industry was once highly productive, its image is now seen as old-fashioned and conservative. Art on Chairs has breathed new life into this traditional furniture industry by bringing them together with the designer world to transform chair making into an art. This fruitful cooperation between designers and the local SMEs has led to the production of top quality designer chairs, renewed pride in the work, boost of creativity in the manufacturing industry, enhanced productivity and an increase in international exports.
Name: Art on Chairs
Duration: 01/2010 – 05/2013
Funding: EUR 1 096 000 of which EUR 931 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr GOMES Luciano
"NovaMedTech" - East-Mid Sweden (SE)
NovaMedTech aims to boost entrepreneurship and innovation in the field of medical technology, contributing to improving the quality of health care by bringing a dozen new products to the market. The project has led to the creation of several new companies and jobs in the region of Eastern Central Sweden. By bringing together healthcare professionals, academics and businesses, the NovaMedTech has promoted knowledge growth, cooperation and sharing of best practices in the field of bio-medical engineering.
"Innovating For Growth" - London (UK)
Innovating for Growth is designed to help ambitious and committed SMEs to turn their innovative ideas into commercial reality. Based in central London, this project is a unique initiative, which supports growth by leveraging the British Library’s intellectual property (IP) information for the benefit of SMEs. Being aware that IP is an increasingly important means of supporting growth, especially in a knowledge-driven economy, the project focuses on successful IP commercialisation as a proper way to support SME innovation.
Name: Innovating for Growth
Duration: 10/2011 - 09/2015
Funding: EUR 1 800 000 of which EUR 900 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Ms MURPHY Christina
Tel.:+44 20 7412 7457
"CATE" - Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak (ETC – SE, DK, NO)
The purpose of CATE "Cluster for Accelerator Technology" is to strengthen the competitiveness of companies in the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak (ÖKS) Scandinavian region, by offering a competence development programme on accelerator technology. Two world-class particle accelerators will be built in the region creating business opportunities for regional companies, who will be enabled to take full advantage of those two large research facilities. In the long run, the project will improve the companies’ chances of accessing new high-tech business opportunities, and has already helped to create corporate partnerships, cross-border collaborations and new business activities.
Name: Cluster for Accelerator Technology (CATE)
Duration: 01/2011 – 06/2014
Funding: EUR 1 806 000 of which EUR 773 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr FAHLANDER Claes, Ms HANSSON Caroline
E-mail: Claes.Fahlander@nuclear.lu.se Caroline.email@example.com
CAT. 2 - Sustainable growth: Green growth and jobs through Bio-economy
"Ecoponto em casa" – North (PT)
The Ecoponto em Casa introduces an innovative and user-friendlywaste disposal system for the 135,000 inhabitants of the city of Maia. Managed by the local company Maiambiente, the system uses wheeled bins for separately disposing paper, packaging, glass, and other rubbish. In addition, each bin is equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for the identification and traceability of waste. This innovative door-to-door waste collection service has reinforced the recycling industry, improved urban health and safety standards, and reduced the consumption of natural resources. It has significantly improved the face of waste collection in the municipality serving as an example for the rest of the country.
Name: Ecoponto em Casa
Duration: 08/2010 – 07/2013
Funding: EUR 2 510 000 of which EUR 1 537 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr MENDES Carlos
"BEACON" - West Wales and the Valleys (UK)
The BEACON project faces a major challenge for Europe and the world: developing innovative technologies to meet the growing demand for energy and resources. The project focuses on bio-refining: a process using non-food crops to create biomass which can be used in products instead of crude oil. By producing renewable products from biomass, BEACON represents a green alternative to polluting fossil fuels, helping Europe to cut its greenhouse gas emissions. BEACON also supports companies in commercialising their research and exploiting intellectual property. This pioneering initiative is attracting investments to one of the UK poorest rural regions, creating vital jobs and developing advanced know-how at a global level.
Duration: 12/2010 – 06/2015
Funding: EUR 22 987 000 of which EUR 11 917 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr FISH Steven
Tel.: +44 1970 823070
"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.
Duration: 07/2009 – 06/2013
Funding: EUR 7 491 000 of which EUR 3 746 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr MANCA Jean
Tel.:+11 26 88 79
"ARBOR" – North West Europe (ETC – UK, IE, DE, LU, NL, BE)
With partners in the Benelux, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the ARBOR project fosters and accelerates the use of biomass in North West Europe. This innovative transnational approach provides smart solutions to address the urgent supply and demand issues around biomass. By promoting a healthy bio-economy and green growth across Europe, ARBOR intends to stimulate job creation in the biomass industry and correct regional disparities in its production.
Duration: 09/2009 – 03/2015
Funding: EUR 7 362 000 of which EUR 3 717 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr OBERWEIS Sacha
Tel.:+44 1785 353565
CAT. 3 - Inclusive growth: Creating jobs for the young generation
"Einstiegszeit" (All aboard for young people in Brandenburg) – Brandenburg (DE)
“Einstiegszeit” is a highly successful youth employment programme aimed at young people under 30 in the Brandenburg region of Germany. The programme targets two groups: on the one hand it provides support to youngsters who have completed vocational education and training, and on the other hand, it supports SMEs in their recruitment planning. Since its launch in 2009, the project has helped to place 2,231 skilled young people in employment, and has provided more than 2,100 businesses with advice on human resources and organisational development. The project has also enabled qualified young people to stay in the region, and as such reduced the brain drain.
Name: Einstiegszeit für Jugendlichen in Brandenburg (All aboard for Young People in Brandenburg)
Duration: 01/2009 - 12/2013
Funding: EUR 13 337 000 of which EUR 9 836 000 is European funding (ESF)
Project contact: WOELFFLING Peter
Tel.:+49 335 5621-2000
"SAS – Springboard for the active guidance of young job-seekers" – Limousin (FR)
The project “SAS - Springboard for the active guidance of young job-seekers”, fosters the active inclusion of young people less than 26 years old who have been looking for a job for over a year. Based in the central French region of Limousin, the programme helps those young people to overcome their loss of confidence by engaging them in an intensive 3 months professional experience. The initiative enhances their self-esteem, expands their professional opportunities and increases their skills. It turns out that 70% of the young people who completed the programme found employment or enrolled in a vocational training soon after.
Name: SAS – Springboard for the Active Guidance of Young Job-seekers
Duration: 04/2011 - 12/2013
Funding: EUR 940 000 of which EUR 224 000 is European funding (ESF)
Project contact: Ms VERNHES - DAUBREE Cécile
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Tel.: +33 5 55 45 00 18
"Ideas! New enterprises!" – Umbria (IT)
Lending a helping hand to young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas for starting their own business is the mission of "Ideas! New Enterprises!". The initiative provides beneficiaries with grants to spend time in companies and organisations outside Italy and learn how to do business in an international context. The project provides them with face-to-face mentoring and professional business advice during the programme as well as financial assistance to set up a business after their return to Umbria. The initiative has contributed to job creation in the region and a boost in competitiveness and innovation.
Name: Ideas! New Enterprises!
Duration: 12/2008 - 12/2013
Funding: EUR 550 000 of which EUR 236 000 is European funding (ESF)
Tel.: +39 075 5045809
"Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme" – Cornwall (UK)
A passion for cooking is transforming young lives in one of the poorest parts of England. Inspired by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Fifteen Cornwall is more than a restaurant but a social enterprise which offers a chance to disadvantaged unemployed 16-to 24-year olds the opportunity to train as chefs. This ground-breaking initiative has trained almost 130 young people, many of whom are dealing with serious challenges such as criminal records, substance misuse, mental illness or disability. 89 of them have graduated as chefs and more than 90% are still in employment. Each year, the project invests around €1.2 million back into the local economy, creating jobs for the region’s vital tourist sector.
Name: Fifteen Cornwall Apprenticeship Programme
Duration: 05/2006 - 04/2015
Funding: EUR 5 882 000 of which EUR 2 537 000 is European funding (ERDF/ESF)
Project contact: Mr THOMSON Matthew
Tel.: +44 1637 861000
"Mini Europe" – Province of Flevoland (ETC – NL, UK, SE, ES, HU, RO, GR, IT)
Mini Europe stimulates innovation and raises awareness about entrepreneurship, particularly among the under-represented groups of minorities, disabled people, young people, and women. By encouraging inter-regional networking and the exchange of experiences and good practice, the project has successfully promoted entrepreneurship in the eight regions involved. As an example of best practice, the “Summer Entrepreneur”, a programme to stimulate youth entrepreneurship in central Sweden, was successfully replicated in the UK and the Netherlands.
Name: Mini Europe
Duration: 09/2008 - 11/2011
Funding: EUR 1 992 000 of which EUR 1 555 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr PELS Bob
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.
Name: Development of pro-ecological public transport in Tricity metropolitan area
Duration: 01/2010 - 16/2013
Funding: EUR 24 424 000 of which EUR 13 428 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr LABUDA Tomasz
Tel.: +48 58 6694201
"Transport in Kielce" – Kielce (PL)
Thanks to a new eco-friendly urban transport system with innovative and accessible electric trolleybuses, the city of Gdynia has less traffic congestion, fewer accidents and lower levels of pollution. The modern vehicles have improved the comfort of passengers and reduced their travel times significantly. The upgraded trolleybus service saves money for local taxpayers and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions benefitting the environment, residents and the local economy of the Tricity area - Gdynia, Gdańsk and Sopot – in northern Poland. Calculations show that the quicker travel times could translate into economic benefits of approximately EUR 11.79 million.
Name: Transport in Kielce
Duration: 04/2007 - 12/2013
Funding: EUR 69 630 000 of which EUR 53 620 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr SAYOR Tadeusz – Deputy Mayor Of The City
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; EWA.MICHALEK@UM.KIELCE.PL
Tel.: +48 41 36 76 311; +48 41 36 76 550
"Swansea City Bus Station" - Swansea (UK)
Opened to the public on December 2010, the new Swansea City Bus Station is clean, safe and with modern facilities. The renovation of the bus station has improved public transport interchange, leading to an increase of bus passengers. Thousands of commuters a day are now travelling safely, comfortably and quickly. The new bus station is becoming a modern public transport hub for Swansea city centre, promoting accessibility for an ever-increasing number of users.
Name: Swansea City Bus Station
Duration: 06/2009 - 03/2012
Funding: EUR 12 823 000 of which EUR 6 971 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr VINESTOCK Chris
Tel.: +44 1792 636844
"Ticket to Kyoto" (T2K)" - Brussels, Bielefeld, Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam (ETC – BE, DE, FR, NL, UK)
Five major European public transport companies have joined forces to reduce CO2 emissions in their respective cities by adapting a greener approach and more environmentally friendly behaviour. The five T2K innovators - moBiel (Bielefeld), RATP (Paris), RET (Rotterdam), STIB (Brussels), and TFGM (Manchester) – share one clear goal: to cut the standard CO2 emissions from public transport. Working together to tap into the potential of local green economies, T2K is successfully delivering effective solutions, long-term strategies for CO2 and energy reduction. They are a leading light for other European public transport companies.
Name: Ticket to Kyoto (T2K) -Brussels, Bielefeld, Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam
Duration: 03/2010 – 12/2014
Funding: Funding EUR 12 012 000 of which EUR 6 006 000 is European funding (ERDF)
Project contact: Mr DEWILDE Jean-Luc
Tel.: +32 (0) 2 515 53 07
|Regiostars 2014 : presentation of the finalists|
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 :
|RegioStars 2014||RegioStars 2013||RegioStars 2012||RegioStars 2011|
|RegioStars 2010||RegioStars 2009||RegioStars 2008|