A shortage of resources and necessary skills in some regions, remote from the central core of research and industrial development, is one reason why the EU is not yet able to exploit the full potential of a European Research Area that embraces all 27 members.
EU funding in 2009
Eighty-four regions in 17 Member States, whose per capita GDP is less than 75 % of the EU average, have an enormous R&D potential but not the means to develop their research capacity. Defined as the EU’s convergence regions, they receive support in launching research activities with other Member States and, in this way, are able to enhance the quality of their research institutions. This unique opportunity is also available to Spain’s Canary Islands, the four French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Reunion, plus Portugal’s Azores and Madeira, which are remotely located and need the benefit of closer links to the European continent to develop their research potential. All these regions can enhance their research potential and reduce gaps in innovation through effective networking and exchange of knowledge.