Appropriate infrastructures and highly skilled research staff are prerequisites to attracting private and public investment.
EU funding in 2009
However, investment in research and innovation should not only focus on the traditional urban centres where conditions for innovation are concentrated and most promising. Stimulating the research potential in all European regions is necessary to exploit fully the innovation that should translate into profits and ensure Europe’s economic competitiveness.
Regional activities are increasingly recognised as having the potential to add value to research and innovation in Europe. Moreover, investment in research and development improves the attractiveness of a region and the competitiveness of local businesses. This then has a direct influence on the availability and creation of jobs. Research in FP7’s ‘Regions of knowledge’ programme is designed to assist the regions in integrating research fully into regional development strategies. Regional authorities, universities, research centres, enterprises and other interested parties form networks or partnerships enabling the regions to organise themselves better into regional research-driven clusters which can act as key players in favour of innovation.