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Science at the service of Europe

Regions of knowledge

Driving innovation in European regions

The FP7 "Regions of Knowledge" initiative strengthens European regions' capacity to invest in and carry out research that maximises regional actors' involvement in European research projects.

EU funding in 2011
€ 19.30 million

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Stronger research capacity creates growth and jobs. This initiative is hence in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Activities supported under this programme promote transnational cooperation and joint R&D action plans between regional research-driven clusters, business entities (in particular SMEs) and local authorities. To make the most of EU instruments – particularly of structural funds – these actions have to be accompanied by business plans.

Since an interim assessment found that focusing on leading clusters and specific topics can increase EU-added value, the 2011 call focused on selected Europe 2020 related topics. These topics were the innovative capacity of European transport-related industries and research promoting sustainable transport. 230 business entities were involved in projects in 2011, which is well on the way to the 2013 goal of 245. The number of regions involved in 2011 was 130, with the target being 140 by 2013.

The selective topic focus was further emphasised in the Commission's 'Smart Specialisation Platform'. To help national and regional authorities formulate and implement smart specialisation strategies, this platform unites expertise from universities, research centres, regional authorities, businesses and Commission services.

In 2011, the Council of the EU approved the Joint Programming Initiative, "Urban Europe". This initiative coordinates Member States' urban related research programmes in order to avoid duplicates and exploit synergies between national and European research programmes.