EU Science Hub

Enhancing stakeholder collaboration to boost regional growth

Closing event of the REMTh project
Nov 18 2015

The JRC and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy have supported Greek authorities in order to help entrepreneurs and authorities to find out in which areas they should prioritise and further specialise if they want to strengthen their competitive advantage. At the closing event held on 18 November in Brussels, the experts presented the findings, which include creative ideas for innovation in the areas of wine, dairy and meat, tourism and marble. This project was initiated by Member of the European Parliament Markus Pieper, and focused on the Greek region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

The project, carried out over the past 15 months, has put into practice concepts developed via the work of the JRC’s Smart Specialisation Platform, developing a highly interactive “hands-on” approach. Its core aim has been to enhance collaboration and engagement between the key stakeholders of the region's research and innovation system, which was a pre-condition to identify and exploit the region’s potential for innovation based economic growth. At the closing event the participants shared their experiences and conclusions, as the activities of the project managed to mobilise and engage more than 600 stakeholders from the business, research or public administration communities.

These collaborative activities have generated informal networks in the targeted priority areas, and have increased appreciation of networking and business and research collaboration through a process of entrepreneurial discovery. The project has improved access to international counterparts in support of governance and R&D performance for all stakeholders, strengthening in particular the capacities of the region’s managing authority. It has been instrumental in improving the understanding of technical and administrative aspects of public subsidies and investments between the region and national bodies, as well as the European Commission. This work can also serve as a launch pad for further work targeting regions that are catching up, both in Greece and in the rest of Europe.