Pilot action on Industrial Transition

Strengthening innovation in Europe’s region

Europe needs to become more competitive and resilient in the context of major changes brought by globalisation, decarbonisation, emerging and digital technologies as highlighted in the 7th Cohesion Report and the Reflection Paper on Harnessing Globalisation Regions in industrial transition face specific challenges, notably where this is associated with a lack of an appropriate skills-base, high unit labour costs and deindustrialisation. These regions may be unable to attract sufficient extra-regional investment to encourage broad industrial modernisation or make full use of the opportunities offered by European programmes.

Boosting innovation capacity in industrial transition regions

Targeted policy measures can help to address the specific needs of these regions and to successfully implement their smart specialisation strategies in order to promote broad-based innovation to address the challenges of the industrial transition, with a particular focus on mutual learning and sharing of good practices in innovation policy implementation, governance and monitoring.

The aim is to:

  • Define a set of actions in the form of a comprehensive strategy building on their smart specialisation strategy, clusters and digitisation of industry plans to foster comprehensive regional economic transformation.
  • Identify where possible collaboration and funding opportunities at European, national and regional level.
  • Link with other regions in regional and cluster partnerships.

This pilot will help to test new approaches to industrial transition and provide the European Commission with evidence to underpin post-2020 policies and programmes.

The Commission launched a first call for expression of interest on 29th September. As a result of the assessment of the applications received, five test regions were shortlisted in December 2017:

  • Hauts-de-France (FR),
  • Norra Mellansverige (North-Middle Sweden),
  • Piemonte (Italy),
  • Saxony (Germany),
  • Wallonia (Belgium).

As a result of demand from regions, the Commission launched a second call for expression of interest on 14 December 2017. The following regions have been selected:

  • Cantabria (Spain),
  • Centre Val de Loire (France),
  • East-North Finland,
  • Grand-Est (France)
  • Greater Manchester (United Kingdom),
  • Lithuania,
  • Slovenia.