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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

09 Jul 2018

Innsbruck WIRE 2018 conference presents event outcome

Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf, Jean-Eric Paquet, Barbara Weitgruber, Marcus Hofer
Patrizia Zoller-Frischauf, Jean-Eric Paquet, Barbara Weitgruber, Marcus Hofer

The 9th Week of Innovative Regions in Europe (WIRE) took place from 4-6 July 2018 in Innsbruck. It focused on smart choices for innovative regional ecosystems, the power of connectivity, and entrepreneurship and science & research and has now presented its outcome.

Research and higher education institutions are lead institutions that shape regional ecosystems of innovation. This was shown during the 9th WIRE conference by EU-wide good practice examples and a visit to iqoqi, a quantum lab world leader. Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit are transforming powers for regional development and therefore need to be fostered at all ages, and not only in the business sector. Connectivity is a universal growth agent for innovative regions, with many dimensions. We need to connect citizens to new knowledge and technologies, use infrastructures to help people seize new living and working opportunities, also in rural areas, help innovative regions grow along their strengths, and reconnect with our experts living abroad.

The 9th WIRE conference provided a first opportunity to discuss the European Commission’s vision on regional innovation in Horizon Europe and the Structural Funds. Jean-Eric Paquet, director general for RTD, presented plans for the European Innovation Council (EIC), and Erich Unterwurzacher (Director at DG Regio) explained intended novelties in the ESIF. Both instruments need to be evaluated jointly from a research perspective, and the next generation needs an alligned approach to synergies and simplification, as Lambert van Nistelrooij MEP claimed: He called for a high share for R&I investments in the Structural Funds, that should be exempt from state aid regulation in the same way as Horizon Europe will be.

Photo: by Standortagentur Tirol

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