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Partnerships for Regional innovation (28 March 2023)
20 March 2023
Modified: 20 March 2023
Reading time: 6 minute(s)
The European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions launch on 28 March the High Level Event of the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) “From playbook to implementation” as a bridge between smart specialisation and other EU policies to promote innovation-driven territorial transformation.

The participants will be the Presidents and Regional Ministers of the 74 territories, who will accompany Commissioner Gabriel, Commissioner Ferreira and the President of the European Committee of the Region, Alves Cordeiro, in this daylong event.

At the scientific level, the event will gather world-leading experts in place-based innovation and territorial development through the PRI Scientific Committee. Registration Information: For the online event, registration is not required. The event is fully public via live stream. For the in-person event in Brussels, registration is now open. This event is English speaking.


Budgets of unprecedented sizes are available today in the EU to support a transition towards sustainability. However, money alone will not be enough for the change. The Partnerships for Regional Innovation high-level event emphasises that the fast and systemic transformation required to face today’s challenges and to drive the twin transitions can only be met by working better together in different ways than before. This is the paradigm of the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) initiative.

The speed and extent of global change required call for systemic transformation and therefore systemic collaboration. The EU has the opportunity to lead globally in testing and promoting governance for systemic change. To do so, engaging territories at all governance levels is essential. By bringing territories and communities together for aligning efforts, by promoting cooperation across government levels, policy domains and sectors to interconnect needs, demands, solutions and ecosystems, the EU can speed up the sustainable innovation race while leaving no one behind.

In this context, the PRI framework, as a bridge between Smart Specialisation and other EU policies to promote innovation-driven territorial transformation, contributes to:

  1. the strengthening of innovation ecosystems in Europe and
  2. the creation of regional innovation valleys around strategic areas of common interest for territories, including on Deep Tech.

The event will bring together thought leaders in the field of place-based innovation and high-level policy makers at European and territorial level to

  • debate on how to turn theory on systemic territorial transformation into policy practice by operationalising scientific findings in a clear methodological approach that can serve local needs while contributing to European goals;
  • discuss the need to mobilise all levels of government to foster system level innovations to build thriving regional innovation ecosystems  in line with the implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda;
  • Renew the territorial commitment to identify areas, technologies, value chains and local missions of common interest, to rally all available resources, create synergies among existing mechanisms, and to cooperate across boardera to pursue our common objectives.

Structure of the event

The​​ event is structured in three blocks, followed by a space for informal networking and trust building:

“From Science to Policy”

It will enable high-level political leaders to get to know the main scientific and operational advantages of the Partnerships for Regional Innovation. It is divided in two parts, as follows:

  1. The first part, or political frame as per agenda below, frames the Partnerships for Regional Innovation in the European policy context focusing on innovation and territorial cohesion. High-level addresses by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and the President of the European Committee of the Regions Alves Cordeiro are followed by the announcement of the call for expression of interest to develop regional innovation valleys.  
  2. The second part, or scientific frame as per agenda below, aims to set the debate linking transformative innovation and place-based innovation theory with the methodological approach formulated within the PRI initiative and the PRI Playbook published in May 2022. This part stages the JRC, PRI Scientific Committee and the Scientific Coordinators of PRI Pilot territories.

“The New European Innovation Agenda at territorial level”

It starts with a presentation of the role that the New European Bauhaus plays in imagining and building together a sustainable and inclusive future that is beautiful for our eyes, minds, and souls. It is followed by a panel involving political leaders of the territories participating in the PRI pilot action in discussing the interest of PRI for territorial development.

“Interregional cooperation in PRI supporting the New European Innovation Agenda” 

It brings together political leaders to discuss the contribution of the Partnerships for Regional innovation as a bridge between smart specialisation and other EU policies to promote innovation-driven territorial transformation to the implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda, focussing on interregional cooperation.

The Partnerships for Regional Innovation approach

Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) is a new strategic approach to innovation-driven territorial transformation, aimed at linking EU priorities with national plans and territorial challenges and opportunities. In May 2022, the Joint Research Centre published the first ‘Partnerships for Regional Innovation Playbook’ that can serve as a basis for co-creation with the seventy-four territories that were selected to take part to the PRI Pilot. The four Member States, 63 regions, seven cities and six networks that are part of the pilot are co-developing and testing new tools and governance mechanisms to integrate initiatives and investment in strategic areas and link placed-based opportunities and challenges to EU priorities.

The Partnerships is firmly anchored in the EU policy framework, supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal, Horizon Europe, Cohesion policy and NextGenerationEU. Particular attention will be placed on tools and governance mechanisms that mobilise multiple sources of funding and policies to amplify impact and that can help connect regional and national initiatives to EU initiatives for the twin transition.

More information

Updated: 20 March 2023
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