On 18th September AER has co-organized with ERRIN (The research and innovation network for regions), a policy debate on Horizon 2020 and its regional dimension.
Invited speakers were Keith SEQUIERA (Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn in charge of Research, Innovation, Science) and Mikel LANDABASO (DG REGIO). In an informal setting with around 15 regional representatives, the discussion focused on budgetary constraints, programme implementation specifities, the complementarity between FP7 funding and Structural funds money and the future role of Regions of Knowledge. Both speakers emphasized the importance of innovation for regions. “Innovation is a key issue not just to face the current crisis, but to face globalisation in general,” said Mr. LANDABASO. This will have an impact on what is financed in the future. The European Commission is aware of the duplication and fragmentation of European funding in this area and trying to do its best to overcome these hurdles.
ERRIN and AER representatives stressed the fact that the Regions of Knowledge programme should be maintained, asked for strong support mechanisms for regional cluster activities and challenged the European Commission to provide funding support to deal with societal challenges.
ERRIN and AER also signed a partnership agreement in 2012 indicating their wish to collaborate more effectively around European research and innovation agenda.