As an illustration of the strategic role that regions play in making innovation happen in Europe, our Assembly also unveiled its Regional Innovation Award (RIA) winner: Värmland County Council (SE). The region was awarded the prize following the building of a hospital in Karlstad, which aimed at monitoring and assessing an environmentally conscious choice of materials, as well as phasing out harmful chemicals in the construction of a new department for premature babies at the hospital.
The project builds on Värmland Landstinget’s long established tradition in choosing the best environmentally friendly products in buildings. By controlling the selection of materials and managing the outputs, the project tries to avoid using material which will cause the structure to be in need of sanitizing or decontamination at a later stage or which might cause illness.
Marian-Constantin VASILE, President of the AER Committee for Economy and Regional Development, underlined that the task at the hand of the jury members was not easy due to the outstanding quality of the projects such as: “Pre-commercial public procurement and living labs” from Vale d’Aosta (IT); “Stella” from Noord-Brabant (NL); “Building integrated photovoltaic” from Castilla y Leon (ES).