Following on the AER Open Doors week, the King’s Commissioner, Leen Verbeek and the Executive Board of the Province of Flevoland (NL) came to discuss the next steps of their engagement in AER. AER has been very present in disseminating information from Flevoland’s European projects, including Smart Europe, More4NRG and Regions4GreenGrowth. In addition to dissemination, AER also shared its own “peer review” methodology for the implementation of the projects. Finally, Flevoland will look into increasing their political involvement in the organisation as they are already very active in the hands on exchange of experience.Follow AER!
This tag is for all posts relating to Project Smart Europe.
Welcome to our projects section. AER was involved in the "Smart Europe" project. The articles below are related to employment and innovation-based sectors.
Less is more!
“We won’t show you our successes or good practices, we want you to see the bare reality and identify the failures we don’t see” is what the 10 peers from AER, Maramures, Avila, Flevoland and Sør-Trøndelag heard at a one-week peer review in Mid Sweden (27-31 May) in the context of the Smart Europe INTERREG IVC project.
Embedded with an outstanding innovation system, an exceptional natural environment and good living conditions, the Mid Sweden region faces challenges related to negative population trends, brain drain and long distances. To improve the link between individual ideas and the regional innovation system, peers recommended improving both the support organisations’ coordination and visibility. Attracting skills, they said, goes hand in hand with talking up the region and promoting success stories.
Info: Smart Europe is organising a photo contest!
Are you an innovative entrepreneur? Or do you know good stories about innovative companies? Does photography flip you out?
Smart Europe wants to showcase stories in pictures and words about smart and innovative companies around Europe. Participating is easy!Follow AER!
The potential of young SMEs for economic growth
Discover the Smart Europe project’s 6th newsletterFollow AER!
Smart Europe project: final video
SMART EUROPE was a project based on the concept that smart and targeted regional policies and interventions can be designed to boost the employment directly in the regional innovation-based sectors.
With this aim, a consortium of 13 partners, representing 11 EU regions, exchanged policies and instruments for identifying and supporting the main regional economic actors that can generate job opportunities in the innovation based sectors of their economy.
SMART EUROPE provided support to decision makers to improve their strategies with the aim of incorporating the creation of employment as an additional key feature of their activities.In support of this overall purpose, the project activities addressed the following sub-objectives:
- Collecting and exchange of good practices and possible policy improvements in the field using a Peer Review methodology;
- Setting up of the SMART EUROPE Toolkit, a customized package of policy instruments and measures to facilitate the creation of innovation-based jobs;
- Development of concrete implementation plans for each partner region to achieve the main objective;
- Dissemination of the tested measures towards other interested EU Regions.
Be smart and be innovative to create sustainable jobs!
On 4 November, the partners of the SMART EUROPE and GreenInfranet projects – INTERREG IVC – met for a joint final conference gathering over 160 participants, where regional stakeholders were challenged to build stronger connections between economic, health, spatial planning and social welfare policies, essentially to bridge the gap between nature and economy.
Find all action plan in the final brochure
SmartEurope official page
Be smart, be innovative, and you will create sustainable jobs!
Almere, Flevoland (NL), 4 November 2014
Today, the partners of the SMART EUROPE and GreenInfranet projects – INTERREG IVC – met for a joint final conference gathering over 160 participants, where regional stakeholders were challenged to build stronger connections between economic, health, spatial planning and social welfare policies, essentially to bridge the gap between nature and economy.
The SMART EUROPE project is aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy, which recommends that the European Union becomes a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. Following the European Commission, these three mutually reinforcing priorities should help the EU and the Member States to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. SMART EUROPE brought this will at the heart of the territories by allowing regions to act directly at their own level.
Launched in Bologna in January 2012, the SMART EUROPE project aims at fostering the creation of innovation-based jobs. 13 partners* have committed themselves to elaborating intelligent strategies, and each region developed over the past three years an implementation plan for the customized package of policy instruments and measures.
The Assembly of European Regions, designer of the ‘Regional peer reviews’, brought this unique methodology to its partners. During one week, a team of experts went to each region to meet all actors and stakeholders linked to the issue, whether they be from public and private sectors, entrepreneurs, universities… These experts then analysed each situation and formulated taylor-made recommendations. Exchanging, sharing and transferring policy experiences, knowledge and good practices were the key words of the project.
SMART EUROPE at the heart of the regions
Flevoland (NL): the Province of Flevoland was the lead partner of the project. Its goal: to focus on cluster development as a means to boost innovation based jobs. The conclusions and recommendations of the peers were included in the Flevoland 2012 – 2015 Economic Agenda, adopted by the regional parliament in 2013.
Maramures (RO): following the recommendations made by the peers, Maramures decided to focus on improving the cooperation between actors at different levels, i.e. public authorities, University and entrepreneurs. To this end, a consortium is under creation, bringing together the main local stakeholders, who will become founding members of it.
Mid-Sweden (SE), or the example of two regions – Jämtland et Västernorrland – which have a common issue. The growth of the tourism sector led these regions to find innovative solutions for a ‘Tourism for all’, including people with disabilities. A pilot study on growth and innovation is currently under process to tackle the issue in the next Structural Funds Operational Programme.
Today is not the end of the SMART EUROPE project, its completion marks on the contrary the beginning of a new step, as AER will now propose the toolbox developed over the three years to all its member regions across wider Europe.
*13 Partners: Province of Flevoland (NL), Assembly of European Regions, NW England (UK), Veneto Region (IT), Veneto Innovazione (IT), Provincia di Bologna (IT), Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency (HU), Maramures County (RO), ALMI Mid Sweden (SE), Patras Science Park (GR), Swietokrzyskie Region (PL), Baltic Institute of Finland (FIN), Avila County (ES).
Find out all action plans in the Smart Europe final brochure
Smart Europe official web site
Newsletter Smart Europe
For more information: [email protected]Follow AER!
For a Smarter Europe
From 19 to 21 April, the SMART EUROPE INTERREG IVC project partners gathered in Manchester (UK) in order to exchange and discuss on how to build dynamic business environments and nourish open innovation. Led by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), good practices from Avila (ES), Flevoland (NL) and Manchester (UK) were presented: the creation of clusters, the benefits of interregional cooperation, and the need for an integrated strategy on innovation were all put forward as ways to push for the creation of jobs in the innovation sector. Regions were also invited to use the MMU Action Learning technique to tackle issues related to the implementation of the recommendations of the Regional Peer Reviews hosted last year, in order to effectively improve policies in the employment sector.
Finally, the date of the project’s final conference was announced: join the Smart Europe Team in Flevoland (NL) on 3-4 November on the path to a Smarter Europe!
Regions leading innovation through smart jobs
During the Conference “Innovative Actions, Smart Jobs”, hosted by Avila County Council on 16 April 2013 in the framework of INTERREG IVC project Smart Europe, AER member regions discussed alongside politicians and policy makers from across the EU the specific issues and common challenges to overcome the economic crisis.
Promoting cooperation between SMEs and research institutes or universities, supporting the creation of clusters and innovative start-ups, stimulating job creation at local and regional level in order to tackle the growing unemployment rates, are a few of the topics on which public and private stakeholders exchanged best practices with the goal of boosting job creation in innovative sectors.
To visit the Smart Europe website please click here.
Peer reviews on creating innovative companies
Smart Europe Regional Peer Review in Veneto: intense, challenging, productive!
Boosting the creation of innovative companies
In the context of the Smart Europe INTERREG IVC project, 10 experts from AER, ALMI, Maramures, Flevoland, Patras and Bologna joined forces and brains for a one-week Peer Review in Veneto (I), from 25 February to 1 March. In order to find out how regions can boost the creation of innovative companies, peers were provided with extensive information on the regional economy and the activities of the different regional stakeholders. A tight schedule of interviews and visits to various business incubators and accelerators allowed them to better identify new ways to grasp the high R&D and manufacturing potential of Veneto. As a result, peers insisted on strengthening the role of the region as a catalyst and a facilitator for innovative business ideas and gave practical advice on how this could be implemented.
All you need to know about Smart Europe can be found here.Follow AER!
AER boosts interregional cooperation on employment and innovation
Unemployment, having become a major challenge affecting regions all across Europe, it is now ever the more important to implement smarter, targeted regional policies aiming to support job creation within each local economy.
With this objective in mind AER held a breakfast briefing at the House of Dutch Provinces in Brussels on 24 January, to present how regions can effectively share best practices on improving employment strategies within the INTERREG IVC Smart Europe project, a consortium of 13 partners aiming to boost employment in innovation based sectors. Within Smart Europe the AER Regional Peer Review methodology successfully provided a framework to improve policies at the regional level in fields such as cluster development and SME support, key drivers for regional development.
Innovative jobs and Green growth AER partners with two new INTERREG IVC projects
Strasbourg (F), 16 February 2012
The Assembly of European Regions is pleased to announce the kick-off of two new INTERREG IVC projects recently approved by the European Union. In cooperation with Flevoland (NL), who is leading both projects, AER will prepare, support and monitor the implementation of peer reviews on regional innovation strategies (SMART EUROPE) and energy policy (REGIONS4GREEN GROWTH).
The project aims at fostering the creation of innovation-based jobs. The partners will develop smart regional strategies on innovation-based employment opportunities. Each region will develop an implementation plan for the customized package of policy instruments and measures devised during the project period. Exchanging, sharing and transferring policy experiences, knowledge and good practices will be at the heart of the project.
Partners: Province of Flevoland (NL), Assembly of European Regions, NW England (UK), Veneto Region (I), Veneto Innovazione (I), Provincia di Bologna (I), Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency (H), Maramures County (RO), ALMI Mid Sweden (S), Patras Science Park (GR), Swietokrzyskie Region (PL), Baltic Institute of Finland (FIN), Avila County (E).
The project kicked-off in Bologna, on 26 January 2012.
The project aims at improving access to finance and speed-up investments in sustainable energy projects, linked to renewable energy and energy efficiency measures. To this end, the partners will analyse the specific challenges related to financing the sustainable energy projects in each partner region and will present a tailored package of instruments and actions to help regions to achieve their sustainable energy targets. AER will provide its expertise in the field of energy and peer reviews.
Partners: Province of Flevoland (NL), Assembly of European Regions, Norrbotten County (S), Abruzzo Region (I), Lazio Region (I), Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency (H), Maramures County (RO), Patras Science Park (GR), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Agency Prahova (RO), Västernorrland County (S), Valencia Energy Agency (E), Centre for Sustainable Regional Development, Gabrovo (BG), Province of Noord-Brabant (NL), Oldham Council (UK), Energy Technological Institute, Valencia (E).
The project kicked-off in Valencia, on 9 February 2012.
Both projects are running from 1st January 2012 until 31st December 2014.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
For more information: [email protected]