SMART regional policies for innovation-based jobs on the springboard!


Fostering the creation of innovation-based jobs is the topical issue addressed by SMART EUROPE, an Interreg IVC project bringing together 13 partners from 11 European regions. SMART EUROPE kicked off in Bologna (Italy) on January 26th, 2012, and it will end on December 2014. “Its main purpose is to overcome the critical moment all the partners are facing, upgrading their local policies for the benefit of the SMEs and the unemployed” said Mr. Graziano Prantoni, Councillor for the Department of Business and Tourism of the host partner, Province of Bologna. Building on Mini Europe successful experience, SMART EUROPE has been assessed one of the best proposals among more than 300 projects.

The valuable element the project brings along is the strong anchorage to the local innovation drivers and to the regional policies for economic development and employment. The partner regions will work together to develop smart regional strategies on innovation-based employment opportunities. Each partner 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: “How to make Regions learn reciprocally is the key challenge: losing the specialized knowledge which each of them owns would be a pity.

Therefore, we must take SMART EUROPE as an opportunity for enhancing the role of the Regions in a strategic matter such innovation-based jobs, especially in times of austerity”, said Mr. Jan-Nico Appelman, deputy Queen’s Commissioner, Flevoland Province, in quality of project leader. The SMART EUROPE partnership includes: Flevoland province (NL), Assembly of European Regions, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (UK), Veneto Region (IT), Veneto Innovazione (IT), Provincia di Bologna (IT), Észak-Alföld Regional Development Agency (HU), Maramures County Council (RO), ALMI Mid Sweden (SWE), Patras Science Park (GR), Swietokrzyskie Voivodship (POL), Baltic Institute of Finland (FI), Avila County Council (ES).