Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation ecosystems

RegioStars 2008 ‘“ The Awards for Regional Innovative Projects

EU starsRegioStars – The Awards for Innovative Projects – form part of the “enhanced communication effort” proposed in the Communication on Regions for Economic Change (COM(2006) 675). The Communication states that “Integral to the communication policy of Regions for Economic Change will be the creation of annual innovation awards for best projects in the area of selected themes linked to economic modernisation.

These awards will improve information about good practice, stimulate the exchange of experience and provide visibility for progressive-thinking. They will be presented each year at the Regions for Economic Change spring conference. Details of the first application of the awards will be announced at the conference in March 2007.”
The main objective of RegioStars 2008 is to identify good innovative practices in regional development. The aim is to highlight original and innovative projects which could be attractive and inspiring to other regions under the following themes and sub-themes:

Regional Economies Based on Knowledge and Technological Innovation.

1. Supporting clusters and business networks
2. Technology transfer from research institutes to SMEs

Sustainable Economic Development.

3. Energy efficiency and renewable energies
4. Environmental technologies

The choice of project is entirely up to the regional authorities, as are the processes and methods used to select it.

Award Criteria
The award criteria will be:

Innovative character of the project in the regional context. (In this context a project is an action which has a strategic dimension and which has potential impact on the region).
Potential impact on the regional economy
Expected sustainability of the project
Project’ s results in enhancing local, regional and interregional partnerships

The RegioStars Jury will comprise six jurors including experts on the Award themes and representatives from the Commission and the Committee of the Regions. It will meet for the first time in October 2007 and will continue its work through to end January 2008, at which stage the winners will be decided.

For each sub-theme there will be two winners; one from a Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective region and one from a Convergence Objective region.

The winners will be notified by mid-February 2008. Winners are expected to attend the Regions for Economic Change conference in March 2008 when the awards will be announced. They may also be asked to present their project at the conference. The winners will be presented with a trophy; there will be no monetary reward.

Shortlist and Good Practice Examples
A shortlist of the 40 best projects will be drawn up. The contact person from the regional authority will be informed in November 2007 if his/her application is included in the shortlist. The Innovative Actions unit of DG Regional Policy will work with the 40 best projects to produce case studies for publication and inclusion on the DG Regional Policy website. A representative from all shortlisted projects will be invited to the Regions for Economic Change conference in March 2008 when the awards will be announced.