On 18 June the Vanguard Initiative held its annual High-level Directors’ Meeting in Brussels. During the meeting, the Directors took several steps forward in strengthening the cooperation within the network. The Directors unanimously elected Region Skåne as new Chair for the 2ndsemester of 2019 and engaged with speakers from the European Commission’s DG RTD and DG GROW on Horizon Europe, technology infrastructures and EU industrial policy.

The first part of the meeting, moderated by Eva Pando, Managing Director IDEPA, Principality of Asturias, and Vincenzo Zezza, Director for Research and Innovation,Regione Piemonte, was dedicated to network management and governance:

  • Saxony-Anhalt was welcomed as a new member to the Network, which raises the network membership to 35 Regions;
  • Directors agreed a way forward on governance issues for the network, including a new shared cost model;
  • The ongoing work of the Vanguard Initiative’s 5 pilot projects and 17 demo cases was presented including the announcement an additional 6th“observer” pilot project on Photonics;
  • Updats on the progress made in policy influencing were shared as well, including the new joint statement that the Vanguard Initiative has published with several European networks, smart specialisation partnerships and innovation stakeholders in support to the so called "Component 5" of Interreg proposed by the European Commission.

The second session of the meeting was a focused policy discussion with the title “Joining forces to support technology diffusion, industry scale-up and transformation across Europe”, moderated by Dr Dimitri Corpakis from Friends of Smart Specialisation. The first speaker was Mr Robert Schröder, member of the Cabinet of Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. 

vi family photo 2019

The second speaker, Dr Slawomir Tokarski, Director for Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing, European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) updated the Directorson EU Industrial policy. In his presentation, Mr Tokarski:

  • highlighted that the European Commission is working on a renewed Industrial Strategy that should be published in October; while the Industry 2030 high level group will adopt its report on the 26thof June;
  • presented the Important Projects of Common European Interests (IPCEI) and the opportunities they offer to the Vanguard Initiative, S3 Partnerships and regions willing to collaborate on research and innovation, as well as on industrial development along value chains. The Commission will build on this approach to develop spill-over effects and will seek to connect IPCEI with interregional partnerships; the “Component 5” could be a bridge to that.

Following the decisions taken and discussions held by the High Level Directors, the Vanguard Initiative now moves into a new phase of work, under its new Chair of Region Skåne, to ensure that the network’s members can make the most of the policy opportunities for interregional collaboration and co-investment in innovation, and that the network develops a new, strengthened governance structure to reflect its evolution and ambitions.

Source: https://s3vanguardinitiative.eu