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Connecting the R&I dots: The power of regional and digital clusters

A private Science|Business Network roundtable

As discussions around the next MFF are proceeding, innovation clusters have - more than ever - become a ground for synergies between several EU programmes including Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Structural Funds and the Single Market Programme. While the European Commission already invested billions to support innovation at cluster level, stakeholders on the ground highlight the complexity of EU schemes for regional innovation and claim that “European innovation ecosystems” do not yet receive the recognition they deserve.

With the emergence of new forms of innovation hubs and the rapid advancement of digital technologies, the opportunities to bridge current gaps are huge. This raises a critical question: how can we better connect regional innovation ecosystems, so that frontier research, high potential technologies and success stories are available to the greatest number of actors across Europe?

In a closed-door setting, a select group of experts from industry, research, public authorities and regional development agencies will review the current obstacles, discuss new opportunities and address recommendations to the new European Parliament and incoming Commission on how to accelerate innovation within and between regional and digital clusters. 

Hosted by the Delegation of the Basque Country to the EU

Delegation of the Basque Country to the EU

Featured Guests
Agnès Paillard
Member, EIT Governing Board; President, Board, Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle
Katalin Cseh
Member, European Parliament
Nicola De Michelis
Director, Smart and Sustainable Growth and Programme Implementation IV, DG REGIO, European Commission
Michael Kiesewetter
Chairman of the Board, NBank
Renno Veinthal
Vice-Rector, Research, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)
Ulla Engelmann
Head of Unit, Advanced Technologies, Clusters and Social Economy, DG GROW, European Commission
Vesa Terävä
Head of Unit, Research Strategy and Programme Coordination, DG CNECT, European Commission
Remke Burie
Managing Director, Technical Medical Centre, University of Twente
Philippe Vanrie
Head, EUREKA Secretariat
Jan-Philipp Beck
Chief Executive Officer, EIT Health
Oriol Alcoba
Director General, ESADECreapolis

09:30     Welcome by Maryline Fiaschi, Managing Director, Science|Business, and Marta Marin, Delegate of the Basque Country to the EU

09:35     Clusters, synergies and politics: the state of affairs   

Introductory remarks by Katalin Cseh, Member of the European Parliament, and Nicola de Michelis, Director, Smart and Sustainable Growth and Programme Implementation IV, DG REGIO, European Commission    

10:15     Innovation ecosystems: The perspective of regional stakeholders

A group discussion based on case studies from Catalonia, Stockholm and Lower Saxony, followed by a group discussion

11:00     Coffee break

11:30     Digital hubs: How do they reshuffle the cards of regional innovation?

Presentations from Twente and Tallinn, followed by a group discussion

12:00     The value of inter-connecting clusters

Introductory remarks by Agnès Paillard, Member of the EIT Governing Board

12:25     Moving forward: How to improve synergies between clusters and EU programmes?

12:55     Conclusions

13:00     Networking lunch

Event Pack


Connecting the R&I dots: The power of regional and digital clusters, 12 November 2019, Brussels


For more information, please contact [email protected].