|he networks involve 15 regions, selected for their outstanding performance in supporting the creation of new high-tech companies, which together form a 'club of excellence'. Over the next 18 months, the members of each network will identify, benchmark and exchange the existing good practice of their regional innovation support |
systems. At the same time, they will serve as a 'European showcase of innovation', making this good practice available to other regions through the PAXIS website (see Contact) and a series of seminars. Their existing success was highlighted at the Lyon Forum when each was presented with an 'Award of Excellence' in the presence of Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and Information Society, Christian Pierret, French Secretary of State for Industry, and representatives of the Municipality of Lyon.
In parallel with the four networks, 24 projects(1) will test and demonstrate specific schemes for supporting the creation of technology-based start-up firms - in the fields of university-industry technology transfer and early-stage financing, for example. Finally, a series of accompanying measures - of which the most visible is the Forum for Innovative Enterprises itself - are designed to maximise synergies between the networks and the projects, and to ensure that their overall policy lessons are extracted and disseminated.
(1) For examples of the projects' work, see the two case studies.