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E-RAIN project seeks new regional partners to extend innovation network

Six European regions, working under the EU-funded E-RAIN project, are searching for new partners to extend their network of innovative regions. The 'Regions of Knowledge 2' section of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) funds the E-RAIN project. The six partners, from Emili...

Six European regions, working under the EU-funded E-RAIN project, are searching for new partners to extend their network of innovative regions. The 'Regions of Knowledge 2' section of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) funds the E-RAIN project. The six partners, from Emilia Romagna (Italy), Catalonia (Spain), Grenoble (France), Stuttgart (Germany), West Pannonia (Hungary) and Upper Silesia (Poland), want to maximise the exploitation of research funding from public and private organisations. One project objective is to accelerate the exploitation process, freeing it from bottlenecks and inefficient procedures. A second objective is to establish a mutual learning platform, connecting all organisations involved in innovation and the dissemination of research results, in particular those in new EU Member States. 'Talking about regional innovation, we Europeans should have in mind the ambitious target set at the Lisbon summit in 2000: transforming the European Union into the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. Then, we should be aware that the regional level has emerged as a powerful test-bed for the development of policy paradigms that are tailored to territorial needs and specificities,' says the E-RAIN consortium, adding that when EU enlargement took place in 2004, the number of regions in the EU increased from 213 to 254. The project partners have identified a 'fundamental need' in the Lisbon Agenda - competitiveness. Competitiveness leads to excellence, but is difficult for individual regions to achieve on their own. Networking gathers a critical mass of regions, each with their own economies and strengths, which can learn from one another's knowledge and experience. E-RAIN will also analyse and benchmark regional innovation policies, which the partners hope will lead to an operational model, which could be used for implementing research and innovation policies in Europe's regions. The partners will also carry out study visits, public sessions at project meetings, and open discussions on topics such as technology transfer facilities and innovation centres. Organisations interested in joining the consortium should contact the E-RAIN using the details below. Applicants will be added to a list on the E-RAIN website, updated bi-monthly. E-RAIN's project management board will use the list to select individuals to participate in E-RAIN study meetings and visits.