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ERIK/IRE conference "Technological innovation and regional cohesion in a wider Europe"

This conference, taking place in Krakow, Poland on 21- 22 April 2005, is organised by the European Regions Knowledge Based Innovation (ERIK) network, the Innovating Regions in Europe (IRE) network, and the Malopolska Region. It will focus on the importance of innovation policies for regional competitiveness and sustainability.

21 April 2005 - 22 April 2005

The first day of the event, which is organised by the ERIK network, will focus on the role of innovation policies for growth, competitiveness and sustainability. Representatives of different Directorates General of the European Commission will offer a comprehensive overview on the latest policy developments in the fields of innovation and competitiveness in an enlarged European Union, including the role of the structural funds, cohesion policies, the European Research Area, and the new European industrial policy. A number of regional cases will be presented to illustrate the successful development of policies to foster innovation in the regions, and the establishment of strategic alliances to promote innovation at the European level will be debated by several European networks operating in the field of innovation.
The second day - organised by the IRE network - aims to present well performing business incubators that have helped the emergence and survival of high-tech and knowledge-based companies through the provision of a number of innovative services to entrepreneurs and start-ups. The workshop will elucidate why business incubators have become an important policy tool in many European regions to reconvert declining industrial areas, promote the development of clusters of technology-based firms, commercialise university research, stimulate job creation, and encourage entrepreneurship. Different kinds of business incubators will be presented, which will explain the innovative services they offer to entrepreneurs and start-ups, such as state-of-the-art physical infra-structure, technical and management support, access to finance, legal assistance and networking. Presentations will be given of initiatives such as:,- The East Midlands incubator network,- The virtual incubator in Madrid,- MjÃrdevi Science Park and Business Incubator in East Sweden,- The Travel Park incubator network in Finland