CORDIS - EU research results

Week of Innovative Regions in Europe

Final Report Summary - WIRE2010 (Week of Innovative Regions in Europe)

The European project WIRE2010 is a Support Action mainly devoted to the organisation of the event “Week of Innovative Regions in Europe” (WIRE 2010), which was jointly organized by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the European Commission on 15th-17th of March 2010 in Granada (Spain), regarding the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Other minor associated activities were also undertaken in order to ensure the highest impact of the event. WIRE brought together about 500 stakeholders from 35 different countries. The event was organised along three days, with one additional day devoted to side events. WIRE was structured through plenary and parallel sessions, which included both keynote lectures and round tables. Moreover, the conference held two extra formats for presentation: exhibition of stands and exhibition of posters. Apart from the working programme, three different social activities were organised, in order to facilitate networking among participants.
The event focused on how to move from “synergies of policies” to “synergies of actions” for the optimal use of EU instruments, with the objective of making regions full protagonists in building the knowledge-based society. Four key messages resulted from WIRE, which, in short, are:
• Continue development towards greater synergies of research, innovation and regional policies.
• Creating favourable conditions for these policies to interoperate via their instruments.
• Fostering the ownership and empowerment of regions to accomplish their vision of regional sustainable development in the context of the EU2020 Strategy.
• Regions should play a key role in the Governance.
The political importance of WIRE can be measured by the high profile of participants in the opening and the closing session: the Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, Cristina Garmendia; the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn; the European Commissioner for Research Maire Geoghegan-Quinn; the Members of the European Parliament Danuta Hübner (former commissioner for Regional Policy) and Lambert Van Nistelrooij; the Minister of the Brussels region, responsible of the Belgian Presidency in the area of Research (second semester 2010), Benoit Cerexhe; and the Regional Andalusian Minister for Innovation, Science and Enterprise, Martín Soler, among others.
Three months after the celebration of WIRE, a satisfaction survey was launched in order to measure the quality of the event. The overall assessment has been very positive: 70,4% of the respondents have considered that the conference was very good or excellent (two top categories out of five). This percentage increases to 98,3% if we consider the three top categories: good, very good and excellent. Another clear indicator of the success of this conference is the decision of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (first semester 2011) to organise a second edition of WIRE during its term on the first semester of 2011.
Moreover, in order to ensure the maximum impact possible, in December 2010 two actions were undertaken:
A) Publication of the book “WIRE 2010: Taking stock and moving forward”
The book “WIRE 2010: Taking stock and moving forward” was initially planned as a book of proceedings, but it was finally been extended to a book of conclusions and reflections. In this publication, every conference has resulted in a different Chapter comprising the main topics covered and the conclusions of the different sessions. Additionally, many speakers have prepared a summary of their presentation to be included in this document.
B) The WIRE Winter cocktail, which was jointly organised by the Trio of
Presidencies to the European Union, Spain, Belgium and Hungary. On the occassion of the presentation of the WIRE 2010 Book of Proceedings, the Trio of Presidencies of Spain, Belgium and Hungary organised a cocktail on 14th of December 2011 in Brussels (Belgium). It was also the opportunity to present the main lines and objectives of the forthcoming second edition of WIRE, which will be held in June 7th-9th in Debrecen (Hungary). About 90 people attended the cocktail. The WIRE cocktail counted with the participation of the Minister of the Brussels region, responsible of the Belgian Presidency in the area of Research, Benoit Cerexhe, the Director General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, RobertJan Smits, and the Director General for International Cooperation and Institutional Relations of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Carlos Martínez-Riera, among other relevant people.