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Implementing regional innovation is a smart idea

The third annual 'Week of Innovative Regions in Europe' (WIRE) conference was held in Granada, Spain in 2012. Europe's regions have a crucial role to play in the development of the knowledge-based society.
Implementing regional innovation is a smart idea
Innovation is seen as a new source of growth for many economies worldwide. The role of innovation, especially at the regional level, has grown rapidly in recent years and is very much a part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.

Previous conferences, WIRE 2010 and 2011, discussed the regional dimension of innovation policy. However, the WIRE 2012 focused on smart regional development based on knowledge and innovation.

Another main feature of this EU-funded project included presenting both major challenges and barriers concerning the development of innovation in the regions. In addition, it made recommendations on innovation relevant for European and regional policymakers.

The WIRE 2012 project conference was organised around three regional themes: smart regions in Europe's new programme for research and innovation, the stairway to excellence, and networking within the European Research Area (ERA). It also provided a platform for formulating smart strategies on regional specialisation.

To achieve the best attendance, media coverage and impact, a whole spectrum of activities was carried out within the WIRE 2012 project. These resulted in a European-wide representation of relevant stakeholders at the conference and, as a result, a multi-perspective platform for discussions on Europe's regional policies.

The main outcome of the event was a series of recommendations on various European issues designed to reach Europe's targets related to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In the future, these recommendations will also contribute to the renewed 'Practical guide on EU funding opportunities for research and innovation'.

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