Regions and cities acting on climate change Survey

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Since the Paris Agreement, EU has been committed to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. Energy transformation is a key element in fighting climate change and requires a fast and broad transition across all sectors to a sustainable, low-emission energy system. It is clear that Europe’s energy transition and the decarbonisation of the economy are one of top priorities on EU level. In regard to these priorities, Committee of Regions (CoR) is emphasizing the role of regions and cities and is stressing the importance of active involvement of local communities and all levels of governance in ensuring successful transition.

8th European Summit of Regions and Cities

On 14-15 March 2019, more than 500 European, national, regional and local leaders from all Member States gathered for the 8th European Summit of Regions and Cities to discuss the future of Europe and the role of regions and cities. One of the messages sent from Bucharest focused on the role of regions and cities in acting on climate change. As global CO2 emissions hit an all-time high in 2018, we are witnessing an increasing protests in local communities, with demands for world leaders to uphold their commitments from Paris. Following recent “Youth for Climate” movement and “Global Strike for Future”, EU regions and cities backed their demands with call on the EU for more ambition and investment to keep global warming well below 2˚C and commit to a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050.

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of the CoR pointed out how “EU has set targets and is increasing investment, but still it isn’t enough: we need to do more to enable regions and cities to make the transition, create green jobs, become energy efficient and cut more emissions.” Speakers at the Summit were united on this subject matter, highlighting once again the important role of cities and regions in tackling climate change issues and transition to the clean energy.

Call for Action

In response to these challenges, the CoR is currently working on two formal EU opinions to foster the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Europe: 1) The socio-economic transformation of coal regions in Europe, 2) Implementation of the Paris Agreement through innovative and sustainable energy transition at regional and local level.

However, in order to achieve successful energy transformation, it is crucial that all levels of governance are on the same mission. Local and regional authorities have to be able to manage this change on their level, starting with best practices and active involvement of all citizens. To obtain the highest quality input and wide range of different opinions, the CoR calls for all citizens to contribute to these goals. You can do so by participating in an online survey which will be open until midnight on 15 April 2019.


INTED 2019

LEA PROJECT: Meet SERN in Valencia at INTED 2019!

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The 13th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, INTED 2019, will be held in Valencia (Spain) from 11-13 March 2019. INTED is one of the largest international education conferences for lecturers, researchers, technologists and professionals from the educational sector. More than 700 experts from 80 countries will present their projects and share their knowledge on teaching and learning methodologies and innovations on educational technology.

LEA (Learning Technology Accelerator) will participate in the conference, hosting a special oral session “Innovation Procurement to steer user-driven Innovations for Digital Learning”. The session will take place on Monday, 11 March, and will be moderated by Eurico Neves (co-founder of SERN). It will explore several topics about public procurement in learning technology, each one presented by LEA projects partners:

  • understanding innovation procurement and tools for steering market towards innovative solutions for education within EU legal framework (PPI and PCP),
  • results from different approaches and experiences of different procurement partners,
  • needs analysis for ICT in teaching and learning based on extensive surveys,
  • procurement of innovative technologies in educational sector such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics or Virtual Reality,
  • how to implement these emerging technologies in learning and what are the goals we want to achieve.

If you are interested in Education, Technology and Development, join LEA & SERN in Valencia and enjoy in the opportunity for learning and networking!

Check for more information on the session here.


RegioStars Awards 2019: The European Awards for innovative projects

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The call for RegioStars Awards 2019 is open! Every year, the European Commission awards those EU-funded projects, which demonstrate excellence and new approaches in regional development. With the goal of inspiring other regions and project managers across Europe, participating projects are in the spotlight of communication activities at European level.  The official award ceremony will take place during the annual European Week of Regions and Cities in October 2019.

The REGIOSTARS are awarded to projects in five thematic categories. This year, the REGIOSTARS are focused on five areas that are crucial for the future of EU regional policy:

  • Smart growth: Promoting digital transformation
  • Sustainable growth: Connecting green, blue and grey
  • Inclusive growth: Combatting inequalities and poverty
  • Urban development: Building climate-resilient cities
  • Topic of the year 2019: Modernising health services

Is you project original and innovative? Do you think it inspires other and deserves to be recognized as good practices in regional development? Submit your project and give it a go! The online application platform is open from 19 February until 9 May 2019.

More information on the award categories and application here.


EU budget future

Members of EU Parliament agree on rules for future regional and cohesion funding

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New rules for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Funds (CF) were approved on 14 February 2019 by the Regional Development Committee and will be applied in the context of the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. The updated rules aim to strengthen the EU’s economic, social and territorial cohesion policy. They will cover all regions, with special focus on less developed communities, urban and outermost regions and, as rapporteur Andrea Cozzolino highlighted, “for the first time, a minimum of 5% could also be allocated to small villages and rural areas which were hit hard by the crisis.”

Countries Minimum % of resources at national level for

“smarter Europe”

Minimum % of resources at national level for

“greener Europe”

More developed regions

(GDP per capita above 100% of average EU GDP)

50% 30%
Transitions regions

(GDP per capita between 75-100% of average EU GDP)

40% 30%
Less developed regions

(GDP per capita below 75% of average EU GDP)

30% 30%

Members of EU Parliament said that the significant part of the ERDF should be spent on smart growth and the green economy, while the Cohesion Funds should continue to focus on investment in environmental and transport infrastructure. Regions should spend at least 30% to 50% of the funding received on a smart, innovative Europe and, on the fight against climate change and for the circular economy, every region has to invest at least 30% to achieve these crucial goals. More information can be found here.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cover all regions, concentrate most money on vulnerable areas
  • Focus more on sustainable urban development and accommodate special needs of outermost regions
  • Increase funding dedicated to climate objectives
STARTS Residencies

STARTS Residencies

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STARTS (Science, Technology & the Arts) is an initiative of the European Commission, launched under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Its purpose is to support collaborations between artists, scientists, engineers and researchers to develop more creative, inclusive, and sustainable technologies. STARTS aims to profit from the creativity and the critical thinking of artists to reflect on novel uses of technology and allow technology to be more seamlessly integrated into society.

The STARTS Residencies programme aims to support and fund artistic residencies that bring original artistic contributions to technology-based projects. The starts residencies days will take place from March 27 to March 28 at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The entrance is free. This event aims to showcase the results of this artistic residency programme, during two days the audience will be invited to:

  • Discover the residency projects and preliminary results, presented by the artists and the researchers involved in the second wave of residencies
  • Learn more about the art-tech journeys of the winners of the first call
  • Participate in an interactive performance
  • Reflect on participative design
  • Get inspired by heads of institutions and communities’ thoughts on art&tech collaborations
  • Attend the official announcement of the 2019 laureates

More information here.

SERN is looking for a Junior Communication Officer!

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Startup Europe Regions Network is looking for a new talent to our unit to perform functions as a Junior Communication Officer.

Who are we looking for?

Highly motivated, detail-oriented and team spirited Junior Communication Officer to create and implement communication strategies. As our association expands, we are looking for someone who can promote our network, interact with the public and establish productive relationships with key stakeholders and policymakers. He/she will act as a key contact for our members and will be involved in increasing the visibility of the network online, including website content planning and social media activities. Ability to embrace a diversity of tasks is essential.

Are you able to demonstrate experience in….?

  • Communicating across various channels including face-to-face, with the ability to engage new members, startup association or SMEs
  • Working with European funded projects, including an ability to act as a spokesperson
  • Web service administration and social media knowledge, strong familiarity with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Managing data and databases of contacts (procuring, monitoring, evaluating and extracting data)
  • Strong understanding of and ability to navigate confidently on web-based technologies
  • Content creation for blogs and newsletters
  • Excellent written and spoken command of English and French (interview will include a test)
  • Ability to work flexibly, including occasional international short-term travels
  • Being an active internet user knowledge of relevant technology and services (CMS, Social media, Google Analytics…)

What will be your responsibilities?

  • Support and promote SERN’s goals, including message development, social media content creation and media outreach
  • Implement and manage email and social media marketing campaigns using different platforms
  • Build and maintain relationships with SERN members, journalists, bloggers, investors and customer audiences that will help advance our network
  • Manage EU projects where SERN is involved as partners and contribute to EU proposals preparation.
  • Engage new members, establish contact with association and other relevant stakeholders in Brussels and beyond.
  • Keep abreast of new social media sites, web technologies, and digital marketing trends; implement these new technologies in developing campaigns and update current campaigns to include new information
  • Regularly contribute to reporting activities, ensuring accurate recording of data
  • Co-organise events, meetings and large-scale conferences


  • Knowledge of the Brussels startups ecosystem
  • Knowledge and understanding of data protection and GDPR
  • Working knowledge of Portuguese language
  • Basic or intermediate knowledge of Photoshop and video editing would be a plus
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing & Communication

Sounds good?

If so, send your CV in English till 04/03/2019, to If you pass the first selection phase, we will contact you! We are curious to discover your talent!


More information about the position is available here



Participate with SERN at the CERIecon goes Brussels Workshop

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On 11 March 2019 SERN, together with Representatives of Regions and Startup Europe, is invited to take part in the Panel Discussion of the “CERIecon goes Brussels” workshop. CERIecon (Central Europe Regional Innovation Ecosystems Network) is a project financed by INTERREG Central Europe and aims at offering young entrepreneurs a comprehensive and sustainable ecosystem to learn, grow, exchange experiences on a European level and getting ready to realize their ideas. Its final scope is to provide the right mix of financial and non-financial support to assist entrepreneurs to create new firms.

The “CERIecon goes Brussels” workshop will be a place to discuss European start-up activities, learn what CERIecon is doing differently in this regard and come up with the best possible conditions for young European entrepreneurship. The event is organised by the Stuttgart Region European Office and the Lead Partner of the CERIecon project, the Board of Education for Vienna and will take place at the Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union in Brussels.

If you want to learn more about the European start-up network, you are interested in CERIecon and you would like to meet innovative start-ups, you can register at the ‘CERIecon goes Brussels’ event here.

EER award

10 tips for a successful EER Award 2020 application!

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SERN was present at the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) Award Info Day, on 17 January 2019 at the Committee of Regions. The EER Award is an initiative of the Committee of the Regions to identify and reward EU regions and cities with outstanding, future-oriented entrepreneurial strategies, regardless of their size, wealth or specific competences. The territories with the most credible, visible, forward-looking and promising political strategy are granted the label “European Entrepreneurial Region” (EER) for a specific year.

Check out our 10 tips for a successful application:

  1. Secure a political support by showing a strong political commitment;
  2. Set up a partnership around your EER strategy (with politics, civil society, universities);
  3. Integrate horizontal aspects related to environmental sustainability, social inclusion, etc.;
  4. Foster a diversity of forms of enterprise and cooperation (e.g.: clusters) and of target groups;
  5. Formulate indicators and consider them feasible;
  6. Demonstrate the label added value and how it’ll help you to boost concrete actions;
  7. Show European added value/networking at EU level and ensure visibility of the CoR/EER;
  8. Read former applications (available on the website);
  9. Do not neglect the SWOT Analysis, it is very important;
  10. Use links and footnotes to give more information and respect the page limit.

The deadline for the submission of applications is the 27th of March 2019. More information about the EER label and the application procedure here.

European Week

Shape the European Week of Regions and Cities 2019!

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The European Week of Regions and Cities is an annual four-day event during which cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs, implement European Union cohesion policy, and prove the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance. The next edition will take place from 7 to 10 October 2019. By answering to the survey below, you take the chance to have a word on the last edition and to shape the European Week of Regions and Cities 2019. It will take you only 30 seconds to vote.

Participate to the survey

On the 16th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities, SERN organised a participatory session on “Pre-Commercial Procurement: challenges faced by regions and cities”. The session highlighted how public procurers can increase innovation from the demand side by buying the development and testing new solutions. The debate featured Mr. Eurico Neves (co-founder of SERN), Mrs. Ellinor Wallin (CEO of Euro Technologies AB) and Mrs. Lian De Boer (Economic Advisor of the Municipality of Groningen). For further information on the session, please see the event page website.

SERN session on Pre-Commercial Procurement: Challenges faced by the regions and cities


EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019

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EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019 - TimelineThe EU Prize for Women Innovators is a cash prize awarded every year to European women who founded a successful company and brought an innovation to market.

The prize will be awarded to up to 4 women innovators in total, who have had the largest impact on the innovation ecosystem by transforming ideas into new and advanced products and/ services for the benefit of European citizens. Women are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises. This is untapped potential for Europe, which needs to optimise all available resources to remain competitive and find solutions to our societal challenges. This award recognises the role of women in bringing about game-changing innovations to market and honours the outstanding achievements of female entrepreneurs running innovative companies.

The contest is open to women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon 2020, who have founded a successful company and brought innovation to market. The deadline is the 16th of January 2019 and the participants can apply online. More information and application here.