Vote for your favourite EU Regions Week session!

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Vote for your favourite #EURegionsWeek session!The 2018 edition of #EURegionsWeek will take place on 8-11 October 2018. From 16 to 27 April, you can vote for your favorite proposals in an open online consultation on the EU Regions Week website. Now is your chance to vote!

Our session:

PCP and PPI:  challenges faced by regions and cities

The public sector is facing important challenges and issues. Addressing these often requires public sector transformations. PCP and PPI can open up markets for industry/researchers, creating growth and jobs in Europe. However, the potential of PCP and PPI is under-utilized in the EU, due to a lack of initiatives. The aim of this participatory session is to bring together managing authorities and public procurers (cities and regions) and different PCP and PPI stakeholders, to exchange experience and discuss improvements.

How to vote for SERN?

  • Open the survey form and select the thematic cluster ‘Education, culture and youth’;
  • Search for ‘PCP and PPI: Challenges faced by Regions and Cities’ and tick the box;
  • Fill in your personal details and click ‘submit’.

Join us at the #EURegionsWeek! Spread the word and encourage others vote for their favorite(s) by filling the survey by 27 April. The results will be published on 30 April.

Conference “The future of the European Union and the role of regions “

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The future of European Union and the role of the regionsA wide debate on the future of Europe is taking place, at a time of multiple challenges for the European integration. Regions play a central role in promoting and engaging in partnerships and in supporting European co-operation in all its different forms: economic, social, cultural and political. It illustrates the need to discuss what role the regions could and should play in the future EU27. But the question remains How regions can feed the debate about the future of the EU?”

In the conference “The future of the European Union and the role of regions” that happened on the 10th of April 2018, several themes have been discussed, as the risks of a multiple-speed Europe, the legitimacy of the principle of subsidiarity, the heart of European architecture or the future of the social Europe and of the Cohesion Policy. Regions seem to be closer to the citizens and they are seen as important actors to rebuild trust in the EU.  They are the links that bring Europe closer together, and it is essential that the EU gives high priority in the future to supporting and reinforcing regional co-operation activities, particularly given the instability facing Europe. The opinion, coming out of the conference, is planned for adoption in the CoR plenary on 8-10 October 2018.

The main conclusions are as following:

  • Consider that the debate on the future of Europe can be an opportunity to reintegrate citizens into the heart of European project, while re-vitalizing the European project;
  • Are in favour of reforming the current EU institutional set-up through strengthened multi-level governance rather than new treaties or new EU ministerial positions;
  • Consider that cohesion should be the number one policy priority for the EU and that having cohesion available in all regions is of great important for EU future.

For more information, please check, the agenda here and the online streaming of each workshop here.

The Startup Europe Ecosystem

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The Startup Europe Ecosystem

Analysis of the Startup Europe projects and of their beneficiaries

The Startup Europe EcosystemSuccessful startups generate large economic benefits and facilitating their growth is ascending the policy agenda. Policies that support startups aim to improve both the framework and the systemic conditions of the entrepreneurial ecosystems. The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a Technical report about Startup Europe projects and their beneficiaries.

In 2015 the European Commission DG CNECT launched the 2nd edition of the Startup Europe (SE) initiative under the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme. This initiative coordinated the efforts of six distinct projects (Digistart, Welcome, ePlus, Startup Scaleup, Twist and Startup Europe Partnership) that connected just as many European entrepreneurial ecosystems. The report “The Startup Europe Ecosystem. Analysis of the Startup Europe projects and of their beneficiaries” provides the theoretical framework to analyse the policy support to entrepreneurship and evidence on the nearly 700 startups participating in the SE projects. This exercise also helps to collect relevant insights about the effectiveness of the matching between the SE offerings and the needs of startups.

You can find the complete report written by Fiammetta Rossetti, Daniel Nepelski and Melisande Cardona here.

Boosting regions as centres of innovation for a competitive industrial sector in Europe

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Boosting regions as centres of innovation

Local and regional politicians adopted recommendations for “Boosting regions as centres of innovation for a competitive industrial sector in Europe” on 23 March in Brussels.

The opinion drawn up by Heinz Lehmann (DE/EPP) highlights the potential of cities and regions to serve as hubs for innovation and so support Europe’s global industrial competitiveness. Given the centrality of regions and regional ecosystems to industrial modernisation and innovation, the rapporteur calls for the EU’s strategy to have a strong regional dimension. In a rapidly changing world, the aim of an EU industrial policy strategy at European level is to respond to current and future challenges and opportunities in order to enhance the competitiveness of European industry. Cities and regions have an important part to play in supporting industry’s capacity for change and innovation to make it fit for the digital age.

You can find the draft opinion on “A European strategy for industry: the role and perspective of regional and local authorities” here.

High-level conference: Financing sustainable growth

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High-level conference Financing sustainable growth“High-level conference Financing sustainable growth”, will take place on the 22nd of March at 9:00 am Brussels time. This conference will present the EU strategy on the basis of the Commission Action Plan but also to agree on concrete follow-up for further development of sustainable finance. Furthermore, it will provide the momentum and a shared vision on sustainable finance to feed the European Council debate and conclusions of 22-23 March 2018.

Action Plan on sustainable finance is part of the Capital Markets Union’s (CMU) efforts to connect finance with the specific needs of the European economy to the benefit of the planet and our society. It is also one of the key steps towards implementing the historic Paris Agreement and the EU’s agenda for sustainable development. The EU needs a strategy to unlock the full potential of sustainable finance and investment in the low-carbon, circular and resource-efficient economy.

The conference will be webstreamed. The link for web streaming will be available soon. You can also register here. Further information about the conference and the agenda here.

Startup Europe Week 2018 'European Regions as key players'

Startup Europe Week 2018 – ‘European Regions as Key Players’

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Startup Europe Week 2018 is an initiative launched in 2016 and promoted by the European Commission and Startup Europe. Regional diversity and local policy making still play a big role in shaping European startups. From helping entrepreneurs to incorporate a company, to providing grants or taxes breaks, European regions are key players. Taking a local perspective is crucial to supporting entrepreneurs and startups in Europe.

Startup Europe Week has several aims:

  • Showcase best initiatives promoted by regions to support entrepreneurs.
  • Inform the local ecosystem about what already exists to help them now.
  • Provide live consulting sessions on how to open a company, apply for a grant etc.
  • Share among regional officers what other regions in Europe are doing and what can be leveraged locally.
  • Connect regional officers, investors and corporates to create stronger local ecosystems.

Why participate in Startup Europe Week 2018?

This is an awesome opportunity for you to learn and get the regional resources already available at an European level. This event is perfect for entrepreneurs, studentspolicy makers, journalists and anyone who works in the startup world. You can also find several events:

  • Information sessions on local specific actions to support entrepreneurs.
  • Regional authorities’ meetings.
  • Information sessions about Startup Europe projects and European Commission funds Office hours and workshops with regional representatives.
  • Great talks with local entrepreneurs and investors.

You can find the closest Startup Europe Week events here. You are also invited to join the official launch of Startup Europe Week 2018 (5th- 9th March) in Brussels. Further information and how to participate here.

Jury of StartUp Europe Awards 2016

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Jury of StartUp Europe Awards 2016

On the occasion of the celebration of the StartUp Europe Awards 2016 European Final, the StartUp Europe Awards organization formally invited SERN to be part of the jury board that will appoint the “Best Public Administration for startups”.

 StartUp Europe Awards is an initiative promoted by the European Commission and supported by the President of the Committee of Regions, several members of the European Parliament as ambassadors and it is implemented by the Finnova Foundation in collaboration with StartUp Europe.

This initiative recognises the effort of the European startups at five different levels: local, municipal, regional, national and European, in ten categories for 2016: Creative, Energy, Fintech, Environment, Health, ICT’s, Smart Cities, Social, Tourism and Water.

This Public Administration will be publicly recognised in the StartUp Europe Award ceremony that will be honorifically presided over by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, Wednesday, 7th June at 17.00h in the European Parliament.


For more information:


SERN presented at Agorada Matchmaking event on Internet of Things – 2017, Brussels

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SERN presented at Agorada Matchmaking event on Internet of Things – 2017, Brussels

The Watify initiative is an awareness-raising campaign, funded by the European Commission, to stimulate the technological transformation of Europe’s industry. Watify is organising an inter-regional matchmaking event on Internet of Things in Brussels, in cooperation with EURADA, SEIMED, Impulse.Brussels and Emilia Romagna – Brussels representation office and the Enterprise Europe Network.

The objective of the matchmaking event is to facilitate inter-regional / cross-border cooperation between regional public and private sector actors in the development of joint initiatives /partnerships or joint demonstration projects in Internet of Things – matching S3 priorities and exploiting identified synergies and complementary resources and strengths.

SERN, the European Network of Regions committed to support startups was presented at this event. SERN main activities will focus on mapping initiatives taken at regional level for supporting startups, promoting best practices, putting forward regional and facilitating interconnection among regions to learn from each other.


For more information:


Startup Europe Regions Network workshop at Salamanca Startup Olé event

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Startup Europe Regions Network workshop at Salamanca Startup Olé event


An attractive agenda, many different interactive sessions, pitching competitions and much more: Startup Olé event in Salamanca was also hosting a workshop organized by the Startup Europe Regions Network (SERN) presenting the main results of the past year activities and the new members.

The workshop organized by SERN, a Brussels based international association, counted with the participation of several SERN members and representatives of European Regions as well as members of the European Commission and of the Committee of Regions.

The session was chaired by the EC representative Isidro Laso, Head of Unit of Startup Europe Initiative, DG Growth, who introduced the importance of the Startup Regions Network within the context of the Startup Europe initiative.

Among the workshop speakers, Eurico Neves, one of the SERN founders, gave a presentation about the SERN structure & mission and foreseen challenges for 2017 and 2018. Overall, SERN seems very well positioned in the European entrepreneurship context, providing local support to regions, with a European perspective: “Think European, Act Regionally – activities should focus on promoting a culture of ‘startup-friendly’ regions”, stressed Mr Neves in his speech.

Finally, Mr Neves proudly presented the new 15 SERN members and the upcoming activities of the association: among other, the annual SERN conference, planned for 14th june 2017 in Brussels, and a survey to develop a regional startup support mapping.


For more information (how become a member, participate in the survey, register for the event), visit and follow us on Twitter @Startupregions