Workshop “A robust innovation ecosystem for the future of Europe”


European Commission (COVE – Place Charles Rogier 16) – 25 November 2019
11.30 a.m. – 15.30 p.m.

The Innovation Ecosystems unit of the European innovation Council (EIC) Task Force of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation will host a participatory workshop entitled ‘A robust innovation ecosystem for the future of Europe’ dedicated to regions. We would like to invite you to actively engage in the discussion. The workshop will be co-organized with Startup Europe Regions Network (SERN), the European Regions Research & Innovation Network (ERRIN) and the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA).

The objective of the workshop is to understand your challenges, needs and priorities, explore best practices and initiatives that you implement or plan to implement, and to gather suggestions as to how European Innovation Ecosystem under HEU can help you within its mandate as set out in HEU legal base, including through the EIC Forum. The outcome of the workshop will be summarized in a short paper, which will be used in the further development of this initiative. All the participants at the workshop will be explicitly mentioned as contributors.


RSVP by November 15

The role of financial instruments in the regional ecosystem and territorial cohesion


Date: Thu 10, October 2019 | Time: 11:30 – 13:00 | Code: 10WS629 | Building SQUARE – Room 211+212

ESPON EGTC, DG REGIO, SERN, University of Strathclyde, Agência Nacional de Inovação, Investment and Business Guarantees

Policy proposals for 2021-27 envisage a prominent role for Cohesion policy FIs and a significant remodelling of EU level instruments. Drawing on the findings of a recent ESPON study on FI, this workshop will explore how ESIF financial instruments can contribute to cohesion, including questions of governance, capacity and added value. It will also present results of the interregional project “Financial Instruments for Innovation (Innova-FI)”, demonstrating different regional experiences in implementing FIs. Case studies on Portugal and Lithuania will be used to provide concrete examples identified in the project which were successful in overcoming regional disparities and reducing market failures. Speakers: Alexandre Almeida, Inga Beiliuniene, Jonathan Denness, Fiona Wishlade


More Information Here

SERN Thematic Activity on Regional Ecosystems

SERN Webinar Ile-de-France

“How to become a global innovation hub? Paris Region’s support to startups and the innovation ecosystem.”

SERN Webinar will take place on the 6th of December 2018 via GoToWebinar. It aims to present the regional policy in favor of startups (financial tools, access to public markets, incubators), with a focus on Wilco, a startup accelerator supported by Paris Region.

Click here to find more information and the agenda.

Registration here

European Week of Regions and Cities 2018

The 16th edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities will take place from the 8th of October to the 11th of October 2018. 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.

SERN is organising a session on “Pre-Commercial Procurement: challenges faced by regions and cities” on the 9th of October from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm at Building SQUARE – Brussels Convention Centre, Room 313.

This session will highlight how public procurers can increase innovation from the demand side by buying the development and testing new solutions. To illustrate this purpose, two projects involving PCP and PPI will be presented, namely: “Learning Accelerating Platform (LEA); focusing on PCP in the sector of Education”, followed by the “Start-up in Residence” project, which develops opportunities and innovative solutions (PPI) for start-ups. The debate will feature participatory exercises and will be guided by a chairperson with relevant experience in this field, with the aim of developing specific and operational solutions on the PCP/PPI challenges via brainstorming between experts and regional stakeholders.

During the 9th of October 2018, you will also have the chance to meet LEA expert in Brussels. For the entire day, LEA will be present and available for you. Ellinor Wallin (LEA partner organisation EU Projektkunsult) will speak at SERN participatory session and, before and after this workshop, there will be private support and Q&A sessions available with LEA experts on the topics of PCP and PPI. The private sessions will take place from 09:00 to 11:30 and from 13:00 to 16:00. To join the workhop and/or to book a private support session, please contact

SERN Thematic Activity on Regional Ecosystems

The Role of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in Regional Innovation Ecosystem

(Budapest, Hungary)

Click here to find the programme of the activity meeting which will take place on 8 March 2018 via GoToWebinar

2nd Innovation Sessions – Industrial Digitalization & European Mobility

November 21st, 2017, Brussels

With the participation of the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency (AICEP), in cooperation with the Confederation of Portuguese Business (CIP), the Portuguese Agency for Innovation (ANI), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and Eupportunity, would like to invite you to participate in the second “Innovation Sessions” event, a space to present and debate perspectives on innovative sectors.

The 2017 edition of the Innovation Sessions will focus on Industrial Digitalization and on European Mobility. The Innovation Sessions bring together key actors from the European Institutions and main stakeholders from both public and private sector, in an interactive format in view of stimulating the debate and developing partnerships.


The event will take place at the European Economic and Social Committee, in Brussels, from 8h30 to 15h00, including a light networking lunch.

Program: Download

Registration: Online. Deadline: November 10, 2017

WORTH Partnership project strengthens the smes competitiveness through creativity, innovation, and connections

After the success of the Pilot Project which involved a total of 79 small-medium businesses (SME) and 34 transnational partnerships between European enterprises, WORTH Partnership Project is back with renewed expectations. Embarking on a 4 year journey, the new objective is to support 150 cross-boundary partnership projects, Involving a minimum of 450 companies (SMEs and startups). Worth Partnership Project is funded by COSME programme of the European Union to support collaborations between SMEs and start-ups of designers, art & craft and creative people with tech firms and manufacturers to create innovative and disruptive products and ideas.

18th September 2017 – Kick off for the first call of WORTH Partnership Project, a project funded by COSME, the European Union Programme for the competitiveness of SMEs. WORTH aims to build partnerships across Europe between talented fashion designers, creative minds, crafters, technologists, manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) and technology firms. The goal is to develop new products and ideas by generating new ways of making, collaborating and adopting innovative and disruptive techniques, processes and business models.

Who can apply?

From the 18th of September 2017, every creative person, designer, artisan, startup, technology company and SME manufacturer from the fashion and consumer goods industry (fashion/textile, footwear, furniture/home decoration, leather/fur, jewellery, accessories), actively looking for new opportunities to exploit ideas and fashionable concepts with a high degree of innovation, disruption, integration of new technologies and design, could apply to be a part of WORTH Partnership Project by submitting their idea or project proposal online here.

Applicants, SMEs and start-ups, will need to show a keen interest to connect, create and innovate on a transnational basis. The submitted ideas and projects will be valued based on their attitude to innovate, their social and environmental impacts, technical and industrial viability and their market potential.

To learn more visit

ESPON Transnational Conference

“Southern Europe at the crossroads: are we making the right decisions about accessibility investments for the future?”

The ESPON transnational conference “Southern Europe at the crossroads: are we making the right decisions about accessibility investments for the future?” will take place on 3 October 2017 at the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in Rome.


Rome, Italy

Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

3 October 2017 – 9:00am to 5:30pm
via Nomentana 2, Rome
“Parlamentino” Room (IV floor)
00161 Rome

EU Prize for Women Innovators 2018

The European Commission has launched the fifth edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators to award women entrepreneurs who have achieved outstanding innovations and brought them to market. Apply by 15 November 2017 and follow us on #WIPrizeEU.

Why a prize for women innovators?

Europe urgently needs more innovators to stay competitive in the coming decades and to spur economic growth. Women are underrepresented in terms of creating innovative enterprises. This is an untapped potential for Europe, which needs to optimise all available resources to remain competitive and find solutions to our societal challenges.

That is why the Commission created a Prize for Women Innovators in 2011 to increase public awareness of this issue and to encourage women innovators to exploit the commercial and business opportunities and become entrepreneurs.

Who can apply?

The contest is open to women across the EU (or country associated to Horizon 2020) who have:

  • Founded a successful company and brought innovation to market
  • Benefitted from R&I funding from the public or private sector

Apply by 15 November 2017

For further information:

Maserati Live Innovation Event

26 September 2017

Modena, Italy

Are you an innovative start-up with a disruptive technology which may radically change the future of Transportation and Automotive industry?

It is high time to show your talent and get in touch with key industrial players.

The Call for the Maserati Live Innovation event is now open (online address and it will give the opportunity to a number of startups to meet Maserati engineering departments, industrial technical experts, scientific staff from academic research centers during an open-house event where talented entrepreneurs will introduce their technologies to industrial spokespersons. The event targets the creation of a networking to foster innovation, lateral thinking and lay the foundation for potential future project collaborations.

The event will take place at Modena’s track, Strada Pomposiana 255/A Modena – Italy, on the 26th of September 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00.

Do you think that the technology developed by your start-up may have a successful application into the automotive industry?

Then, do not hesitate and apply for the “Maserati Live Innovation” event. Application period closes on the 23rd of August 2017.

Please read the Event Call for all details. For further information please send an e-mail to

Startup Europe Regions Network – SERN

Moving forward

14 June 2017, Brussels

European Commission, DG CNECT, Avenue Beaulieu 25,


High-growth firms are crucial for strengthening the European economy, and boosting innovation and competitiveness of European regions. They create many more new jobs compared to other firms.

Several Member States have already put in place or are considering initiatives to create an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship.

At European level important initiatives have been taken to support startups, in particular on 22 November 2016, the European Commission launched the Startup and Scaleup initiative as part of general strategy to make a deeper and fairer single market and help startups grow. Also, in partnership with the European Commission and since 2011,  the Comittte of Regions rewards every year EU regions which show an outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial policy strategy for the future.

However, futher assessment is needed regarding the implementation of effective measures to support startups at regional level, notably reviewing progess made over time and promoting best regional practices.

In this context, the European Commission promoted the creation of SERN which was officially launched at a major event in October 2015 at the Committee of Regions. Since then, SERN has been set up as a non for profit organisation with a strong commitment to support startups and its activities, in particular byfocussing on the mapping and promotion of support activities at regional level across Europe and by mobilizing regional resources to address relevant barriers to startups’ growth, such as harmonization of regulations, access to talent and to major research infrastructures.

SERN aims at providing an annual overview and gauging of the measures taken by the regions to foster startup growth, highlighting best practices and showing cases studies.

SERN will engage with the European institutions, local authorities and relevant stakeholders to ensure the success of this initiative.











Welcome and Introduction

Roberto Viola, Director General, DG CNECT

Bert Kuby, Head of Unit, Committee of Regions

Startup Europe and SERN

Isidro Laso Ballesteros,

Head of Startups and Scaleups Sector, DG CNECT

SERN Current state of affairs

Eurico Neves, CEO INOVA+

Coffee break

Session I: Presentations by EER regions

moderated by Eurico Neves, CEO INOVA+
Manuela Hofer, Lower Austria
Roberto Algarra, Comunidad Valenciana
Christine Chang, Helsinki-Uusimaa
Anto Recio, Extremadura

  • Review of measures included on EER strategies for supporting startups
  • Update on current state of affairs, progress made and challenges in supporting startups
  • Motivations and expectations for joining SERN. How can SERN help you?

The way forward: SERN activities

Emma Fau, SERN

End of session