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Science meets regions events

Innovation camps and participatory events

Policymakers and scientists need each other to design solutions for the challenges of our time. "Science meets regions" events are organised to promote a culture of evidence-informed policymaking and regular exchange between regional and local policymakers and scientists.

Innovation camps and events at regional and local levels address key societal challenges such as the green and digital transitions, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two calls for expression of interest lead to the selection of 21 regional and local administrations across Europe. You can find an overview of the selected projects below, in alphabetical order:

  • Attica (Greece) on Green transition. A two-day event will combine conference and workshop activities, aimed at raising awareness on implementation policies and practical solutions to prevent and reduce food waste from either catering establishments or food industries.
  • Cluj-Napoca (Romania), on Green and digital transitions. On 17, 18 and 19 June 2022, an innovation camp on ‘Annual Digital Transformation Challenge’, will focus on the implementation of strategic objectives assessing the possible impact of new societal developments.
  • Emilia-Romagna (Italy) on Green transition. An innovation Camp will be run on the intergenerational pact for coastal protection and adaptation to climate change. 
  • Enschede (Netherlands) on COVID-19 recovery. This project aims to address these local digitalisation challenges and sets out to explore where and how digitalisation can contribute meaningfully to the sustainable development and resilience of the post-COVID (sub)urban ecosystem in the Twente region.
  • Estonia (Ministry of Environment) on Green and digital transitions. An innovation camp will be set up to reinvent the Public Water Supply and Sewerage Development Plan (WSDP) into smart data-based governance tools and lay out a pathway on how to achieve this in any urban area.
  • Extremadura (Spain), on Green transition. On 16 and 17 June 2022, an innovation camp will address energy storage with the aim of creating a link between the energy specialisation of the region and its socio-economic development, by connecting challenges of the industry and the environment.
  • Gabrovo (Bulgaria) onGreen and digital transitions. An event on youth & entrepreneurship in the green and digital EU context of the post-COVID era will be organised.
  • Gothenburg (Sweden), on Green and digital transitions. Four workshops on the green and digital transitions will be organised to facilitate the development of a science based city management.
  • Granada (Spain) on Green and digital transitions. An innovation camp and participatory events will tackle the issue of implementing policies to fight climate change at local level.
  • Halle/Saale (Germany), on Green and digital transitions. In September and November 2022 an innovation camp will take place and address the topics of climate change, demographic change, and health. The event will focus on health consequences induced by climate change in a region where demographic change is at its peak.
  • Hasselt (Belgium), on Green transition. An innovation camp on the green management plan of Hasselt will take place in autumn 2022.
  • Helsinki (Finland), on Green and digital transitions. Events will be organised to strive toward carbon neutrality by 2030 and to enhance R&D investment to 5 % of GDP by 2030.
  • Leeuwarden (Netherlands), on Green transition. A multi-day conference will address climate adaptation and increasing biodiversity. The conference will include scientific analysis and scientific advice and lead to expert discussion on the governance structure of the Green Blue Diamond program.
  • Małopolska (Poland), on Green transition: The circular economy – from theory to practice. On 30 and 31 May 2022, an event combining conference and workshop activities, will aim at increasing awareness on implementation policies and practical solutions for the circular economy.
  • Occitanie Pyrénées-Méditerranée (France), on Green transition. The World Soil Day 2022 will be organised in December 2022, on "Soil fertility and nutrition", to feed the reflections, to encourage the commitment of all and to reinforce the dialogue between researchers and actors for the preservation of soils in Occitanie.
  • Ruse (Bulgaria), on Green transition. In May 2022, an innovation camp on Decarbonisation of Transport has been organised to strengthen policy-making in transport and urban planning through close collaboration of authorities, science, business and citizens for greener and smarter urban and regional transport systems.
  • South Bohemia (Czechia), on Green and digital transitions. On 26 August 2022, a conference on Science for Smart and Sustainable Agriculture will be gathering evidence, especially on biological, ecological and agricultural features typical of South Bohemia. For more information: www.agrokonference2022.cz.
  • Tampere (Finland), on Green and digital transitions. A series of workshops will be organised with the objective to co-create a regional digital compass and to elaborate the role of digital transformation in the planned missions of the regional development programme and the associated smart specialisation strategy 2022-2024.
  • Trento (Italy), on Digital transition: AI-based technologies for public decision-making and services. On 21 and 22 September 2022, an innovation camp will aim at increasing decision-makers’ awareness about the benefits and drawbacks of AI technologies for public administration and to promote their adoption through multidisciplinary and multisectoral cooperation.
  • Umbria (Italy), on Green transition: GR.O.U.N.D. Green On Umbria for New Development. Innovation camps will be set up in June and July 2022 in order to tackle specific challenges, including supply chains in the agricultural sector and new life for industrial sites, to reach sustainability in the region.
  • Zagreb (Croatia), on COVID-19 recovery. On 6 April 2022 a one-day event focused on evidence-informed policies supporting single parent families. The event helped defining activities that would be included in the 2022-2027 Social Plan of the City, on single-parent families.

An important component of this Science meets Regions action is the targeted support for multiregional networks, involving at least three regions or cities in at least two different member states. A separate strand was built into the call for expression of interest, allowing specifically for network proposals. The following three networks were selected

  • Alentejo (Portugal) as lead partner, together with Extremadura (Spain), on Green transition. The action is structured around the constitution of an "Intelligent Agri-Food Network for Semi-Arid Regions", for which a series of events will be organised to enable its design and implementation in a participatory manner. The themes of the events will be: digital, agriculture, digital livestock, agribusiness 4.0 and integrated agri-food chain.
  • Gelderland and Overijssel as lead partners (Netherlands), together with Lower Austria, North East Romania and Slovenia, on Digital transition in health. A series of interactive international conferences with dedicated workshops on smart health, will aim at developing solutions together with researchers and social actors to issues defined by the administration in the field of Smart Health. See here for more information.
  • Westmeath (Ireland) as lead partner, together with Limerick (Ireland), and Győr-Moson-Sopron (Hungary), onGreen and digital transitions. Three events will focus on “Future and sustainable industries: Green and Digital Transformation”; “Bioeconomy: Green and Digital Transformation”; “Social Innovation: Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic” to address the green and digital transitions.