News Presidency

The Government presents the Basque track record in science, technology and innovation in Brussels and reaffirms its commitment to inter-regional collaboration

2023 March 29
  • At a high-level conference, the European Commission announces forthcoming calls to support the development of 100 Regional Innovation Valleys 

The Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cristina Uriarte, has presented in Brussels the Basque Country's almost 40-year track record in Science, Technology and Innovation policies. A trajectory which, since the early 2000s, has evolved towards a sustained commitment to innovation and industrial diversification driven by science and technology, laying the foundations for the current Basque Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3 Basque Country). 

The speech took place at a high-level conference organised by the Commission and the European Committee of the Regions, in the framework of the PRI –Regional Innovation Partnerships– initiative. The event dealt with smart specialisation strategies and innovation policies for regional transformation, as well as the relationship between the two.

Now, with 2030 on the horizon, the Commissioner reaffirmed the Basque Government's commitment to making Research and Innovation a lever for improving competitiveness, enabling the Basque Country to advance along a path of sustainable growth. This commitment is set out in the current Science, Technology and Innovation Plan 2030. The aim is for the Basque Country to be among the most advanced European regions in terms of innovation by 2030.

Cristina Uriarte stated that this ambitious goal cannot be achieved in isolation and that “collaboration with other territories will be essential to complement our capabilities, strengthen our research capacity, overcome fragmentation and the lack of critical mass, and gain access to global value chains”.

He concluded by expressing his deep conviction that regional innovation policies have a key role to play in reducing the EU’s dependence on other countries, accelerating the digital and ecological transition and, at the same time, maintaining technological leadership and competitiveness in global markets.

Upcoming calls to support the development of 100 Regional Innovation Valleys in Europe

At this meeting, the European Commission announced the forthcoming publication of calls for projects to develop “100 Regional Innovation Valleys” in Europe. These calls will have 170 million euros of EU funding, from the Horizon Europe programme (€100 M) and the I3 instrument of the European Regional Development Funds (€70 M).

The event was attended by authorities from the 74 territories participating in the initiative, accompanied by the Commissioner for Innovation, Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Cohesion and Refurbishment, Elisa Ferreira, and the President of the SEDEC Committee of the European Committee of the Regions, Tanya Hristova. The event brought together innovation experts and opinion leaders who, together with high-level political representation, discussed how to turn the theory of systemic territorial transformation into policy practice based on data, methodology and scientific evidence. The need to mobilise all levels of government to foster systemic innovations and build thriving regional innovation ecosystems, in line with the objectives of the “New European Innovation Agenda”, was also advocated.

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Politicians attending the event