Prof. Maurizio Mensi Consigliere al CESE per CIU Unionquadri.

Implementation of the New European Innovation Agenda –

What is in it for regions and cities?

Thematic seminar of the Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP 2.0)

Thursday, 28 September 2023, 14:30 – 17:30

European Committee of the Regions
(rue Belliard 99-101, 1040 Brussels, JDE52)


On 5 July last year, the European Commission adopted a long-awaited Communication laying out the New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA), articulating a comprehensive European strategy for innovation for the first time since the Innovation Union in 2010.

This policy initiative aims at reinforcing European leadership in deep-tech innovations that accelerate the green and digital transitions, by bringing together policies, investments, and instruments in a coherent joined-up approach to drive systemic change and impact.

Its dedicated flagship on accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems focuses on creating the connected Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs) across the EU, by building on strategic areas of regional strength and specialisation, in support of key EU priorities.

This thematic seminar, jointly organised between the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions, will focus on the regional and local dimension of the New European Innovation Agenda, including the opportunities for Regional Innovation Valleys.


Draft agenda


Moderator:     Pirita Lindholm, director, ERRIN


Introduction: Tanya Hristova (BG/EPP), Chair of the CoR’s SEDEC Commission, Mayor of                       Gabrovo Municipality

                        Implementation of the NEIA – A local & regional experience


Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General, DG R&I

State of play of the NEIA implementation


Keynote:         Anna Panagopoulou, Director, DG R&I (tbc) 

Fostering connected regional deep-tech innovation valleys across the EU


PART 1: Setting the policy frame


Speaker 1:       Alexandr Hobza, Head of Unit, DG R&I State of play of innovation in the regions of the EU – Regional Innovation Scoreboard


Speaker 2:       András Inotai, Head of Unit, DG R&I Regional Innovation Valleys – State of play


Speaker 3:       Hélène Chraye, Head of Unit, DG R&I Regional Innovation Valleys e.g., Hydrogen Valleys


Speaker 4:       Regional representative’s (DK) experience with the RIVs call (tbc)



Part 2: Practical examples from regions

Speaker 4:       Maurizio Mensi (IT/Group III), Member of the Italian Confederation of                             Academic Professionals – CIU Unionquadri, Rapporteur of the EESC opinion on the NEIA


Speaker 5:       Markku Markkula (FI/EPP), Vice-President of the CoR, President of the                             Helsinki Region, Rapporteur of the CoR opinion on the NEIA (tbc)                                     Implementation of the NEIA/Call for RIVs – Best practice from the Helsinki                       region


Speaker 6:       Anne Besnier (FR/PES), Vice-president of the Centre-Val de Loire region,                         Rapporteur of the CoR opinion on FP10 (tbc)

                        Implementation of the NEIA/Call for RIVs – Best practice from the Centre-Val                  de Loire region


Speaker 7:       Pirita Lindholm, director, ERRIN

                        Case studies from regions participating in the Call for Regional Innovation                                   Valleys