Regions, Member States get industrial transition support

Corina Cretu

Ten EU regions and two Member States will each receive a €300,000 EU grant to help their industrial transition under an initiative launched a year ago by the Commission, the EU press service reported. They have applied to receive EC support and expertise in designing development strategies based on their areas of competitive strength, the so-called “smart specialisation” assets.

Over the past year, Commission experts sat down with national and regional authorities and diagnosed what was holding back job creation and growth. As a results 12 pilot schemes, one per region or Member State, were launched to overcome specific obstacles to industrial transition.

“Based on the first results of this initiative, I invite all regions to replicate the experience in the future. They should identify weaknesses to address and assets to build on to haul themselves up the value chain in our globalised economy. To achieve this, they will have access to more than €90bn of cohesion funding for research, innovation and SMEs in the next long-term EU budget, Regional Policy Commissioner Corina Cretu said.

Under the scheme, Cantabria in Spain will launch a project on re-skilling for those who have lost their jobs in agri-food sector. Centre-Val de Loire in France will help local SMEs in traditional sectors develop knowledge and digital skills. Grand Est in France will use the EU grant to set up a hub testing solutions for energy transition in local companies. Lithuania will introduce a circular economy roadmap across the whole Lithuanian industry, while Slovenia will set up a collaborative online and physical platform to develop areas like cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data or robotics.

Other regions included in the scheme are Wallonia in Belgium, Greater Manchester in the UK, Piedmont in Italy, Saxony in Germany, Hauts-de-France, East-North Finland and North-Middle Sweden.

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