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IP/07/309

Brussels, 8 March 2007

Danuta Hübner launches "RegioStars 2008" awards for innovative projects in regional development

Regional policy Commissioner, Danuta Hübner, today launched RegioStars 2008, the new annual awards event for innovative projects in regional development. RegioStars are significant to the 268 regions of the EU as they provide the opportunity to identify, highlight and share good practice. Applications for RegioStars 2008 can be sent by 29 June 2007. The launching of the new award took place in Brussels, at the conference "Regions for Economic Change: Fostering competitiveness through innovative technologies, products and healthy communities" (see IP/07/299) organised by the European Commission in partnership with the Committee of Regions and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (PACA region in France).

Launching the RegioStars 2008, Commissioner Hübner said: “This new event is an exciting opportunity for regions to find and showcase their hidden stars". The Commissioner added: "It is important that the regional context and the diversity of innovation are emphasised. This is why I would urge all regional authorities to submit an application on behalf of an innovative project in their region. So, do not hesitate to share your good practices with the rest of us".

To embrace all European Union regions if possible, RegioStars will be open to projects that have received funding by the European Regional Development Fund or by pre-accession aid instruments. Furthermore projects from European regions that fall under both the Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective and the Convergence Objective of the new Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 will be eligible for the award. The deadline for submissions of proposals is 29 June 2007.

The Commission also took the opportunity to introduce the publication "Examples of regional innovation projects". The publication contains the summaries of 40 experiences of regional innovation projects developed by regional authorities in different domains such as enterprise clustering, science/industry networking, delivering information and communications technology (ICT) service for citizens and many more. Commissioner Hübner pointed out that "these case studies tell the story of people who work hard and enthusiastically every day to make a difference in their regions". The case studies are part of the Commission's renewed strategy to proactively support the dissemination and exchange of good practices across the EU.

Further information about RegioStars and the published good practice case studies can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/innovation/regiostars_en.htm

Further information on regional policy available at: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/regional_policy/index_en.htm

Further information about the initiative “Regions for economic change" is available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/cooperation/interregional/ecochange/index_en.cfm


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