The Smart Specialization Platform for Industrial Modernization is a Commission-supported initiative to stimulate regions, working on similar smart specialization priorities, to gather and identify synergies across borders. The platform is a response to the recognition that regional smart specialization strategies are often inwards looking, and thus missing the potential of working together on common priorities with other regions.
The platform has already 15 different thematic partnerships among which the important topic of chemicals has not been covered. In many regions, the success of the chemical industry, and its related industries, ensures a high percentage of the regional GDP, export and employment, and is among the main priorities in the regional smart specialization strategies.
Recognising the great opportunity of regions working together with Commission services to build bankable cross-border projects in the field of chemicals, ECRN has initiated the application for setting up a new thematic area on Chemicals that was recently approved by the European Commission.
The new cooperation is led by ECRN members Lombardy (Italy) and Limburg (the Netherland), while the regions of Wallonia (Belgium), Usti (Czech Republic) and Mazovia (Poland) already joint as members.
Among the objectives of the new platform are to invest in cross-border projects that would contribute to:
- Sustainable production, based on renewable raw materials and clean energy (decarbonised fossil energy and solar- and wind power) that contributes to environmental protection goals
- Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2) and energy and resources consumption in chemical plants
- Promotion of new high value-added value chains and their integration across regional borders and across sectors, such as logistics, agriculture, forestry, energy, etc., in a way that complementarities of regional specializations are utilized
- Support to close-to-the-market products, scale-ups, pilot and demo plants
As the focus of the platform is on identifying and building bankable projects across borders, it aims to involve regional private actors and national\regional promotional banks with the support of the regional authorities. In order to identify all relevant regional stakeholders, a mapping exercise is performed by Commission services – ReConfirm.
All European regions and countries interested in the topic are invited to participate. Being part of the platform is free and requires only a letter of interest from the Regional Authority in order to join.
Contact ECRN Secretariat ([email protected]), if you have questions or you are interested to join!