Who we are


Please see below the different governance structures of the Vanguard Initiative.

The General Assembly

The General Assembly is the decision-making body of the Vanguard Initiative, bringing together all member regions or their authorised representatives.

Once a year, the General Assembly is organised as a political meeting in the form of the Annual Political Meeting (APM), gathering one elected representative of each member region. The objective of the APM is to give long-term strategic direction to the network and to reaffirm the political commitment of the members. 

Once a year, the General Assembly gathers the senior officials of each member region in a High-Level Directors’ Meeting (HLDM). The objective of the HLDM is to secure the operational commitment of the members to the Action Plan agreed at the Annual Political Meeting.

Network Representatives’ Meetings

The Network Representative’s Meeting (NRM) is an informal coordination body of the representatives of the Vanguard Initiative member regions. The NRM meets in Brussels (or remotely) at least three times per year. The objective of the NRM is to provide information and update the members of Vanguard Initiative activities.

Pilot Projects

The core activities of the Vanguard Initiative are the pilot projects and their demo-case actions. By joining the Vanguard Initiative, the member region commits to foster participation of regional stakeholders (e.g. clusters, companies, innovation agencies, research institutions.) in at least one Pilot Project. Each Pilot Project is coordinated by at least one member region. The Pilots report to the Board.

More detailed information about the Pilot Projects is available here.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat of the Vanguard Initiative is based in Brussels and is in charge of the day-to-day operations and functions of the network.

To contact the team, click here.

Task Groups

The Task Groups (TG) are Brussels’ based working groups in charge of coordination and support actions for the development of the network, as well as implementing some of the operational activities of the Vanguard Initiative. The member regions are strongly encouraged to be engaged in at least one Brussels-based Task Group. The Task Groups report to the Board.

There are 3 vertical Task Groups:

  • Vanguard Pilot Monitoring
  • Policy Influencing
  • Co-funding and Financing 

There are 2 horizontal Task Groups:

  • Future of the Vanguard Initiative
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Strategic Communications

The Board

The Board is the executive body of the Vanguard Initiative and implements the decisions of the General Assembly.

The Board oversees and monitors the activities of the Task Groups (see below) and implements the decisions of the General Assembly.

VI Board 2024 is composed of the VI regions listed below:

  • East and North Finland
  • Lombardy
  • Malopolska
  • North East Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Wales

The Chair

The Chair is elected by the General Assembly for a one-year mandate. 

The VI Chair in 2024 is North East Romania.

The Treasurer

The Treasurer is appointed by the Board for a one-year mandate to administrate the finances and supervise the incomes and expenditures.

The VI Treasurer in 2024 is Wales.