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.

The Board

The Board is the executive body of the Vanguard Initiative and implements the decisions of the General Assembly. The Board is composed of a maximum of ten members. The members of the Board are elected by the General Assembly for a one-year mandate and the members can sit on the Board for a maximum of three consecutive terms.

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

The Chair

The Chair is elected by the General Assembly for a one-year mandate. The Chair chairs the General Assembly, the Board, and the Network Representatives’ Meeting.

The Treasurer

The Treasurer is appointed by the Board from amongst the members of the network, most preferably from the elected members of the Board. The Treasurer is elected for a one-year mandate. The Treasurer is responsible for the administration of finances and the supervision of incomes and expenditures.

The Secretariat

The Secretariat of the Vanguard Initiative is led by the Network Manager and is in charge of the day-to-day operations and functions of the network.

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.

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 5 Task Groups:

  • Vanguard Pilot Monitoring
  • Policy Influencing
  • Future of the Vanguard Initiative
  • Co-funding and Financing 
  • Communications