The Vanguard Initiative Annual Political Meeting 2021 – took place on November 25th. Under the chairmanship of Mr Eddy van Hijum, Deputy of the Provincie Overijssel and representative of East Netherlands, VI Ministers met physically in Brussels and online to not only reflect on the latest achievements of the VI to further develop regional innovation ecosystems in a European context, but more importantly, to take decisive new steps to strengthen the VI regional collaboration’s impact towards supporting Europe’s industrial transformation and achieving the EU twin transition by 2030.
Firstly, the VI signed a Cooperation Agreement with the European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA) signed in the framework of the “Made in Europe” European Partnership (please insert hyperlink). The signature took place in the presence of VI Ministers and Peter Droell, Director for Prosperity at the General Directorate for Research and Innovation of the European Commission. The collaboration between the two associations will allow joining forces on a shared goal: accelerating market exploitation of innovation in the field of advanced manufacturing – particularly among manufacturing SMEs – and thereby safeguarding Europe’s global leadership.
Secondly, VI Ministers discussed further the essential role of the VI interregional collaboration towards the development of innovation ecosystems in presence of Mr Jean David Malo, Director European Innovation Council-DG Research and Innovation, European Commission.
While Mr Malo acknowledged the essential role of the Vanguard Initiative in co-shaping the new programme the 'I3-Interregional Innovation Investments' programme which launched its first call earlier this week, high-level VI ministerial discussions led to a set of decisive steps to further realise the VI core mission of co-investing in interregional industrial collaboration.
Indeed, Norte and South NL made the case to engage dedicated expert capacity to design financial solutions to support industrial innovation and deployment within and in between our regions, and make them ready-for-use. VI Ministers of the 39 member regions enthusiastically embraced such measures, as they represent a major step forward in Vanguard's part of responsibility in creating synergies between regional and European financial instruments.