The Vanguard Initiative Regional Conference New growth of industrial regions through Smart Specialization organized by Norte and Galicia regions, provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on the impact of interregional collaboration in stimulating industrial modernization.
The Galicia-Norte Portugal Intelligent Specialization Strategy (RIS3T), the first European cross-border RIS3 was showcased, while activities of the Vanguard Initiative provided further concrete examples of inter-regional collaboration towards the creation of European industrial value chains. Discussions allowed to reflect on the importance of a coordinated response to shared challenges that, in the context of innovation policies, can be addressed together more effectively and efficiently, mobilizing new initiatives and projects, and increasing the application of EU funds at the European level.
After a general presentation of the VI given by the network manager Farha Brahmi who also announced the opening of the first of the two cross-cutting calls of the year 2021, José Carlos Caldeira, leader of the Co-Funding and Financing VI Task Group outlined the challenges and recommendations for the period 2021-2027 regarding Financing of Interregional Innovation Projects, followed by Wim De Kinderen, the leader of the Pilot monitoring Task Group who described the activities regarding the pilot projects.
Finally, the most relevant VI pilot projects for the strategic area RIS3T related to Industry 4.0, were presented highlighting the opportunities coming through a more effective application of new technologies based on complementarity between regional specialization strategies. António Almeida from INESC TEC (Norte Region) presented the ESM - Efficiency and Sustainable Manufacturing pilot, followed by Margarida Machado (Norte region) from INEGI who illustrated the High-Performance Manufacturing through 3D printing Pilot. Domenico Guida from Arter (Emilia Romagna region) presented the recently launched VI Pilot on Artificial Intelligence, which aims at bringing and supporting AI-enhanced innovation processes in companies.
The last part of the conference focused on Digital Innovation Hubs and their relevance to the digitization of the manufacturing industry in the context of Smart Specialization.