ECIU University, an initiative of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, has launched a joint long-term research strategy on smart regions, building on the rapid development of digital infrastructures across Europe.
With strategic input from representatives of its partner organisations, including Insight CEO Professor Noel O’Connor, the ECIU University partners identified four themes including: energy and sustainability; circular economy; transport and mobility; and resilient communities.
The aim is to create a unified, strong, smart and competitive Europe, and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal, such as affordable and clean energy and sustainable communities.
The strategy makes a number of recommendations, taking into account the many problems that cities are confronted with also hold for more rural regions, yet the required solutions may be rather different.
Strategic decisions that ECIU partners and others should take include:
• Put the university at the core of regional processes, especially when those universities have an explicit role in boosting social-economic well-being.
• Promote and actively work in an interdisciplinary manner
• Build trust among stakeholders before working on and defining regional processes.
• Invest in talent; Low-urbanised regions necessarily need to rely more on qualifying individuals instead of competing on attracting talents.
• Include the international connectedness of regions.
• Invest in synergies with education, research and funds, so that various policies can strengthen each other.
You can read the full report here