Towards the end of the current EU funding period 2014–2020, atene KOM is bringing together German project partners of several Interreg projects in the field of “smart regions”. The goal is to develop a joint position on which funding priorities in the area of “intelligent” regional development are needed in the coming funding period 2021–2027.

Many Interreg projects are dealing with “intelligent” spatial and regional development. Examples of this are the CORA and COM³ projects developed and coordinated by atene KOM in the North Sea Region Programme. An important finding from these projects: Integrated approaches, bringing together different perspectives and sectors, and organizational structures geared towards this are a key success factor for sustainable and “intelligent” regional development.

That is why we are now bringing together projects that have very different priorities:

  • projects that focus on digital technologies and discuss phenomena such as “data as a service”, “big data” or the “internet of things” as a driver of regional development,
  • projects that have a stronger focus on social innovations and on strengthening civil society actors,
  • projects focussing on regional economic development and innovation policy, e.g. by supporting regions in implementing regional strategies for smart specialization (RIS3).

During the coming months, German representatives of 12 Interreg projects will come together in an exchange of experiences on the subject of “integrated solutions for smart regions”. The central question is what constitutes successful integrated strategies for “smart regions” and how these can be implemented. A common position on this will be developed based on the various experiences and (interim) results of these projects. The focus is on the EU funding period 2021–2027: In addition to new project ideas, comments on the draft Interreg B cooperation programmes will be developed and recommendations on funding priorities addressed to the German programme actors.

The project “Integrated solutions for smart regions” will be implemented from September 2020 to May 2021. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Interior, Building and Community and the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning with funding from the federal programme for transnational cooperation. German project partners of the following projects are involved in the interdisciplinary networking project: