Experts from Europe and China held an online exchange on the regional innovation study being elaborated with the support of the EU and the NDRC. Amadeo Jensana, Director of Casa Asia in charge of the study elaboration, introduced with European and Chinese colleagues the state of art. Robert Hassink from Kiel University focused on the support of regional innovation to cohesion and decrease inequalities. He also referred to the different typologies of regions in Europe depending on the level of autonomy and to the importance of interregional partnerships. Liu Lun from Peking University referred to the provincial autonomy power when implementing / mirroring national innovation strategies. Pablo Gándara from the IUC project referred to the one-size-fits-all approach that seems not to be any longer the case in Chinese provinces.
The online meeting included the participation of Rudolf Niessler, Ramón López and Ronald Hall from the EU’s DG REGIO as well as Alexandra Lehmann from the EU’s Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI) in China. EU experts referred to regional innovation as living systems with soft coordination elements at the core. They referred to empirical evidence of success/shortcomings of the EU smart specialisation approach analysed in evaluation studies. They also discussed the implications of the upcoming interregional innovation investment fund and of China’s 14th Five Year Plan for the regional innovation. EU experts also mentioned the importance of involving the EU’s Joint Research Centre in the analysis as well as DG REGIO’s geographic units for the case studies.
Experts agreed to hold a wider virtual consultation with regional stakeholders in June 2020.