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KT&I Gateway


Directorate General Regional Policy (DG REGIO)

Institution overall role: Strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion by reducing disparities between regional and national levels of development in the European Union. In this way the policy contributes positively to the overall economic performance of the EU.

Role in research, knowledge transfer & innovation: DG REGIO provides support for innovation and R&D by promoting greater inventiveness and improving reactivity to changing market conditions and consumer preferences. This is achieved through strategic partnerships between business, research, educational and public actors. Key drivers of research and innovation are addressed at regional level. Investment is in four key elements:

  • R&D and innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • ICT take-up
  • Human capital development

Also, through the Regions for Economic Change Initiative it fosters networking and mutual learning based on the experiences of other regions in improving their innovation capacity, ICT connections and human capital or in giving their industrial clusters an innovative impulse. The Commission encourages the Member States and regions, as well as enterprises, universities and research centres to optimise synergies with Cohesion Policy investments and centrally managed EU programmes, in particular by providing guidance on the EU funding opportunities for research and innovation. EU support for research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) is provided mainly through the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme and the Structural Funds.

Priorities/objectives of rural development research, knowledge transfer & innovation: The European regional development fund (ERDF) and the European social fund (ESF) work to complement the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD). The main areas in which the ERDF is active and in which research and innovation plays an important supporting role are:

  • Creation of jobs outside of the agriculture industry (new businesses, development of tourism-related activities etc.);
  • Development of access and connections between cities and rural areas, especially in the context of the information society;
  • Support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture industry (support for innovation and the development of new products), the agro-alimentary industry and the forestry industry;
  • Risk control in the agriculture and forestry industries; and
  • Development of basic infrastructure in villages, particularly in new Member States.

DG REGIO receives advice from DG AGRI on strategic priorities for research in agriculture and rural development, which takes account of sectoral stakeholders.

Institutional networking linkages: RegioNetwork is an on-line collaboration platform for representatives of European regions and others who are interested in the European Union's regional policy

Research & innovation links: This website is the entry point for DG REGIO’s Research and Innovation web page.


Contact details:
Avenue Tervueren 41
Ground Floor
B-1049 Brussels
Phone: +32.2.2960634