The European Commission recognises Veneto as a ‘Regional Innovation Valley’.

“This is great news for the Veneto, for the people of Veneto, and for the Region because it concretely recognises the great work that we have carried out over all these years in favour of innovation and research. The Veneto Region, with its industrial plan, wanted to dedicate important resources to the subject, increasingly close collaborations with the university world, research centres, and laboratories, because we are deeply convinced that the ability to do innovation and research are strong elements of an economy. The size of our companies does not always allow us to devote substantial resources to these sectors, and so the Veneto Region, through the instrument of regional innovative networks, has also wanted to help small and micro enterprises to do research’.

This was stated by the regional councillor for economic development and energy, commenting on the news that on 19 June 2024 the European Commission awarded the Veneto Region the ‘Regional Innovation Valley’ (RIV) label for the circular economy. The initiative, which the region joined by submitting its candidature last September, is part of the New European Innovation Agenda, which was created with the aim of harnessing the potential of deep-tech innovation and tackling the innovation gap between member countries.

“This recognition rewards the great work done by the Region over the years in support of research and innovation policies and the green transition, and the intense inter-territorial cooperation activities to which it has dedicated itself in recent years,” says the Regional Councillor for Economic Development. “The fact that Veneto has been formally recognised as a leader in innovation is a source of real pride and also belies some comments about our commitment in this area. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the technicians and regional staff, all my collaborators, who with their unstinting commitment have enabled us to achieve this prestigious and important goal’.

Veneto is thus among the 79 European-level regions identified by the Commission, following a call for expressions of interest, on the basis of their commitments to improve the coordination and direction of their innovation investments and policies, to engage in interregional collaboration to further develop innovation, and to strengthen and connect their regional innovation ecosystems. The award guarantees the continuation of the fruitful path of cooperation at European level that the Region started with its participation in the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) pilot project in 2022; today, the awarding of the RIV title is an acknowledgement of the Region’s commitment to strengthening its innovation ecosystem primarily on the strategic theme of the circular economy, but not only and the willingness to create links with other regions to establish connected “Regional Innovation Valleys”.

Obtaining RIV recognition is an opportunity that will enable the region to exploit the advantages of European interregional cooperation in the coming years, for example, to implement shared actions capable of:

●          improve the market transfer of research results;

●         support the creation and consolidation of innovative enterprises and start-ups;

●         improve access to cross-border infrastructure and expertise;

●         develop new standards and regulations.

Moreover, it will allow the Veneto system to boast a greater presence and incisiveness within the dedicated European programmes that have already made their support actions available on the subject. Besides funding, the Commission will also support these regions through community-building activities, meeting events and targeted communication actions.