The project EURO-COOP was a Specific Support Action of the 6th Framework Programme for Research and Development of the European Commission. It contributed to the ‘Research and Innovation’ priority, whose aims are to encourage a more innovation-friendly environment throughout the EU, stimulate technological innovation and set up innovative technology businesses.
The EURO-COOP consortium was made up of three types of partner regions:
- Large metropolitan areas / capital regions (Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Manchester, Warsaw);
- Smaller, non-metropolitan or peripheral regions (Bratislava, Lublin, West Pannon, Tartu);
- Cross-border regions (CENTROPE, combining West Pannon Region, Bratislava, Vienna).
The project centered on the needs and resources of the 9 participating regions, who need ‘knowledge for action’ and were mainly interested in the following objectives:
- Strengthening the process of sustainable regional innovation;
- Exchanging experiences with other European regions and,
- Developing a comprehensive regional policy impact assessment methodology.
Cooperation between regional authorities (or innovation agencies) and research organisations means that sound knowledge can be applied in the partner regions. We went beyond the standardised approaches that are normally applied – quantitative indicators do not go far enough in the analysis of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of innovation, and only provide limited support to regional innovation policy. In contrast to conventional approaches, EURO-COOP used more qualitative and dynamic methods.