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Vanguard Initiative “New growth by smart specialisation� Engagement for the future of industry in Europe




Contact Information



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History and perspective of/on the Vanguard Initiative Quotes HLE Letter of Engagement Background note Leading by example - Cases of interregional cooperation Partnership regions


Picture (of the lunchmeeting)


History and perspective of/on the Vanguard Initiative





Quote MP Peeters HLE 8/11


Quote Hahn HLE 8/11

Quote H端bner HLE 8/11


Quote Quinn HLE 8/11

Quote Van Rompuy HLE 8/11




Vanguard Initiative for New Growth by Smart Specialisation

Letter to the President of the European Council Engagement for the future of industry in Europe The political leaders of 10 European industrial regions were gathered on 30 January 2014 in Brussels to engage in a joint effort for the industrial future of Europe. The ‘Vanguard Initiative for New Growth by Smart Specialisation’ supports the wider application and visibility of smart specialisation principles with the aim of boosting EU competitiveness and future growth. This regional engagement anticipates the proposed ‘Industrial Compact’, expected to be launched by the European Council in February 2014. In this Letter the political leaders of the partner regions express their readiness towards concrete engagement by interregional collaborations in priority domains for the future of industry in Europe. We, political leaders of the regions associated in the ‘Vanguard Initiative for New Growth by Smart Specialisation’, share with the European Council the analysis, ambitions and objectives that give rise to the project of an Industrial Compact for Growth. In supporting the efforts for the stabilisation of the financial and budgetary crisis there is a need to drive a new growth path for Europe with a central place given to the industry of the future. Our proposals are shaped as a ‘Vanguard Initiative’ because we are convinced that leadership and strong partnerships are needed to achieve this ambition. Our political engagement for an Industrial Compact is based on a firm belief that entrepreneurship on the one hand and common policy goals to respond to societal challenges on the other will provide the impetus for revitalized European industrial growth. This Vanguard Initiative has its foundations at the regional level. EU regions are the closest policy link to the bottom-up growth dynamics for the renewal of our industrial fabric, through their proximity to place-based innovative partnerships and clusters in the regions. Such partnerships and clusters form eco-systems that are launching new fast-growing innovative SMEs. They can re-shape industrial structures which are vital for new growth. Thanks to unique combinations of innovation and entrepreneurship in the regions they can develop solutions for the grand societal challenges while delivering on the EU’s ambitions for improved international competitiveness. The political leaders of Vanguard regions are advocates of a strong multi-level governance to support the growth of such eco-systems. To this end the regions taking part in this Vanguard Initiative are committed to a joint operationalisation of ‘smart specialisation’. We believe that smart specialisation can serve as a coordination mechanism for our common efforts to foster structural renewal in Europe on the basis of each region’s competitive strengths. Prioritising public resources for innovation and industrial renewal is an essential ingredient for this. Smart specialisation strategies provide the necessary impetus for re-focusing of priorities through public-private partnerships that exploit the entrepreneurial opportunities of the region while simultaneously providing the basis for finding synergies across Europe.


The ‘Vanguard Initiative for New Growth by Smart Specialisation’seeks to better position and embed the smart specialisation agenda within relevant EU policy framework in following concrete activities: • Matching strategic roadmaps between, national and European policy levels in support of European priority areas for the future of industry, in particular those that are identified in the Industrial Policy Communication of October 20121. Vanguard regions are committed to develop joint roadmaps for building critical mass and complementary specialisations in these emerging industries. • Aligning strategic investments, coming out of these roadmaps, in order to open new industrial pathways via flagship projects such as demonstrators and pilots identified in the European priority areas. Vanguard regions are committed to combine their resources with European investments in these focus areas. • Upgrading regional partnerships and clusters with global potential, which are identified in smart specialisation strategies, to European world-class clusters that can compete globally. Vanguard regions are committed to internationalise their cluster initiatives in cross-border and networked European clusters and partnerships. An Industrial Compact for Growth requires multi-level political leadership which highlights common goals, while promoting a bottom-up entrepreneurial drive for value-creation. The Vanguard Initiative is committed to ensuring greater visibility and stronger positioning of smart specialisation principles and practice in the EU Compact for Growth. The regions that have strong industrial ambitions and smart specialisation strategies for an innovation driven structural renewal can make a difference. Therefore the partners of the Vanguard Initiative choose to lead by example in developing a crossborder and multi-level governance for supporting their clusters and regional eco-systems to focus on smart specialisations in priority areas for transforming and emerging industries. They want to engage in mapping the synergies and complementarities in smart specialisation strategies to boost worldclass clusters and cluster networks, in particular through pilots and large scale demonstrators. These investments will bolster the competitive capacity of Europe to lead in new industries for the future that offer solutions for our common challenges. To this end the political leaders of the Vanguard Initiative commit themselves and call upon political leaders at other policy levels to use the synergies between regional, national and European instruments to support European cross-border projects in common priority areas, in particular for demonstrating and testing new market opportunities. The under-signed EU regions are committed to the development of a unique partnership for growth, which will be ready to act as a strategic dialogue partner in supporting and influencing related EU policy and would welcome the exchange of ideas at Council, Parliament and Commission levels.








Region Skåne

Tampere Region



Zuidoost – Nederland


These priority areas are: Markets for advanced manufacturing and technologies for clean production; Markets for key enabling technologies; Bio-based product market; Sustainable industrial policy, construction and raw materials; Clean vehicles and vessels; Smart grids.


In Short The Vanguard Initiative for New Growth by Smart Specialisation. WHAT – a vanguard initiative of political leaders of regions that commit to the future for industry in Europe supported by smart specialisation, via the development of multi-level European investment and cluster initiatives for emerging and transforming industries in an Industrial Compact for Growth.

WHY – need to deliver on jobs and growth and foster global competitiveness by investments in strategic priority domains for Europe’s industrial future (with a focus on new pilot activities). WHO – regions with strong industrial ambitions and smart specialisation strategies for their structural renewal (beyond the ex-ante conditionality)

HOW – by sharing information to initiate bottom-up vanguard initiatives, developing common roadmaps and multi-level approaches to stimulate investment and enabling local clusters with global potential to develop into world-class clusters

WHEN – initiated to influence the European Council in February 2014 and future investment opportunities in priority areas for the future of industry in Europe.




Background Note:

With this letter political leaders of European industrialised regions support the launch of the ‘Industrial Compact for Growth’ at the European Council of February 2014 and propose their contributions for a multi-level approach. The starting point of this Regional Vanguard Initiative for the Industrial Compact is a shared analysis, a shared ambition and shared objectives in Europe for the re-industrialisation. The budgetary and financial crisis has been stabilized and hereby a crucial precondition for new growth initiatives has been realized. The re-industrialisation of Europe is at the heart of a new growth initiative, to prolong the recent, still fragile economic upturn into a sustainable economic growth perspective for the whole of Europe. The objective of increasing the share of industrial activities ensures a necessary foundation of the knowledge driven economy in Europe. The Vanguard Initiative ‘New growth by smart specialisation’ is an appeal to mobilise fully the potential of the European regions that have a key role in the entrepreneurial discovery of new emerging industries. The transformation of present industries and the emergence of new ones2 is a process that is largely fueled by bottom-up processes of cluster formation. Because of their proximity to these bottom-up processes the regions are natural gobetweens in the formulation of smart specialisation strategies and of European ambitions. The undersigned political leaders therefore commit themselves to a strong regional contribution to the common efforts for the re-industrialisation of Europe, as is solicited by the Industrial Compact for growth and jobs. This Vanguard Initiative is the expression of the search for a new multi-level governance model for the coordination of these common efforts. It is based on the policy principle of smart specialisation, to exploit strengths and synergies Why a Vanguard Initiative? The future of Europe’s industry lays in attractive investment conditions in its regions that offer a wide variety of unique location factors for smart specialisations in future growth markets. But these growth opportunities for the regions can only be harvested with the emergence of new markets and new industries at a European scale. Therefore the Vanguard Initiative aims at bringing the smart specialisation principle beyond its status of ‘ex ante conditionality’ for cohesion policy into the core of European policy development for innovation, re-industrialisation and new challenge driven growth. The Vanguard Initiative advocates a combined bottom-up and top-down governance model for a successful growth strategy :


We use the term “industry” in a wide sense, meaning both manufacturing and services industries.



Top-down: by a political leadership in showing a way forward to a common future by turning our common societal challenges into opportunities for market creation - Bottom-up: by an entrepreneurial drive that is embodied in partnerships for investment based on the strongholds of the regions This style of governance implies that regions are at the core of the new European growth strategy. But complementary a common industrial growth perspective at European level is required to mobilise the entrepreneurial potential. The Vanguard Initiative brings together regions that want to contribute with their smart specialisation strategies in transforming and emerging industries to a European industrial strategy with clear priority areas3. And also the other way around: European strategies should build on these bottom-up dynamics for industrial change. What is the Vanguard Initiative advocating The Vanguard Initiative wants to set an agenda that enables a co-investment offensive in key breakthrough areas for re-industrialisation of Europe, based on the recognition of the entrepreneurial drivers in the regions. Therefore the European industrial policies have to develop a systemic approach for structural change, combining the necessary framework conditions with a pro-active role of governments to enable the roadmaps of emerging industries with the full range of policy instruments. The actors of these roadmaps are the clusters and partnerships that combine the efforts of private innovation and industrial partners, articulating their smart specialisation in an entrepreneurial discovery process. The enabling role of governments lies in a horizontal and vertical coordination of the required interventions, from regulation to infrastructures over education and R&D, to enhance the competitiveness of these clusters. The basic condition for increasing productivity and sustainable growth is to link the recovery strategy with a medium to long term shift in the structure of the industrial fabric by strategic investments. These investments in key areas for the re-industrialisation have to address the fundamental problem of the European innovation gap: the missing links in demonstration, testing and piloting to scale-up our technological potential into market-ready solutions. Therefore the Vanguard Initiative proposes to focus our common efforts on these strategic investments, stimulating the entrepreneurial clusters in the regions.


Such as the priority action lines launched in the Industrial Policy Communication of October 2012. These priority areas are: Markets for advanced manufacturing and technologies for clean production; Markets for key enabling technologies; Bio-based product market; Sustainable industrial policy, construction and raw materials; Clean vehicles and vessels; Smart grids. It is important to underline that these priorities are based on societal challenges. They are broad and cover multiple technologies and industries so that a “picking the winner�-policy is avoided.


How can a Vanguard Initiative strengthen a multilevel industrial growth initiative? The Vanguard Initiative ‘New growth by smart specialisation’ identified three types of specific actions to be implemented under the Industrial Compact: 1. Targeted Vanguard Initiatives among regions that have invested their smart specialisation strategies in the European priority areas - such as advanced manufacturing and other KeyEnabling Technologies, bio-based value chains, personalised therapy and care, smart energy systems. These topical Vanguard Initiatives among regions that have the ambition to build together critical mass and complementary specialisations focus on sharing information and convergence of roadmaps to ensure thereby a better matching of smart specialisation strategies in the wider European roadmap for the take-off of these emerging industries. 2. The alignment of policies and instruments across policy levels to stimulate strategic investments in these priority areas identified at European level. A dedicated Vanguard Initiative can spur strategic investments in Flagship projects such as pilots that comply both to regional and European by investigating appropriate ‘financial engineering’. In particular joint programming and risk-sharing mechanisms can be set-up to leverage national and regional funds for emerging industries, using a ‘fund of fund’model with European added-value4. 3. The upscaling of regional clusters with global potential, identified and supported in regional smart specialisation strategies, to European and world-class clusters that can compete globally. These world-class clusters can be partners at strategic level in the European public-private partnerships (JTIs, future KICs and others) and thereby represent place-based investors such as SMEs. These world-class clusters will emerge from the diversity of European eco-systems as cross-border clusters or/and networks of cluster nodes in international value chains. Therefore a European cluster policy should be put in place that is supporting the internationalisation of regional and national clusters or strategic PPPs. These and other actions can be part of an agenda for developing the coordination potential of smart specialisation for structural change in the Industrial Compact. Therefore this policy principle should be actively integrated in this European strategic framework for growth and jobs.


Such as European Venture Fund Investors Network (EVFIN).




Leading by example

Good practices in interregional cooperation

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Cooperation 1 Cooperation 2 Cooperation 3 ‌..


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Case 1 Multiregional cooperation


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Case 2 Multiregional cooperation


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Case 3 Multiregional cooperation




Partnership regions I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. XII. XIII.

Euskadi Lombardia Malopolska Nordrhein-Westfalen Oberösterreich Rhône-Alpes Scotland Region Skåne Tampere Region Vlaanderen Wallonie Zuidoost – Nederland ….?



Your policy for industrial renewal The New Industrial Policy is a key project within the transition programme ‘Flanders in Action’ through which we channel our ambition to make Flanders a Top-region in Europe. It is an integrated policy of the ministers of economy, innovation and work to promote the transformation of our industry though innovation. We embrace a new approach based on value chains, clusters and systemic projects in order to boost productivity. A targeted cluster policy is now focusing on smart specialization. Cluster roadmaps that are drawn up by industry itself, will be supported by a toolbox of instruments to enable these new value chains.

Smart specialisation in your region The transformation of the industry in Flanders, is focused on two axes. On the one hand, the already existing strong industrial clusters focus on tackling the new global challenges. The textile industry turns towards technical textiles with high added value such as safety textile, nautical textile or textile used in health care. De largest European petrochemical cluster, that is based mainly around Antwerp, has created a strategic programme that shows the path towards “sustainable chemistry”. And our extensive logistical sector proves to be a dynamic factor in the integration of the new value chains. The second axis focuses on the innovative power of new industries such as micro-electronics, biotech or new materials. These emerging industries provide new solutions for new challenges in personalised health care and recycling to name but a few.

Inter-regional partnerships Xxx Xxx Xxx xxx xxx

Country: Belgium


Region’s Capital: Brussels

Employment industry (2011): 404.382

Population (2011): 6.351.000

Share industry gross added value (2011) 19.5%

GDP/cap (2011): 33.381 euro

R&D intensity (BERD/gdp) (2011): 1.64%

R&D intensity (GERD/gdp) (2011): 2.4% 28

Next Region


This Vanguard Initiative New Growth by Smart Specialisation is open to all political leaders of regions that share its ambitions.

The 30th of January a high-level event of the VI has been organised to sign a ‘Letter of Engagement’ regarding the Industrial Compact, which is sent to the President of the EC.

That Letter expresses the principles of the founding Declaration of 8 November, to enrich the European Industrial Policy with a bottom-up dynamics of regions with industrial ambitions and smart specialisation strategies to deliver on European industrial priorities.

The VI will follow-up on its proposals to articulate a multi-level governance for the internationalisation of clusters and therefore invites other regions to join this process, by becoming an active partner and by taking vanguard initiatives in other domains. 30

Brochure vanguard ii en vi meeting 10 dec  
Brochure vanguard ii en vi meeting 10 dec