Previous editions

The Week of Innovative Regions in Europe conferences are main European policy fora for innovation and regional development. The first conference was organised in 2010. WIRE 2016 will take stock of the achievements of the previous conferences.

WIRE 2010 | Granada, Spain
The first of the Week of Innovative Regions in Europe conferences was organised in Granada as part of the 2010 Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It was funded thanks to the FP7 Regions of Knowledge Work Programme. WIRE I looked for greater synergies between European Union and Member State actions focusing on the priorities of the EU 2020 Strategy, its headline targets, and the European Research Area.

WIRE 2011 | Debrecen, Hungary
WIRE 2011 took place in Debrecen as part of the Hungarian Presidency. It focused on clusters, economic development of regions and regional R&D infrastructure, as well as synergies between the Framework Programme, Structural Funds and the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme aiming at supporting smart growth in the regions. It was also funded by the Regions of Knowledge Programme in close cooperation with the European Commission DG RTD unit responsible for research infrastructures.

WIRE 2012 | Krakow, Poland
WIRE 2012 took place in Krakow just after the first Polish EU Presidency (during the Danish EU Presidency) and concentrated on regional innovation ecosystems in Horizon 2020, the future regional dimension of research and innovation, synergies of funds, networking for European Territorial Cooperation and smart specialisation of both convergence regions and Centres of Excellence. The conference called for innovation to be a key central theme within all regional policymaking, in public investment programmes and particularly in public procurement.

WIRE 2013 | Cork, Ireland
WIRE 2013 took place in Cork under the auspices of the Irish EU Presidency and focused on regional aspects relevant to the final stages of the design and legislative process for the European Union’s next funding programme, Horizon 2020. It focused on strengthening research, technological development and innovation; enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); promoting employment and supporting labour mobility; investing in education, skills and lifelong learning; and enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration.

WIRE 2014 | Athens, Greece
WIRE 2014 was organised in Athens under the auspices of the Greek EU Presidency. The conference took place at a time when the EU was adopting a new perspective on regional policy, one which focuses on the concept of Smart Specialisation and the facilitation of a results- oriented policy agenda. EU reformed cohesion policy 2014-2020 reflected a growing need to respond effectively to the conditions created by the economic turndown and sought to ensure maximum impact on growth and jobs, investing in all EU regions and targeting resources at key growth sectors.

WIRE 2015 | Riga, Latvia
WIRE 2015 was organised in Riga under the auspices of the Latvian EU Presidency. It focused on innovation driven growth as a major objective of the post-crisis recovery. The conference underlined the recognition of policy makers of the roles that regions play in cultivating, attracting and retaining innovative human capital. Furthermore WIRE VI focused on the key challenges for regions from programme to implementation, on the innovation divide and on overcoming the barriers to innovation and stimulating regional strategies.

Note: WIRE 2017 will take place in Kosice, Slovakia