Entrepreneurial regional governance
Territorial cohesion through open innovation


Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Congress Centre

7 December 2022 to 8 December 2022

5 května
1640/65 Prague
Czech Republic
Tel: +420261171111
Web: https://www.praguecc.cz

Benefits from societal innovation are not the privilege of regions with structural innovation capacity. This conclusion from the newest ESPON research commissioned by the incumbent Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union is the guiding theme of the upcoming ESPON seminar, scheduled to take place on 7 and 8 December in Prague

The ESPON seminar offers the first-of-its-kind forum in Europe discussing the use of European funds for transforming our regional economies in the interest of society. It is a must for all regional and local authorities who seek to access and efficiently invest resources from the structural funds (ESIF), the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the Just Transition Fund (JTF) and the new framework programme for research and innovation Horizon Europe. 

Amidst persistent and exacerbating societal challenges revolving around health, food, climate, energy, mobility and security, regional authorities are trapped in a self-definition of being ‘bandages of market failures’, taking care of public goods and regulating negative externalities. But retaining such image is a self-fulfilling prophecy. ESPON observes that regional authorities are able to act ahead of market failures, rather than running after them. ESPON coined Entrepreneurial Regional Governance to describe such ability.

Regional public authorities act as entrepreneurs when pursuing social and environmental benefits for their communities. They bridge distances to other regions with stronger affinity to cross-regional societal innovation, adopt external knowhow and ‘pollinate’ their regional markets with new opportunities. These opportunities are discovered by local firms, who in turn respond with innovation, adding social and environmental value in regional markets. In doing so, regional authorities are acting as entrepreneurs, without assuming the role of businesses. 

The seminar is designed to mainstream the practice of Entrepreneurial Regional Governance. This is not spatially fixed endowment but an adoptable ability. ESPON recognises traces of Entrepreneurial Regional Governance in a number of incumbent and new policy processes and initiatives, notably in the Partnerships for Regional Innovation, the RIS3 for SDG initiative and the underlying Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, Open Governance and Public Sector Innovation. All these processes and initiatives can nurture societal innovation diffusion within regions, following the unprecedented opportunities given by the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Thus, allowing ‘societal innovation shortcuts’ made by the public sector to regions with higher affinity for cross-regional societal innovation. This appears to be a promising formula particularly but not exclusively for regions deprived of natural regional innovation systems for spatial, economic, social or historical reasons. 

The Seminar is informing  about the New European Innovation Agenda. The fresh evidence is expected to yield considerable benefits for regional policy-making, in particular in the context of RIS3 strategies connected with sustainable development goals, ESIF-, RRF- and JTF-aided economic transition policies, innovation procurement, open government and open data developments, Horizon Europe and other collaborative and open innovation practices of public authorities.

 You are welcome to join a unique coalition, featuring:

 - the New European Innovation Agenda (Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel);

- the Entrepreneurial Regional Governance concept (ESPON)

- the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (JRC)

- Smart Specialisation Strategies adjusted for Sustainable Development Goals (JRC and Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade)

- Public Service Innovation and Open Governance (OECD)

- Digital Innovation in Governance and Public Services, notably open data (ESPON)

 Moreover, the Seminar seeks the unparalleled encounter with the intellectual father of what European regional policymakers practice over the last few years in their Smart Specialisation Strategies: the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process by Harvard Professor, distinguished economist and former Venezuelan Minister of Planning Ricardo Hausmann.


ESPON Seminar Prague programme FINAL.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 688KB

Practical Information Note_FINAL.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.39MB