EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Cooperation: Webinar on Smart Specialisation Strategy for Startups and Open Innovation

Categorized as News from Asia & Australasia, News from IURC

Today, in the 21st century, the rapid progress and diffusion of IT and digital technology has enabled many products and services to be digitalized, propagated and provided worldwide, and speedily disseminated to hundreds of millions of people around the world. In line with this, the content and significance of innovation itself, as well as the forms of its realisation and deployment, are undergoing major changes. Start-ups with digital technologies that are expanding globally are emerging, and the importance of open innovation, which deliberately and actively stimulates the flow of technologies, ideas and other inputs and outputs between inside and outside of an organization are recognized as a key to facilitate innovation within an organization.

In this webinar to be held on 26 April (Wednesday) from 9:00-10:30 CEST, the discussion will focus on how innovation creation through support for startups and promotion of open innovation is being developed in line with the EU’s Smart Specialisation Strategy. The webinar will be opened by Ambassador Jean-Eric Paquet. It will also present good practices in European regions and Japanese prefectures.

Below, you will find an overview of the meeting agenda:


08:50-09:00 CEST                          Registration and Setting the Scene                                  08:50-09:00 JST

Participants can enter the meeting room and test the line connection and interpretation service.

Moderated Ivana Rae Almora, EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Cooperation Helpdesk (EURADA)


09:00–09:25 CEST                       Welcome and Opening                                                16:00-16:25 JST  

Meeting will begin with the opening address by the Head of Delegation of the EU to Japan and followed by keynote speech by an official from the European Commission.

Opening Address: Jean-Eric Paquet, Head of Delegation of the EU to Japan

Keynote Speech: Wolfgang Munich, Deputy Head, Unit of Smart and Sustainable Growth, DG REGIO, “EU’s Smart Specialisation Strategy and its Implication for Startups and Open Innovation”


09:25– 09:50 CEST                         Keynote Speech from Regional Perspectives                    16:25-16:50 JST

Two keynote speeches will be provided from regional perspectives in the EU.

Keynote Speech (1): Laia Arnal, Director General of Knowledge Society, Transfer and Territory, Government of Catalonia, “Smart Specialisation in Catalonia in the Trend of Digitalization and Open Innovation

Keynote speech (2): Leyre Madariaga, Director of Digital Transformation and Entrepreneurship of the Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment Department, Basque Government, “Digital Transformation, Startups and Open Innovation in Basque Country”.


09:50– 10:10 CEST                     Snapshots of Related Activities in EU Regions                    16 50-17:10 JST

Presentations by EU regions on their regional innovation policy strategies and practices of startups and open innovation promotion.

  • Aleš Pevc, Head of Technology Office, Technology Park Ljubljana, Startup and open innovation support ecosystem in Ljubljana Urban region
  • Ms Monesi Sara, Art-ER, “Open innovation and support to start up within the Emilia-Romagna innovation ecosystem”
  • Report by Val d’Oise (tbc)
  • Report Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (tbc)


10:10– 10:25 CEST                         Comments and Q&A                                                     17:10 -17:25 JST

Hidefumi Imura, Team Leader, EU-Japan Region-to-Region Innovation Project, will present comments from Japanese Perspectives”, followed by questions from the floor

10:25-10:30 CEST                         Quick Evaluation and Closing                                     17:25-17:30 JST


The webinar is restricted to regions and prefectures in the IURC programme but stay tuned for further updates including results of the webinar.

By Ivana Rae Almora