Inter-regional cooperation on innovation for local and regional development

Regional governments from Latin America and the Caribbean, including Mexico, are invited to take part in the European Union's IUC region-to-region exchange programme, which will enable them to cooperate with counterparts in the EU in order to promote innovation, competitiveness and new opportunities for their citizens.

Innovation is a key factor in creating competitive economies in the era of globalisation. Experience from the EU shows that working in close partnership, regional level authorities, the private sector and the research community can play a lead role in the process of innovation, and in reducing dependence on declining sectors. The international dimension is important. The globalised economy and the increasing role of global innovation networks call for innovation policies that go beyond regional and national borders. The programme is intended to help the key actors to generate global partnerships for business and knowledge development and to position their region in global value chains.

Under the programme, participating regions will be encouraged, and supported, to analyse their competitive strengths and weaknesses, allowing for the identification of new opportunities in emerging or traditional sectors. The programme will seek to stimulate action in the different dimensions of the innovation process:

  1. Technological: fostering innovation and opportunities for added value in both products and processes within the regions involved, boosting business opportunities and research;

  2. Organisational: developing the structures to support Regional Innovation Systems involving a close partnership with the key national and regional actors concerned in order to develop the value chain in the regions participating, from production to distribution, looking for opportunities for growth through cooperation;

  3. Regional: developing capacities in the participating regions for decentralized action in cooperation with the national authorities concerned.


Regions taking part in the programme will be supported in the generation of a Regional Innovation Strategy identifying priority areas for innovation. Participants will be expected to engage the different innovation actors (especially the private sector) in a multi-stakeholder approach in the conception and implementation of the strategy and its agreed priorities.

Through taking part in the region-to-region exchange programme, regional governments should be able to develop new capacities for action at the decentralised level in order to stimulate regional growth and business development and enhance quality of life.

To find out more, contact: coordination-unit@iuc-europe.eu