Regions in Latin America and Europe meet to present results of their cooperation


On 8-9 October 2019, the IUC programme’s third (and final) region-to-region meeting convened in Brussels (Belgium). There, Latin American regions joined their European counterparts to present the results of their regional cooperation.

Twenty Latin American regions from six countries presented the lessons learned about joint work in areas such as innovation, smart specialisation, value chains, industrial modernisation, renewable energy, agri-food chains, tourism, and sustainable development. The results of these cooperations are specific, including how to prioritise their work, details of joint action plans, financing measures, and delivery timelines.

Pairings presented their results under two themes: sustainability and innovation in natural resource management; and industry modernisation and innovation. Presentations outlined the purposes of their joint work, the activities defined and their implementation, the pilot projects carried out, the results of the cooperation, lessons learned, and the future of each pairing.

These presentations prefaced a discussion on future innovation in the regions; lessons for regional and national innovation; and crafting regional development policies together with other national and regional authorities.

Ignacio Tello, Head of O’Higgins Regional Government (Chile) Development and Industry Division, explained that cooperation through the IUC programme, “helps us internationalise our development strategy, enabling us to generate impact and economic development through innovation in our region.”

Providing a concrete example, Piura (Peru) Chamber of Commerce Vice President Javier Bereche said, “the moment the programme came to us was crucial. We were looking at which smart specialisation strategy we would adopt in Piura, and finally we chose [one] because it fits perfectly with the strategies of many regions of Europe.”

IUC region-to-region cooperation is rooted in fostering innovation. As such, the event’s second day was jointly organised with the European Commission’s Research Centre, and explored the “Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy.” The strategy, considered essential for the development of cooperation between regions, builds on local strengths and promotes inclusive dialogue, as well as boosting regions to join and compete in global innovation chains.

As this event was the last IUC region-to-region meeting, it presented an opportunity to reflect on the intense work done throughout the year. In total, more than 200 people were involved in cooperation, 40 missions were undertaken, and great advances were realised in international partnership between regions.

For more information, view the full article [in Portugese] here.


Header image by IUC-LAC