On April the 19th and the 20th a delegation from Trentino, composed by three representatives respectively of the Autonomous Province of Trento (PAT), Trentino Sviluppo and Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK) held a series of meetings in Brussels, to discuss European Commission’s initiatives in the field of trans-regional cooperation among technological clusters, financing opportunities offered by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and synergies among European funds and programmes for research and innovation and for SMEs’ support.

The study visit was organized by the Liaison Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento in Brussels, in the framework of the activities promoted by “EU-TIPS”, a collaborative platform aimed at enhancing the participation of the Trentino’s system in the European initiatives.

The delegation included Michele Michelini, Head of the PAT’s European Affairs Division, Mauro Casotto, Director for Internationalization, attraction and enterprise’s development at Trentino Sviluppo and Mario Zen, Head of Technology Intelligence and Transfer at the Materials and Microsystems Centre of the Bruno Kessler Foundation. The delegation presented to the directors of the European Commission some important projects carried out by the Province, especially by the Hub for Mechatronics of Rovereto.


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During the meetings an exchange of views the Commission’s representatives was possible focussing on several initiatives being launched or implemented by the Commission itself.

In particular, the Investment Plan for Europe and the results of the first nine months of EFSI implementation were discussed with Alessandro Carano, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director General of DG Economic and Financial Affairs. Topic of the meeting were as well the rationale and functioning of investment platforms, an effective tool the local authorities can use to promote the investments in their territories.

Trans regional cooperation among clusters aiming at the promotion of investments under the Smart Specialization Strategies was discussed with Slawomir Tokarski, Director of the Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing direction at the DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Another meeting at the same DG was organized with Giacomo Mattinò, Head of Unit for SMEs’ internationalization.

Magda De Carli, Deputy Head of Unit at the DG for Research and Innovation, presented the “Seal of Excellence” initiative, launched by the Commission under Horizon 2020, the EU Programme for Reasearch and Innovation. The discussion focussed on the creation of synergies between the different European programmes and funds, especially the structural funds and the European programmes supporting SMEs and researchers.

With a view to exchanging best practices on advanced manufacturing and internationalization, the visit ended with a meeting with Wim De Kinderen, representative the Development Agency of the Eindhoven Region in Brussels and coordinator of the Vanguard Initiative for New Growth through Smart Specialisation.

The visit was also the occasion to get together the informal network of officials from Trentino working in the European Institutions, such as Commission and Parliament and in the interest groups and lobbying organizations in Brussels.

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