ECRN President at CoR Conference on Industrial Policy
On 10 April 2013, the Committee of the Regions organized a conference on EU Industrial Policy. The conference was a part of series of events highlighting the importance of European regions and cities in implementing the Europe 2020 strategy and its flagship initiatives. The ECRN President and the Minister for Science and Economy of Saxony-Anhalt (Germany), Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff presented was invited to present her take on the topic in a panel discussion on ?Smart regions and cities supporting cluster development and industrial competitiveness?. More information about the conference is available from the CoR website. The ECRN members are currently preparing a strategic position paper on EU Industrial Policy and the network continues its active involvement in European policy discussions. Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff, ECRN President in a panel discussion at CoR (Photo © Committee of the Regions / Wim Daneels)
ECRN regions and their policies analysed in a European Commission study
During 2012, the ECRN collaborated closely with the European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) in the framework of a study titled ?Analysis of policies in chemical regions to support the competitiveness of the chemicals industry?. The study was prepared for the European Commission by PwC and it covers 26 of the most important chemical regions in Europe ? including all of the ECRN member regions.
The study provides good practice examples and thematic analysis of regional policies supporting the chemicals industry and seeks to provide information to assist public and regional authorities to design programmes and policies to support and strengthen the local chemicals industry. The policies were categorised into five thematic areas (clusters and innovation; research, development and innovation; environment and sustainability; education and skills; and logistics). Based on the analysis, the report includes theme-specific conclusions and recommendations. You can access the full report here.
10th ECRN Congress in Warsaw on 5th-6th December 2012
Opening speeches for the 10th ECRN Congress.
ECRN President Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff (right),
Marshal of Mazovia Region Adam Struzik (middle),
and Vice President of Polish Academy of Science
Prof. Marek Chmielewski (left).
The 10th Congress of the European Chemical Regions was organised on 5th-6th December 2012 in Warsaw (Poland), hosted by ECRN member region Mazovia.
The theme the event was "Facing the changes – new challenges for the competitiveness of the European chemical industry".
The Congress focused on the ways regional activities can contribute to the future competitiveness of the chemical industry and Europe as a whole.
The Congress participants and speakers included representatives from regions, the EU, public sector, industry, and research.
Click here for more information and programme, and see the Congress Declaration here.
ECRN - a platform for collaboration
A network like ECRN is all about contacts, collaboration and communication – with members, partners and stakeholders, both current and prospective. An important part of ECRN activities consists of meetings and events organized for the network members, such as regularly held Permanent Working Group meetings or more specialized Thematic Working Groups, or the statutory meetings of the association, as well as other events like networking dinners. ECRN also works with numerous partners both at the European and regional levels, and the main event bringing all partners and stakeholders together is the annual ECRN Congress – which will be organized for the 10th time in autumn 2012. ECRN opened ICNS on 20 June and Miia Itänen
presented the activities of the network
However, a lot more goes on “behind the scenes”. The strength of the network stems from the extensive contacts ECRN and its regional representatives foster in all of the ECRN member regions throughout Europe. Additionally, the ECRN Secretariat maintains important relations at the European level to key stakeholders and the European institutions and facilitates efficient inter-regional collaboration on a daily basis. Through ECRN the network members have a direct access to EU-level discussions and initiatives, and for partners ECRN provides valuable access to the experts, policy-makers and relevant contact points dealing with practical matters in the regions.ECRN serves as a platform for bringing
chemical regions together
ECRN also participates in various events and activities both in Brussels and in the regions. Few examples of recent activities include presentations about ECRN given by Miia Itänen from the ECRN Secretariat at the 1st Transnational Cross-Border Event on Advanced Materials in Maastricht (14 June) and at the 1st International Chemical Network Summit (ICNS) at Achema in Frankfurt (20 June). The ECRN Secretariat was also represented at a recent inter-regional meeting in Chester (14-15 May) in the context of ChemClust project, which is in itself also a great example of inter-regional collaboration. ECRN President, Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff
visiting Vice President of Lombardy,
Mr. Andrea Gibelli
At the level of cross-border collaboration, the President of the ECRN Executive Board, Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff and Director of the ECRN Secretariat, Dr. Hanny Nover, visited the ECRN member region of Lombardy (9 May) to meet with local authorities and chemical stakeholders. ECRN members Flanders and NRW, on the other hand, held a joint conference in Antwerp (7 May) with their regional ministers to discuss future collaboration between the regions. The network is also constantly looking for new partners and planning new activities or projects to further enhance collaboration across chemical regions in Europe.
For a brief overview of ECRN and the activities of the network, you can access a presentation here. For any further information, questions, comments or proposals, the ECRN Secretariat in Brussels serves as the key point of contact.
ECRN Permanent Working Group meeting in Brussels, 10-11 May 2012
The ECRN member regions attended the Permanent Working Group meeting on 10th and 11th May 2012 in Brussels. The two-day meeting covered all current issues of the network, including for instance the progress of the European Commission’s policy analysis study, discussion over the theme for the 10th ECRN Congress (to be held in Autumn 2012), progress of ChemClust and ChemLog projects, as well as a new initiative to set up a Thematic Working Group on chemical logistics. On the second day of the meeting, a representative from the European Commission, Mr. Marko Susnik, joined the meeting to present current progress and steps ahead concerning REACH registrations and SMEs and to discuss possible support activities in the regions.
Furthermore, the meeting participants were invited to a networking dinner to continue discussions and inter-regional exchange in a more informal setting. We had pleasure to host distinguished guest speakers for the evening: the president of ECRN and the Minister of Science and Economy of Saxony-Anhalt, Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff and the former director of the permanent representation of Saxony-Anhalt in Brussels and an active contributor to the work of ECRN, Mr. Thomas Wobben, who has recently moved to a new position in the Committee of the Regions.
ECRN Executive Board meeting and General Assembly in Potsdam on 29 February - 1 March 2012
The ECRN General Assembly was held in Potsdam on 1 March 2012, hosted by ECRN member region Brandenburg. The meeting was preceded by an Executive Board meeting and a Networking Dinner with members of ECRN and representatives from the chemical industry, associations and research institutes.
In addition to the statutory meetings, approval of the ECRN Action Plan for 2012 and discussion about the strategic priorities of the network, the participants got a chance to visit and learn more about the activities of two research institutes, Fraunhofer (Golm) and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (Centre for Biomaterial Development/Institute of Polymer Research). Interesting exchange of experiences took place also during a Networking Dinner, where different chemical stakeholders had a chance to discuss their common interests and possibilities for collaboration over dinner.
Moreover, an important initiative shaping the ECRN agenda over 2012 was presented to the members. The European Commission (DG Enterprise and Industry) has launched a study titled “Analysis of policies in chemical regions to support the competitiveness of the chemicals industry”. The study seeks to provide a comparative analysis of relevant data and policies in regions with a strong presence of chemical industries and it covers 26 regions (all ECRN member regions are included). While the execution of the study has been commissioned to a consultant, ECRN is actively engaged in the process – the member regions provide valuable input for the study and the network oversees the progress of the work by participating in the project steering group and supporting the consultant in their work. The project is carried out during 2012 and a final report is expected by the end of the year.Executive Board meeting participants just
before a tour of Fraunhofer InstituteGetting first-hand experience and
illustrations of research and
its practical applications