Europe is more than a bloc of nations. It is also a collection of regions. Most regions radically differ from their respective countries. National and global trends are not felt the same way in all regions. While some regions lead, some others lag behind these trends, i.e. some regions maintain low unemployment rates despite a global downturn. As a result, the disparities between regions are far greater than the differences between countries. The ability of regional economies to withstand competition and to manage change is related to their capacity to innovate.
The Regional Programmes of Innovative Actions were the European Union’s and probably the world’s first ever capacity building exercise for regions. The regions were given the chance to develop a holistic regional innovation strategy, to directly manage their allocated budget and engage for the first ever time in direct contact with the EU. Furthermore, regions were encouraged to better learn and comprehend the value of sustainable growth in the knowledge economy era.
The Showcasing Innovative Greece publication, presents both first and second generation programmes with particular emphasis to their categorisation according to four different typologies (i.a. regional economic activity, overall innovation performance, trade globalisation regional innovation index, sectoral specialization of regions). They aimed to become an innovative energy boost for Greek regional economies. Their accumulated experience could serve as a beacon and example for other remote regions with less favourable circumstances.