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Science must reflect regional needs, says commissioner

Regional economic growth could be improved by ensuring that research done in universities responds to the needs of regions and local businesses, Johannes Hahn, commissioner for regional policy, has told industry representatives.

“Europe has to regain the lead in research and development and innovation,” he said. “Thematic concentration and regional research and innovation strategies are two important tools in this respect.”

Hahn highlighted the European Commission’s efforts to align regional policy with the Europe 2020 Strategy, launched in 2010, which sets our a ten-year plan for economic growth. One aspect of the alignment, he said, is “thematic concentration”, where regional funds are to be allocated in specific areas, including research and innovation, under a system known as smart specialisation.

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