The day-long event attracted over 60 participants.
The conference Innovation Variety in Czech Regions was held on 13 December at the Committee of Regions as part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The day-long event attracted over 60 participants and its main coordinators were the Czech Liaison Office for Education and Research (CZELO) and the Representation of the South Moravian Region to the EU. The event's main goal was to raise awareness of the Czech innovation ecosystem and emphasize the significance of supporting innovation in the Czech Republic.
The morning program focused on regional policies, strategies, and innovation perspectives as presented by representatives from the participating regions. This was followed by a panel discussion in which the speakers discussed the new European Innovation Agenda in the context of Czech regions and the overall lack of human resources in Europe. During the discussion, the speakers also addressed the issue of greater involvement and support for women as innovators, as well as regional strategies addressing this issue. Finally, there was a discussion about funding innovation activities from European Union, which, according to the debaters, is still problematic, for example, due to the administrative burden, lack of trust in the system, or lack of human resources to monitor and inform about the funding opportunities.
The afternoon program featured examples of best practices from Czech regions. First, successful Czech start-ups, regional agencies, and innovation centers were presented. Following that, there was a panel discussion in which the speakers focused on specific European Union instruments aimed at supporting innovation projects. The SME Instrument program and subsequent use of the so-called "seal of excellence" were highlighted by the panellists. At the same time, they agreed that the EU's support system is extremely complex, and that it is impossible for start-ups to know all available tools. The discussion also revealed a lack of communication and connectivity between Czech regions and EU institutions. Regional innovation centers, according to the debaters, should become more involved in this regard and act as mediators between Czech regions and EU institutions.
You can find more information in the press release.