Next2Met – Increasing attractiveness of ‘Next to Metropolis’ regions with soft digitalisation measures
The Next2Met project is funded by the fourth Interreg Europe call. It lasts for 2.5 years, from 1 August 2019 until the end of January 2022. There is also a Phase 2 for one further year.
The Regional Council of Päijät-Häme operates as the Lead Partner of the project. The other partners come from next-to-metropolitan regions in Austria, Spain, Poland, Germany and Ireland. The project also involves a French Advisory Partner (CPMR) and an administration partner from Italy (Resolvo).
Next2Met is an interregional exchange project with a clear challenge and some proposals for policy-related solutions. The challenge is how to increase the attractiveness of regions located close to metropolitan areas in terms of knowledge, opportunities and capital. These areas have insufficient tools to keep experienced SMEs and well-educated people in the region and the critical mass of RDI is not sufficiently strong compared to the metropolitan regions they are located in close proximity to.
Next2Met proposes solutions that can be broken down into three parts:
- Strengthening the capacity of priority sectors (RIS3) to differentiate the regional offer,
- Using innovation in soft digitalisation measures to support the capacity of priority sectors to attract knowledge, opportunities and capital;
- Ensuring co-operation along the innovation chain to develop and apply soft digitalisation measures in priority sectors in order to attract knowledge, opportunities and capital.
Next2Met’s partners work to improve four ERDF Operational Programmes and two local instruments. The project will create a policy framework in participating regions that focuses financial resources and innovation chain activities on promoting regional attractiveness. It creates the conditions to design, develop and commercialise digitalisation products and services that help regional priority sectors to become the unique selling point of these next-to-metropolitan regions.
For more information, please refer to the Next2Met web pages
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