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Research and innovation
News article20 June 2024Directorate-General for Research and Innovation1 min read

Combining Regional Strengths to Narrow the EU Innovation Divide

The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation Expert Group on the Economic and Societal Impact of R&I (ESIR) has published a new policy brief on the structural factors of the EU innovation divide. 

The brief outlines that the innovation divide is due to the concentration of innovation-critical factors, such as talent and funding, in hubs – a defining feature of strong innovation ecosystems. 

However, such concentration should not come at the expense of the regions that are not able to present ideal conditions to the development of an innovation hub. They should instead be supported in exchange and learn from the innovation hubs using innovation-oriented smart specialisation strategies and value chain integration. 

The experts also argue that the synergies with other policies, such as skills and economic redistribution, to maximise R&I policy impacts, are crucial to the success of these measures.

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Report13 June 2024
Combining regional strengths to narrow the EU innovation divide

This policy brief by the ESIR group discusses the regional innovation divide in Europe and the world. It outlines the main causes for the concentration of innovation in hubs, which are necessary for a strong innovation environment.


ESIR is a high-level expert group that provides evidence-based policy advice to the Commission on how to develop a forward-looking and transformative research and innovation policy. Its 16 experts will provide independent advice on how EU research and innovation policy can best support the transformation of our economy and society throughout the social, green and digital transitions.

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Publication date
20 June 2024
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation