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Smart Regions project – Measuring the real impact of ICT on regional development

With the new Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 in place, all EU Member States are obliged to present Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) as a precondition to receive funding from EU structural funds. Within these strategies Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays a critical role for Europe’s goal of ‘smart’ growth.

Not only has the ICT revolution created a new globally important sector, even more importantly it is one of the drivers for productivity and thus competitiveness, as well as one of the key instruments in the modernisation of the public sector. ICT represents a true enabling technology which is not only becoming ubiquitous but also transformative.

In this context, the EPC’s Smart Regions project will analyse the role of ICT within smart specialisation and its impact on regional economic growth and productivity. How can ICT support the transformation towards smart regions and what can policy do to support this process. As an integral part of a RIS3 setup is the specification of indicators for the monitoring and evaluation stages, it is of particular importance to accurately measure ICT’s real impact on regional development. The project will, through a series of events with selected experts, analyse the possibility of constructing a common conceptual framework for this purpose and will address the particular challenge of providing ICT related indicators on the regional level.

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