Project Details

Title: European Clusters and Regions for Eco-Innovation Network Plus
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Innovation, research and technology development

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2010 - 31st Dec 2012


Total budget: €1,602,310.08
ERDF contribution: €1,234,416.69

Lead partner

Regional Council of Rhone-Alpes
DCESE, 1 esplanade François Mitterrand CS 20033
69269, Lyon Cedex 02

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Pauline Rivière
      Phone: 00 33 4 26 73 64 23
      Fax: 00 33 4 26 73 47 23

Project summary

In 2006, 6 European regions (Rhone-Alpes, Andalusia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Ile de France, Lombardy, and Malopolska) decided to work together to propose innovative financial instruments to support eco-innovation and SMEs at the regional level. The ECREIN network (European Clusters and Regions for Eco-investments Network) was created with the support of the DG ENV G3 Unit within the European Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP).


At the end of this project (December 2007) the 6 regions decided to continue to develop their activities, aware that regional policies and actions must be efficient to implement the new, green, low carbon economy that Europe and the Earth need.


Indeed, the first ECREIN project clearly exposed the lack of knowledge, adapted tools and coordination between public and private sectors, and as a consequence, the difficulty for financiers to invest in this specific sector.


On the basis of a Charter, a work programme and a dissemination plan, the six

partners wished to expand their network with new regions from other European countries. Their objective: develop tools and actions to implement innovative regional policies supporting eco-innovation and eco-businesses, easily adaptable to every European region.


The ECREIN+ project submitted to INTERREG IVC as a regional initiative project will associate 6 new regions coming from 5 countries: Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Sweden and United Kingdom. For a larger dissemination, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) will be an active partner and responsible for the communication Component of the project.


The project will be divided into 3 components: the management component lead by Rhone-Alpes, the communication component lead by AER and the exchange of experience component lead by Andalusia with 3 work groups related to the main issues of a regional eco-innovation policy (the market, governance and tools, and efficiency).

The 11 regions and the AER will

participate in the kick-off meeting (in Sweden), the steering committees, the 3 conferences (in UK, Poland and France) and in several workshops. The ECREIN website (and other communication events coordinated by AER) will allow for broad dissemination of the project's actions and results (methodological kit, guides of best practices, policy recommendations and databases).

The very innovative results expected of ECREIN+ will be specific tools, concepts and approaches allowing European regions to develop high-level, efficient and adapted policies to support eco-innovation and eco-businesses.


The economic and environmental crisis requires innovation for genuine, sustainable development. The regional level is very well suited for effective action in this field because of the proximity to stakeholders and the ability of Regions to develop flexible, innovative and adapted policies. Thus the ECREIN+ project will be a good example of the implementation of the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies.

Project achievements

The project ECREIN+ is gathering together 11 partners coming from 9 countries of the European territory and AER. This partnership aims at identifying the best regional strategy and policies to support eco-innovation and eco-businesses.

The kick-off meeting took place in February 2010 in Uppsala (Sweden). It was the occasion to gather together all the partnership to launch the project and its activities' plan. Indeed 3 working groups are created to deal with the following questions: with whom are we working with? How do we work? How effective are we?

The first technical meeting took place in Sibiu (Romania) in June 2010. It was the occasion to establish a strategy through a questionnaire to determine what are the good practices connected with regional eco-innovation's supports (Region Lombardia).

The “state of the art” of statistical economic studies of the EGS sector present a wide and heterogeneous vision from the different regions based on he lack of specific studies on EGS sector.

A questionnaire was sent to compare partners data.

Moreover some partners have built up their own regional platform gathering together local stakeholders concerned with eco-innovations. Those are meeting once a semester. The results are used to fill in the questionnaire about the good practices.

In November 2010 the 2nd technical meeting in Sevilla took place with a presentation of the State of the Art of economic activities of the environmental sector. Areas, fields and structure to take into account in the common directory has been also finally agreed.

The 1st communication conference was organized in Brussels in December 2010 to present the project to the representatives of the European Regions.

This meeting was the occasion to discuss the public-private partnership (PPP) in eco-innovation. In 2011, the partnership met in March in Paris to discuss the results of the questionnaires on regional good practices. One day was also devoted to the thematic of ecoparks.

During the steering committee, the LP offered itself to hire external expertise to help with the current works and lead component 3. Then the partnership met in June 2011 in Stara Zagora (Bulgaria) to discuss the good practices connected with the EGS sector and to define a set of criteria to build a questionnaire addressed to SME.

During the 5th semester, the partnership organised an international conference in Milan (March), on Green Public Procurement as an instrument for eco-innovation. The partners have begun to work on the good practice guide, and they developed a methodology to identify good practices to include in the catalogue.

The partnership met then in july 2012 in Heidelberg, in Germany to present results and experiences as well as the transferability of the findings between the participating regions. It was also the occasion to present the survey PP4 has prepared in direction of the enterprises of the different territories to evaluate the relevance of the policy


that have been implemented.

Finally the partnership met in Lyon, for the finale conference that took place on the 29th of November 2012. It was an opportunity for project partners and external stakeholders to present and discuss the main findings and recommendation from the ECREIN+ project, with a presentation of the findings of three working groups. During the afternoon session, a set of good practices have been presented, as well as a presentation of the role the region can take in supporting eco-innovation. An Tales from Europe has been organized on 24th of October, that was the opportunity to discuss the topic of eco-innovation with an audience mainly composed of citizens.

The final good practice guide and policy recommendations have been finalized all along the last semester, that summarizes all the work that has been done along the three years project. It is available on the ECREIN+ web site and will be distributed through mailings.



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Regional Council of Rhone-Alpes, Lyon Cedex 02 FRANCE Rhône-Alpes 00 33 4 26 73 64 23
Assembly of European Regions (AER), Strasbourg FRANCE Alsace 33 3 88 22 07 07
Ministry of the Environment of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart GERMANY Stuttgart 49 (0) 711/126-2678
Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Stara Zagora, Stara Zagora BULGARIA Yugoiztochen 00359 42 626297
Galician Agency of Innovation, Council of Economy and Industry, Government of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela SPAIN Galicia 34 981 957385
Ile-de-France Region, Paris FRANCE Île de France (+33)1 53 85 78 56
Lombardy Region, Milan ITALY Lombardia 39.02.6765.1
MALOPOLSKA REGION (Marshal Office of the Malopolska Region), KRAKÓW POLAND Malopolskie 48 12 63 03 140
Romanian Municipalities Association, Bucuresti ROMANIA Bucuresti - Ilfov 40 21 3113491,
Uppsala Regional Council, Uppsala SWEDEN Östra Mellansverige 46 18 18 21 00
Green Building Cluster, Namur BELGIUM Prov. Namur 32 81 71 41 00
Advantage West Midlands, Birmingham UNITED KINGDOM West Midlands 44 (0)121 503 3359
Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Coventry UNITED KINGDOM West Midlands +44 2476 654343
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