Innova-FI Final Event
The "Innova-FI Final Event" took place on February 9th at the Octant Hotel in the Azores, gathering all interested parties to celebrate the end of the 5-year Project "Innova-FI".
More than 40 participants from all over Europe gathered in São Miguel to showcase the results and achievements of the project, as well as to provide a platform for discussion and exchange of ideas among its participants.
The event was moderated by Alexandre Almeida, the National Strategy Coordinator for smart specialization from ANI. Opening with a short introduction session by Alexandre and following it with a welcome speech was Flávio Tiago, the Regional Director of Science & Technology. During the event, several speakers took to the stage to discuss the state of interregional cooperation and the role of decentralized financial instruments in promoting innovation. Rūta Ročāne, Finance Officer at Interreg Europe, presented "The state of play of interregional Cooperation", followed by a speech by Jonathan Denness, the Head of Unit Financial Instruments and relations with International Financial Institutions at DG REGIO European Commission. Jonathan introduced the "News in Financial instruments in 2021-2027" and gave insights into the changes and new opportunities submitted by the commission for the upcoming years. Andrea Bua, Head of Division & Mandate Development at the European Investment Bank (EIB), spoke about "EIB Decentralized Financial Instruments", and Valentina Pinna from EISMEA discussed the "Interregional Innovation Investments Instruments (I3)". The event concluded with closing remarks from Diogo Araújo, the Director of Capacity Building at ANI.
In addition to the presentations, the event also featured two round tables where the consortium of the project discussed the implementation of the action plans, the regional case studies, and the lessons learned from the project. The first round table, moderated by Américo Bento from ANI, included participants Jan Sienkiewicz from the Regional Development Agency in Bielsko-Biała; Roberto Algarra from IVACE; Branka Bugarin from the Slovenian Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport; and Francesca Pozzar from Friuli Innovazione. The second and last round table, moderated by Chiara Frencia from SERN, featured Inga Beiliuniene from INVEGA; Poppy Oikonomou from KEPA; and Alexandre Almeida from ANI.
The "Innova-FI Final Event" was a successful gathering of experts and professionals from the fields of innovation, finance, and regional development. It provided a valuable opportunity for participants to network and exchange ideas, and celebrate the achievements of the "Innova-FI" project.