The MIREU partner regions Lapland, North Karelia, Castilla y León, Sterea Ellada and Västerbotten have together with the region of Kainuu (FI) and the region of Asturias (ES) partnered up in a Smart Specialisation partnership, focusing on the mining industry, related industries and services and global value chains. The partnership falls under the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation and was officially announced at the 9th REMIX Peer Review Visit, which took place in March in Joensuu, Finland.
The background for this partnership can be found in the projects REMIX and MIREU. The Finnish regions Lapland and North Karelia, which are partners in both projects, are leading this partnership that will operationalise the work of the two projects and shift the focus on inter-regional investments. The S3 partnerships are organised under three thematic S3 platforms, which are managed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The aim of the S3 partnerships is to foster cooperation between regions, modernise the industry and foster investment.
Mineral raw materials are imperative for most industry sectors as they are used to produce everyday products and are necessary for the development of innovative technologies. As a result, the demand for raw materials has been and is expected to grow. At the same time, the EU is striving for self-sufficiency in raw material production and is especially emphasising the importance of critical raw materials. As with all S3 partnerships, economic growth and increasing employment are part of the main targets. SMEs have a key role in achieving these targets and in mining and related industries, the integration of SMEs at regional level to mining value chains is the starting point in this partnership. In interregional activities, the regions and SMEs can explore their capabilities and position in value chains and facilitate their integration to European and global value chains.
The aims of the partnership are:
- to strengthen the regional and interregional innovation capacity to facilitate investments, growth and employment in mining industry, related industries and services in regions;
- to identify novel opportunities for joint-demonstration between regions based on the survey and mapping exercise conducted in the early phase of this partnership;
- to spread the knowledge of expert organisations to support regional growth and new business and work opportunities, and to create also a solid European collaboration among the regions involved in this initiative.
The key themes for the partnership will be:
- Critical raw material production;
- Empowerment of SMEs in Global Value Chains;
- New technologies and sustainable mining;
- Social acceptance of mining through stakeholder involvement;
- Education and training in mining and related industries.
For more information on this partnership and to get in touch with the leading regions, please visit the official page of the partnership here.