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AER 2010 Awards for the regional best practices in the fields of ‘Communicating Europe’ and ‘Innovation’ go to…


12 Nov 2010


Euro & Finance
Innovation & Enterprise
Regional Policy
Social Europe & Jobs

Istanbul (TR), 12 November 2010.

The best Communicating Europe Region 2010

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) awarded this year the French Region of Rhône-Alpes for its project “Support and information campaign for project holders in Rhône-Alpes”. Aimed at communicating in a creative and different way the European Funds, the project was mainly addressed to projects holders and to media. Thanks to this massive communication on a rather technical and operational matter, Rhône-Alpes succeeded in bringing Europe closer to its citizens, making it more accessible and tangible. Moreover, the project resulted in a better use of EU funds in the region, as further projects were presented afterwards.
Through a series of twelve workshops, the creation of a dedicated webpage, the publication of a European projects’ handbook and even an own graphic chart, the project also succeeded in creating a sustainable network of project holders in the region.

This year, the jury also awarded Vrancea County (RO) with a Special Mention for the project “Your identity – a chance for equal rights”. As the situation of some Roma citizens lacking ID papers or birth certificates precludes all chances of their social inclusion and integration, Vrancea initiated a dialogue with representatives of Roma community in the region in order to find viable solutions. After a first round of awareness rising actions on the importance of being legalised, 1113 Roma citizens were legalised. The project truly represents a best example in communicating the values of a social and inclusive Europe for all its citizens.

AER rewards Innovative projects in three categories: Technology, Economy and People

This year, the winner in the category “Technology” is the German Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The project “Entrepreneurial Technology Transfer” has the ambitious aim to identify the potential in the region and encourage people to start up their own business. “This project illustrates three important success factors for innovation projects: it is sustainable, it adopts a holistic approach and it is based on a public private partnership”, jury member Dr. Joachim HAFKESBRINK, President of Technology Transfer and Innovation, commented. The result is impressive: more than 468 innovative technologies were analysed and 204 ideas with patent potential have been developed.

The Swedish Region Uppsala presented the “SUF-Resource Centre” which was rewarded in the category “Economy”; the project aims at reducing the marginalisation of families, where parents have intellectual disabilities. The objective is to improve their situations and reduce isolation, and to build bridges between many different parts of the governance structure at local and regional level. Dr. Peter HEYDEBRECK, Managing Director of Inno AG, one of the jury members, noted: “I am particularly fond of this initiative which is an excellent example of social innovation with a huge impact on economic welfare.”

In the category “People”, the jury was most convinced by the “Demola” project of the Finnish Region of Tampere. The Council of Tampere provides a collaborative and multidisciplinary innovation environment to students and companies. Students create demonstrations of novel service and product concepts originating from companies. The project has reached some remarkable results: more than 400 students in projects, 71 projects completed and 17 more in progree, 95% of the results are licenced by project partners, 3 new companies to be established.

More information about AER Communicating Europe Award:

More information about AER Innovation Award:

The Assembly of European Regions (AER – is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 270 regions from 33 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.

AER Contacts
Francine Huhardeaux
Press & Communications Officer
+33 3 88 22 74 49

Valentina Guerra / Antonio Buscardini
Press & Communication Assistants
+33 3 88 22 74 33/44  -

For further information: