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Our journey so far
The Regional Co-Operation Networks for Industrial Modernisation (ReConfirm) is an initiative that aims to promote trans-regional partnerships in line with the smart-specialisation principle. These partnerships must be industry-driven initiatives connecting businesses from different industries and territories. The intended result is to strengthen the European value-chain, notably in favour of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and lagging regions.
 
A year after it began, ReConfirm has become a consolidated project that is successfully overcoming technical challenges in order to boost partnership-specific solutions. ReConfirm has established itself within the fast-moving landscape of European Commission initiatives and financial instruments promoting inter-regional cooperation,
as the implementation arm of the Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation (S3P-Industry).
Milestones
ReConfirm is working towards a number of key milestones by undertaking support actions. The initiative’s approach supports the following phases of the S3P-Industry:
     Phase 0: Setting-up thematic areas: The starting point to join the S3P-Industry. Concrete investment ideas and partnership possibilities are put forth;
     Phase 1: Mapping of business opportunities. A Mapping Paper and a Scoping Note are drafted to define the partnerships’ priorities;
     Phase 2: Industry design of projects.  A Strategic Workshop is organised to define a Roadmap and investment protocols;
     Phase 3: Business plan and funding mix. The agreed funds are secured by signing the Investment Protocol and implementation begins. 
Want to find out more about the S3P-Industry 's phases and ReConfirm's support ? 
Download the brochure here!
Latest news and events
LAPLAND: AN EXPERIENCE FOR TOURISM
 
The tourism industry counts for 3.7% of EU GDP, and its growth has surpassed that of the world's economy for six years in a row. The Digitalisation and Safety for Tourism Partnership supported by ReConfirm aims to develop initiatives that make the industry more sustainable, secure and user-friendly. 

These points were discussed during a workshop in Lapland on 10 April 2018, with each of the leading regions bringing
an important contribution to the table:
  • Andalusia, Spain: SMEs need access to training in digitalisation, and the use of big data is seen as a crucial asset to understand tourists' needs, trends and expectations in real-time;
  • Slovenia: The massive increase in tourism will require the industry to become sustainable, and the Slovenia Green project has introduced a labelling system that could scale up;
  • Lapland, Finland: For geographical reasons, the northern region has very advanced mobility services, with the digital organisation of public transport and geo-localisation in remote areas.
Lapland is one of the leading regions of the Digitalisation and Safety for Tourism Partnership, supported by ReConfirm.
SMEs TO INDUSTRY 4.0
 
What are the key challenges for SMEs when it comes to making the best of the digital revolution? That's the question the International Network for SMEs (INSME) tried to answer during its annual conference in Brussels on 17 May 2018. During the discussion, it emerged that SMEs frequently lack:
  • Understanding of the added value of digitalisation
  • In-house competences
  • Access to credit 
SMEs need guidance especially to get through what Matteo Maggiore, Director of Communication of the European Investment Bank (EIB), called the ‘death valley’ between an innovative idea and its successful market launch. Thanks to its strategic advice and partnership facilitation, ReConfirm can play a crucial role in navigating this valley.
The 14th INSME Annual Conference 'Industry 4.0 for SMEs' Business Growth', European Parliament, Brussels, 17 May 2018. The picture was kindly provided by INSME.
THE TEXTILE OF THE FUTURE
 
The textile and clothing industry is a key sector of the European economy, employing over 1.7 million workers for a turnover of €181 billion. During its general assembly in Brussels on 7 June 2018, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (EURATEX) brought together a number of best practices, to share experiences on how the industry can successfully integrate in the circular economy. The main conclusions were:
  • Enterprises need guidance in order to successfully navigate the complicated landscape of EU financial instruments
  • The Single Market is still incomplete: a lack of standardisation in social and financial regulations hampers cross-national business
  • Research and education centres are crucial to provide knowledge and skills
     
Keynote speaker Irmfried Schwimann, the Deputy Director-General for DG Internal Market, Industry and SMEs (DG GROW), stated that innovation has to start at a regional level. According to her, the Regional Investment in Textile Innovation (RegioTex), one of the partnerships ReConfirm is supporting, is a leading example of this.
Irmfried Schwimann, Deputy Director-General for DG GROW, speaking at the EURATEX general assembly, Brussels, 7 June 2018.
THE INDUSTRIAL RENAISSANCE STARTS IN CHARLEROI
 
In Charleroi, Belgium, the closure of the old Caterpillar factory triggered important investments in Industry 4.0, which led to the creation of new jobs for the workers from the old industrial site. A more meaningful place could hardly have been chosen for the AGORADA 2018 event, which took place on 20 June 2018 and was organised with the support of ReConfirm.

Nikos Pantalos, DG GROW, outlined the Commission's strategy: “With the Industrial Modernisation Platform we would like to have a permanent platform for bottom-up cooperation among regions, combining the resources of EIB, structural funds and research funds".
For Tuscany, one of the leading regions, Francesca d'Angelo presented the SMEs integration to Industry 4.0 partnership, which is now developing a common project portfolio.
Francesca d'Angelo presenting the state of play of the SMEs integration to Industry 4.0 partnership, Belgium, 20 June 2018.
SPORT MEETS INNOVATION IN TURIN
 
The workshop “Innovation, Fashion and Design in Sportswear” took place in the context of Torino Fashion Week 2018 (TFW). The workshop was organised with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network, the European Commission, ReConfirm, Watify and Foot Lab to discuss innovation's trends and industrial development in the sport sector.
HEALTHCARE'S SENSE FOR TECHNOLOGY
 
An aging population and increasing societal demands are putting healthcare systems under enormous pressure. The Medical Technologies Thematic Partnership (MedTech) is meant to maximise the potential of the Digital Economy for the Healthcare sector, to make it smarter and more sustainable. In this light, a Thematic Partnership meeting took place in Lyon on 7 February 2018.
The Partnership Meeting for the Medical Technologies Thematic Partnership in Lyon, 7 February 2018.
Looking ahead
  • Innovative textile: Collaboration Labs in July and focus groups in September
  • Industry 4.0: Mapping paper in July and draft investment portfolio in September
  • Tourism: focus groups in September
  • Medical technologies: follow up webinars and Strategic Workshop in September
  • Sports: Draft Investment Protocol in July and ClusSport Partnership meeting in September
  • Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing: Collaboration Lab in September
  • Non-food biomass: bio-LNG Investment Idea, Collaboration Lab and Roadmap in July
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