2022 Commissioner’s Seminar Series on Cohesion Policy

01 December 2022


Date and time

01 December 2022
31 December 2022


The purpose of these seminars is firstly, to signal the Commission's desire to encourage growth in the number of researchers working on Cohesion Policy and related topics to build a greater pool of expertise. Secondly, to give the opportunity for relationship building between participants and policymakers to allow sharing of understanding and to refresh the expertise from which the Commission pulls in formulating and implementing policy. Finally, it offers the early career participants the opportunity to gain important and influential, high-level policy related feedback on their research.

This seminar series is an initiative by Dr Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms and a collaborative venture organised between Commissioner Ferreira and her Cabinet; the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) in partnership with the Regional Studies Association’s European Foundation (RSA Europe).

1st Seminar: The geography of discontent, levelling up, lagging regions, development trapped regions, 26th September 2022, Brussels, Belgium


2nd Seminar: Differentiated approaches to inclusive, responsible and sustainable innovation, 1st December 2022, Brussels, Belgium 

Innovation is considered a driving force for increased productivity and economic growth. Currently however, we are witnessing how innovation is unequally distributed only benefiting a few and concentrated in some places. This is particularly pertinent for marginalized groups and places that are ‘losing out’ both in terms of participation in processes related to innovation, and the benefits stemming from such ventures.

Moreover, we can see the emergence of normative currents in contemporary innovation studies and polices, such as ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ (RRI). Here the focus is on how to make innovation more ethical, inclusive and sustainable. As a consequence, those that are successful are concomitantly able to use innovation to bolster regions attractiveness and economic performance.

There is a need for an increased understanding of how responsible innovation plays out in different geographies, namely how different places and spaces influence (culturally, socio-politically, economically etc.) responsible innovation processes and outcomes leading to questions such as:

- How innovation can lead to growth in left behind places?

- How poor growth performance could be improved?

- How innovations can improve a region's attractiveness?

- How can social innovations help?


Potential topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Diversity and inclusion in creating responsible, sustainable solutions, and contextual factors affecting this association
  • Inclusion (exclusion) of citizens and groups of citizens that are often ‘left - behind’ in innovation processes (children, elderly, immigrants)
  • How different regional contexts stimulate and hamper responsible innovation
  • The geographic concentration of innovation and how to bridge the growing innovation divide across EU regions
  • Designing place-sensitive innovation policies

The academic lead of this seminar is Professor Marte C. W. Solheim, Head of the Stavanger Centre for Innovation Research, UiS Business School.


The second seminar in the series will bring together high-profile EU Commission policymakers, leading academics in the field and early career researchers to discuss research findings and policy implications. This is an excellent opportunity to network with policymakers and meet other researchers in the field.

The seminar is open to a maximum of 15 participants who are either current PhD students or early career researchers. Each seminar will be held in person in Brussels, Belgium.


Candidates will be informed by mid-November.

Please note that:

  • early career applicants must be within 5 years of finishing their PhD or demonstrate equivalent experience;
  • candidates can only participate in one of the seminars;
  • only one application per person will be considered;
  • the organisers will cover and arrange travel and accommodation of all selected participants;
  • there is no fee to attend the Seminar Series;
  • applicants do not need to be members of the Regional Studies Association to be involved in a seminar;
  • participants must attend the full day of the seminar and engage actively in all aspects of the programme. If participants fail to attend the full day of the Seminar, they must reimburse costs for travel and accommodation paid and no certificate will be given.

Application documents to submit by 4th November 2022, 16:00 CET:

  • the completed application form including an abstract on your research that is relevant to the seminar (200-300 words);
  • a short video (maximum of 2 minutes) on your research that is relevant to the seminar;
  • a certificate:
    • proving the PhD student status; or
    • proving early career status (PhD certificate);
  • your CV.


For questions, please contact Daniela Carl at daniela.carl@regionalstudies.org.

Key Dates

04 November 2022
Application Deadline

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