DERREG Policy Seminar in Brussels

Last Thursday March 31, a Policy Seminar had place to discuss the relevancy of the results from the EU-funded reserach project DERREG for EU-policies.  Although the project and the work is not yet completed, emerging outcomes and policy recommendations were presented by the project coordinator prof. Michael Woods and the four coordinators of the respective workpackages on Rural business networks, Rural migration patterns, Sustainable development and Rural regional learning. The emerging outcomes and recommendations are also capitalised in the European Policy Brief published at the DERREG website.

WU is coordinator of Workpackage 4. We focussed on how public support and faciliation of joint learning and innovation in grassroots (place-based) development activities can be best arranged. We have explored, mapped and analysed various such arrangements in six case study areas. See the example of the map of the ‘governance of joint learning and innovation’ in the Westerkwartier below.

Map of the governance of joint learning and innovation in the Westerkwartier (NL)

These arrangements and the support or faciliation given was evaluated by the beneficiaries (see earlier posts on case-study area Westerkwartier, AlytusDresden and Comarca de Verin).

Although we will extend our analysis and specifically elaborate more on ‘promising or good practices’ revealed, Wiebke Wellbrock and I presented the main findings and policy recommendations (see our presentation).

Key to our findings is that the effectiveness of support policies depends on well working operational interfaces between public policies, grassroots development initiatives and (knowledge) facilities to support joint learning and innovation. These interfaces get shaped in agreements between various public and private partners but it are operational agents or agencies fulfilling various intermediary task and roles connecting different ‘worlds’ that make them work (well).