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Monday, April 6, 2009

The European Commissioner Hübner is in Japan for a meeting on development and innovation

Innovation, Economy - Finances, SME Policy, Trade,Local and Regional authorities,Corporations,Federations Unions,Agencies Chambers,SMEs,Banks,

News European Commissioner Danuta Hübner is in Japan to take part in a conference in Tokyo on EU-Japan regional policy cooperation and to meet political leaders. The visit is an opportunity to share experience on initiatives in the EU and Japan to revitalise regional economies in response to the financial crisis.

On 6 April, the Commissioner will visit the "eco-model city" of Yokohama, which launched an action plan in 2008 to promote a zero-carbon lifestyle for households and companies. The action plan aims to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases per inhabitant by more than 30% by 2025. The city uses new biofuels, energy-saving lighting and biodegradable polyester plastic in its buildings. One of its most interesting initiatives, in the city centre, is the "Hama-Wing” wind power station. It is thought this could inspire similar moves in European cities. Bridging the innovation gap Commissioner Hübner will also make a keynote speech in Tokyo on 6 April at a conference on regional policies organised by the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation. Before an audience of representatives from Japanese companies and national and regional authorities, she will underline the substantial progress made by Europe towards catching up with the innovation performance of the United States and Japan. The 2008 “European Innovation Scoreboard” shows that European innovation performance has grown by 2.65% since 2004, compared to a rise of 0.95% in the US and 1.65% in Japan. Cohesion Policy is contributing to this upward trend by bolstering investment in innovation. More than €86 billion, 25% of the policy budget, are targeted towards innovation and research and development in 2007-2013. Europe is also fostering links between small and medium enterprises (SMEs), higher education institutions and research and technological centres through its promotion of clusters. The Commissioner will highlight the example of “Medicon Valley” which links Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden and is one of the most renowned clusters in bio-sciences in Europe. Japan has also developed a “knowledge cluster programme”, with 18 clusters gathering 6100 industries and more than 250 universities supported by the government. The Japanese Kobe/Kansai biomedical cluster is cooperating with Medicon Valley.

Source :  EC Delegation to Japan


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