2017 RegioStars Awards


 Two of our projects submitted an application for the 2017 RegioStars Awards

RegioStars Awards identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects that are attractive and inspiring to other regions. 

The Award Categories for 2017 are:

  • Smart Specialisation for SME innovation
  • Energy Union: Climate action
  • Women Empowerment and Active Participation
  • Education and training
  • CityStars: Cities in Digital Transition

This year's RegioStars award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 10, during the 2017 European Week of Regions and Cities. Finalist projects will be acknowledged throughout the selection process and during the ceremony. Winners in each category will receive a RegioStars trophy, a short video about their project and a social media promotional package.


Our project SENSE for the first categorySmart Specialisation for SME innovation

Social enterprises (SE) would play key role in tackling current economic and environmental challenges in the Danube region, however, due to fragmented legal frameworks (e.g. lack of definitions, lack of bodies in charge, lack of strategies and long-term political commitment) relatively little is known about local champions. A few social enterprises rely largely on their own financial resources (self-sustaining) in the Danube region, mostly in Germany and Austria. Overreliance on grants, low viability of business models and infancy of social enterprises are common characteristics of the “sector” from Hungary to Serbia.

Motivated by the above market imperfections, a committed group of actors across the Danube region ranging from policymakers to NGOs decided to jointly create a transnational network of social enterprises (SEs), socially responsible traditional businesses, (social) financial investors, policymakers, academia, NGO practitioners (composed by 600-800 members in total) in the Danube region in order to promote an innovative “social enterprise model” as well as social innovations for sustainable economic development. Partners are currently working together to establish more and better “socially responsible and innovative supply- and value-chains” in the region.

In doing so, SENSES delivers 60 hours “blended learning programme” co-designed by partners and CSR socially responsible businesses, financial intermediaries and chambers – integrating classroom, web-based trainings with personalized mentoring – coaching by businesses. As part of shaping and creating long-term collaborative environment for social enterprises, 150-250 market-based co-operations will ensure that relationships between social enterprises and (socially responsible) businesses deliver more social innovations, better social entrepreneurial products / services as well as increased knowledge-base in terms of markets, marketing expertise, customer relationships and sales.



Our project EDU-LAB for the fourth category - Education and training

The project aims at improving the professional chances of young people in the Danube region, as the starting point for developing a new mindset is capacity development. It is one of the first projects aiming at improving institutional capacities to increase the labour market relevance of higher education with a view to retain more young talents studying and working in the region.

EDU-LAB focuses on harmonizing labour market demands and educational structures, by bringing together partners from education, business and politics/administration in a joint learning process including further actors from civil society. More than 20 partners from 10 countries will cooperate for 2.5 years to link education to employment in a sustainable way. The partnership is characterized by transnational, intersectoral and multilevel cooperation.






Fingers crossed!

See you in October, to -hopefully- celebrate their win!



Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)