Every year the European Week of Regions and Cities takes place over four days across Brussels, and with a programme of 300+ seminars and events, with 6000+ participants from Europe and beyond, it showcases the capacity of cities and regions to promote cohesion policy and economic growth, while proving the importance of the local and regional level for good European governance.
In October 2018, as part of the Committee of the Regions’ official programme, the Office established the Regional Partnership for Health Innovation – along with our colleagues in three other European regions – Podlaskie (Poland), Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (France), and Umbria (Italy). Our partnership presented a panel discussion exploring each region’s journey in the field of personalised medicine, and was held in our office.
The Office was delighted to welcome back Professor Tony Bjourson, Director of the Centre of Stratified Medicine at the University of Ulster, to showcase to European colleagues one of the best practice models in the field. As well as speakers from each of our partner regions, the audience enjoyed a keynote speech from Dr Irene Norstedt, Head of the Personalised Medicine Unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. The panel was moderated by Dr Pierre Meulien, the Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private partnership between the European Union and the European pharmaceutical industry.
As well as developing our working relationships with our regional colleagues, the workshop proved a successful way of promoting Northern Ireland’s first class research capabilities. In order to be accepted on to the official programme of sessions, each session had to be selected from nearly 200 proposals – and this involved a public consultation. Our workshop featured as number 11 ‘most popular’ session in the consultation. We were also very pleased to register a range of stakeholders for the event, representing over 25 different regions and 13 different countries.