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Forum releases Blueprint for cities and regions as launch-pads for digital transformation

23 May 2016


Recognising the strategic role of cities and regions in leading modernisation and digital transformation, the Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship released its recommendations today during the 'Open Innovation Conference 2.0'.

With the rise of the internet and broadband network technologies, cities and urban regions are increasingly seen as key environments for innovation. They are the ecosystems that allow local stakeholders to meet, co-create, develop new products and services, and design new living and working scenarios.

Yet, cities and regions must carefully be designed and organised if they are to nurture the modernisation of businesses and give a significant boost to the European economy. The Blueprint for cities and regions as launch-pads for digital transformation identifies four attributes that can help local stakeholders to truly help their cities and regions to go digital.

It is intended to act as a smart guidebook for regional and local policy makers, business leaders, academia and the civil society. It should act as a catalyst to leverage regional economic growth and jobs. It sets out the incentives and the benefits for local stakeholders to act and it defines concrete steps to achieve this, and success factors and indicators to measure them.

An online tool was also released to accompany the blueprint. The tool will enable all local stakeholders to follow concrete steps and recommendations and play an active role in regional growth. It will examine in depth the case-studies of the different European cities on which the blueprint was based. 

The Strategic Policy Forum already released an executive summary of its key recommendations (PDF, 2MB) and the report, 'Big data and B2B digital platforms: The next frontier for Europe's industry and enterprises' earlier this year. 

Two more reports and toolkits will be released in July 2016:

  • A toolbox for reskilling the workforce: digital skills for industry.
  • A toolkit, 'Digital compass for policy makers: technologies, impact and recommendations'.

The conference was organised by the Dutch Presidency, the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions and held in Amsterdam.

The Strategic Policy Forum on Digital Entrepreneurship is a think tank set up by the Commission that brings together thought leaders from business, politics, academia and international organisations.

Report and accompanying material

Recommendations of the Strategic Policy Forum: Blueprint for cities and regions as launch pads for digital transformation (PDF, 3MB)

Poster on how to cook up your digital ecosystem (PPT, 12MB)