Launch of European Service Innovation Centre (ESIC)

12 MARCH 2013

The European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General has established a European Service Innovation Centre (ESIC) to support regions in the design of better policies to transform existing, and boost emerging industries by unlocking the transformative power of service innovation.

Report on Service InnovationThe Service Innovation Centre has been established in view of better capitalising on service innovation for promoting regional development and facilitating industrial change. Its aim is to assist regions in designing better policies based on the ‘transformative power of service innovation’ (see: report by the Expert Panel on Service Innovation in the EU).

The European Service Innovation Centre was established in 2012 through a separate call for tender. Following this Open Call for the Expression of Interest, the Support for Industrial Innovation Unit at the European Commission’s Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General has selected six model demonstrator regions which shall demonstrate the transformative power of service innovation in support of emerging industries and the modernisation of traditional manufacturing industries. These regions will receive from 2013 support from the European Service Innovation Centre in designing and implementing regional strategies that build upon service innovation as a catalyst for structural change.

Meet the six Model Demonstrator Regions on Service Innovation

The six model demonstrator regions on service innovation are:

  • Luxembourg, which intends to develop “an economic diversification strategy which applies the country’s assets in knowledge-based services to support a transformation in the health economy towards personalised approaches to treatment and prevention”.
  • Northern Ireland (UK), which expects “to set out the pathway for how service innovation can support the modernisation of Northern Ireland’s traditional sectors and facilitate structural change from a manufacturing base to a modern economy”.
  • Basque Country (Spain), which wishes “to implement better business support to encourage service companies to be more innovative” and to cultivate “the spirit of cooperation among services and industrial companies”.
  • Upper Austria sets out as its goal “the development, formulation and implementation of adequate tools and instruments to enable, stimulate and enforce service innovations – both in the service as in the industrial sectors – to ensure the future competitiveness, wealth and wellbeing of Upper Austria in the 21st century”.
  • Canary Islands (Spain), which aims at “green tourism”, with the ambition to become a leader in innovation and competitiveness by supporting the development of service innovations in this field, including environmental services for the greening of industries, transport and logistics and the management of natural resources.
  • Emilia-Romagna (Italy), which will address the challenge “of increasing the competitiveness of the service sector at higher levels, to make it more compatible and similar to that of the manufacturing sector, in order to make the region definitely a real leader in innovation in Southern Europe and one of the top at the European level”.

“All these regions seem to believe strongly in service innovation as a driving force of industrial transformation”, says Reinhard Büscher, Head of the Support for Industrial Innovation Unit. “The European Service Innovation Centre can help them to verify whether their service innovation strategies are ambitious but also realistic enough to achieve high impact. This will not be possible without structural reforms and a change in mindsets that help unlock the potential of service innovations and the creation of new bridges between knowledge institutions and companies that make better use of creativity throughout the economy.”.

More information
For more information on ESIC, please contact:
Agnieszka Truszczynska
Policy Officer
European Commission
DG Enterprise and Industry
+32 2 29 75194

Kimmo Halme
Project manager
Ramboll Management Consulting
+358 504634405