The Inno4Sports project brings together five ambitious regions on sports & vitality: South-Netherlands, Valencia (Spain), Lodz (Poland), Debrecen (Hungary) and Lapland (Finland). All these regions have their own regional excellences but share a common objective; namely, to promote and strengthen the value chains for innovation and business creation in sports & vitality. 

And yet, barriers in the value chain have to be solved including elements such as the creation of opportunities for market access, the exploration of cross-over cooperation, the development of harmonisation processes with regional development programmes and the creation of interlinkages with consumer needs and societal trends. Accordingly, by deepening cluster integration, through an intensive process of interregional learning, knowledge exchange and continuing inter-cluster cooperation processes, all partners set out to reach value chains that have impact. Hence, in order to achieve this, they aim to influence in each region the regional development programmes that are able to support these value chains.

In Phase 1 of the project (2018-2020), activities took place to develop a clear picture of the excellences of all five regions and to learn from each other. The result was more than expected! Indeed, even though Covid19 influenced the interaction between the regions largely in the last year, the regions had excellent exchanges of ideas, experiences and inspiration. All regions worked together to transfer the experiences into their own regional action plans (see Library | Interreg Europe). These actions plans have also been presented at the Bridge e-event, an event that marks the transition from Phase 1 to 2 as Phase 1 of the project has now reached the end.

The Bridge e-Event provided an overview of the regional ambitions and achievements, lessons learnt and action plans to further boost the role of Sport for Growth, Healthy & Vital Communities in these five regions.

In Phase 2 of the project (2021-2022), partners will undertake activities to implement the action plans in their own region. In this way, innovation for sport & vitality will be better embedded in local policies. 

Some of the activities in these action plans are based on and/or inspired by best practices learned from another region(s). However, adaptation and testing are sometimes necessary in order to successful transfer a best practice from one region to another. Accordingly, the pilot actions are a useful instrument to facilitate adapting and testing actions. Valencia, Lapland, and South-Netherlands defined a pilot action called: ‘data driven innovation of products and services’. Provided the pilot action is approved, these regions will also carry out this pilot action in Phase 2 of the project. Hence, the pilot action will help these regions to implement their action plans.

After working intensively on the action plans, I4S consortium is looking forward to getting started with the implementation and thus improving the future in the field of sport & vitality in each region. Of course, coordination between the European regions remains important for the successful implementation of the regional plans and a better position of innovation and business creation in the area of sports & vitality, contributing to the Social Development Goals and a healthier lifestyle of EU citizen.