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Vanguard Initiative Regional Conference


Cost: Free

The Vanguard Initiative brings together over 30 European regions who are committed to inter-regional collaboration, focused through their Smart Specialisation strategies.  In order to support better connections between regional stakeholders and policy-makers the Vanguard Initiative has decided to organise four regional conferences during 2020.  Wales and Randstad (represented by Province of Zuid-Holland) will be co-organising the first of these regional conferences, to be held in Cardiff on 25th – 26th March. The main goals of the conference are:

  • To increase the profile and awareness of the Vanguard Initiative in its member regions, and other regions who want to find out more about the Vanguard Initiative, building on the existing high level of activity and awareness at EU level.
  • Focus on how Vanguard member regions could collaborate to align their smart specialisation (S3) strategies.
  • Further develop and strengthen relations between policy makers, industry and research centres in the home base of the Vanguard regions.
  • Highlight innovation infrastructure, policy and delivery in Wales and Randstad, including field visits to key innovation assets in Wales

This event is open to all Vanguard Initiative member regions.  We also welcome participation from policy makers and stakeholders across Europe, including representatives from companies, clusters and academia involved in innovation, research and smart specialisation. 

A networking event is also being arranged for all participants on the evening of the 25th March.


Wednesday 25

18:30 - 20:30 – Networking reception for conference delegates

Thursday 26

09:00 – 15:00 – Conference Agenda

  • Introduction and moderation by Professor Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University
  • Speech by Minister from the Welsh Government
  • Introduction to the Vanguard Initiative
  • Wales and Randstad: delivering innovation and S3 collaboration
  • Case studies: S3 collaboration in practice – Vanguard Initiative Pilot Projects
  • Workshop sessions on Dynamic S3 Strategies and Planning Successful Inter-regional Co-operations
  • Closing remarks by Jeannette Baljeu, Regional Minister, Province of Zuid-Holland, Randstad Region; Rapporteur for Committee of the Regions Opinion, “A place-based approach to the EU industrial policy strategy”


15:00 – 17:00 – Visit to Compound Semiconductor Cluster

Virtually all of the world's smart phones contain compound semiconductors grown by a Welsh company. Compound semiconductor chips do the clever things that silicon can’t - enabling facial recognition, 5G communications, advanced sensors for wearable biometric monitoring, augmented reality.

Like IMEC in Leuven, Silicon Saxony in Dresden, CEA-Leti in Grenoble and Eindhoven, Wales is now the proud home to a semiconductor cluster; but ours is the only one in Europe (and probably in the world) dedicated to compound semiconductors.

Delegates will have the chance to visit the compound semiconductor cluster, hear about its growth and evolution, and its future, in partnership with other European companies and clusters. This is also an opportunity for delegates to discuss inter-regional co-operation activities.

Transportation will be provided to and from Cardiff for delegates participating in the visit.

Dates and venues

25 March 2020, 18:30 - 20:30
Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, CF10 3RB

Cost: Free

View venue

26 March 2020, 09:00 - 17:00
Principality Stadium, Cardiff, CF10 1NS

Cost: Free

View venue


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Event organiser

Welsh Government
Sarn Mynach
Llandudno Junction
LL31 9RZ
United Kingdom

03000 6 03000
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