Boosting the twin transition through innovation: inspiring practices and tools from across Europe

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published, together with the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), a document that aims to accompany territories towards innovative initiatives for place-based transformations.

The report Innovation for place-based transformations: ACTIONbook, practices and tools, is a comprehensive hands-on resource set to empower local, regional and national stakeholders across Europe to drive societal well-being and climate-resilient development through strategic partnerships and purpose-driven actions.

The approach is a result of collaborative efforts with stakeholders involved in the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) initiative. The PRI underscores the importance of interterritorial collaboration, network building, multi-level governance, and coordinated policy action at local, regional, and national levels.

It emphasises the need of meaningful involvement of stakeholders, including individuals, businesses, knowledge institutions, and local authorities, in policy efforts aimed at transformative and system-level innovation.

This report consists of three documents: The ACTIONbook, a collection of practices, and a set of tools. They provide together a concise overview of activities for transformative innovation, the tools one can use to enact them, and examples on how some territories have embedded such activities in their practices.

Transformative innovation activities   

The ACTIONbook incorporates 27 operational activities that can be carried out for transformative innovation. They include the competences needed to perform such activities (proposed by the EU Competence Framework on innovative policymaking), practices from territories, tools to put them in place, and some additional resources to go deeper into a topic.

For example, territories like Tuscany ( a region in Italy), Espoo (a city in Finland), Northern Netherlands and Navarra (a region in Spain) share their practices on ‘Developing policy and action mix’, one of the listed activities that advocates for a combination of various policy instruments and related stakeholders actions to achieve a set of established policy goals.

Tools toward place-based innovations 

The report also contains an updated version of the tools included in the PRI Playbook categorised by  type  (concept, methodology, EU policy initiative and example) and by level of applicability (local, regional, national, European or all). Each of them is linked to an activity.

For instance, Abruzzo region, in Italy, set to build social and human capital for the twin transition, while the Međimurje County in Croatia embarked on transforming a former military barracks into a knowledge centre. In both regions, mobilising resources was key to achieve their goals.

This involves using tools such as ‘Challenge-led system mapping’, which provides a practitioner-oriented narrative for designing and implementing innovative participatory processes, or ‘JRC tools for urban development’.

Inspiring practices 

Inspiring others is a key element of this new report. It includes example of practices linked to transformative innovation that could stimulate stakeholders to craft their way into raising ambition, building capacities, and taking transformative action.

Each practice provides a short summary on what resources territories used, with whom they partnered with, and their lessons learnt. They either involve partnerships across departments or across territories and engage a broad of stakeholders.

Source: European Commission | EU Science Hub (