2IC – Azores and OCTs to explore cooperation on innovation
Future cooperation between Azores, one of the European Union’s Outermost Regions, and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) will be discussed at OCTA Innovation’s International Conference in Ponta Delgada, Azores, 11th-12th April.
Participants from the Azores and OCTs will look at the scope for sharing best practice and innovation knowledge and working together in areas where cooperation would be mutually beneficial. These include the green and blue economy, tourism and culture and creativity. An eventual Azores-OCTA Memorandum of Understanding could be proposed.
Azores is an Autonomous region of Portugal comprising three groups of nine islands located in the Atlantic Ocean some 1,360 km off the coast of Portugal. These are Flores and Corvo, to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the centre; and São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef to the east.
OCTs are mostly small island distanced from the European Union mainland. The challenges to innovation they share with the Azores include: remoteness, the small size of local markets, difficulties accessing other markets and high transport and energy costs.
The sharing of innovation knowledge and best practice, and possible cooperation on projects and programmes, could help surpass such challenges. The aim is to foster growth, economic diversification and sustainable development through innovation.