On May 25th 2018 the FIRES-consortium will hosted its final conference in the Flemish Royal Academy in Brussels. There we presented the results of three years of EU sponsored studies on how to reform institutions to promote a more entrepreneurial Europe. During a one-day conference, in dialogue with high level experts and policy makers, the researchers presented a pragmatic seven step approach for tailoring a reform strategy to the specific strengths and weaknesses of the different European regions. Our principal message is: Go beyond the usual recipes and start building on the existing institutional framework to support entrepreneurship in the diverse European local contexts!

The morning was be devoted to presenting the diagnostic tools we have developed in our project and we discussed the scientific progress and remaining challenges our project has brought to the fore. The afternoon was allocated to identifying who can and should do what, at what level in the policymaking process, to effectively implement reforms to promote a more Entrepreneurial Society in Europe.

The researchers presented the developed toolkit, showed policy makers how to use it and heard suggestions how these tools might be further improved.


Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts

Palace of the Academies
Rue Ducale 1
1000 Brussels


8:45-9:15             Registration

9:15-9:30             Opening: Financial and Institutional Reforms for an Entrepreneurial Society

Dr. Mark Sanders Scientific Coordinator FIRES-project

9.30-10:00           Key-note: The Need for an Entrepreneurial Society in Europe

Prof. Dr. David Audretsch Distinguished Professor Ameritech Chair of Economic Development Director, Institute for Development Strategies, Indiana University.

10.00-10.15          Key-note: Diagnosis and Dialogue for Strengthening Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Prof. Erik Stam, University of Utrecht

10:15-11:00           Workshop: Assessing Europe’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Simulating Policy Interventions

Prof. Dr. Laszlo Szerb, University of Pecs and Prof. Dr. Atilla Varga, University of Pecs

11.00-11.30        Break

11:30-13:00         Roundtable 1: Institutional reforms for an Entrepreneurial Society. A research assessment of the FIRES approach

Chair: Prof. Erik Stam, University of Utrecht

13:00-14:00        Lunch Break

14:00-15:45         Roundtable 2: Institutional reforms for an Entrepreneurial Society – a policy perspective

Chair: Prof. Magnus Henrekson

  • Representative from subnational regions – Committee of the Regions
    • Bert Kuby – Committee of the Regions, Head of Unit Commission for Economic Policy.
  • Representative from MS
    • Stephan Raes Head of the Economic Affairs Department, Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU
  • Representative from EU/EC – DG Grow
    • Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit, Clusters and Entrepreneurship, European Commission
  • Representative from OECD
    • Jonathan Potter, Senior Economist, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development OECD
  • Q&A

15:45-16:15         Key-note: FIRES and the European program for Competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (COSME).

Mrs. Maarit Nyman, Head of Unit, DG-Grow, COSME program, SME Envoy Network and EASME

16.15                     Reception and Networking


Registration for this event is closed.

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