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Since its inception in 2000, a majority of Nordregio researchers have or continue to be involved in ESPON Programmes.

This helps to maintain our role as an important institute in the network, and also to sustain and develop the network of institutes with which we collaborate. Research partnerships characterize a vast majority of our work and ESPON is vital in this regard.

The ESPON 2013 Programme, the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion was adopted by the European Commission in 2007 and its budget of €47 million is designed to:

"Support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory by (1) providing comparable information, evidence, analyses and scenarios on territorial dynamics and (2) revealing territorial capital and potentials for development of regions and larger territories contributing to European competitiveness, territorial cooperation and a sustainable and balanced development."

Through the delivery of facts and evidence at the city and regional levels, Nordregio's participation is primarily focused on applied research projects covering different themes dealing with European territorial dynamics. In doing so, regional strengths and weaknesses can be assessed within a European context. Additionally, Nordregio's researchers participate in targeted analyses with stakeholders to apply ESPON results in practice. We also contribute to the development of the ESPON scientific platform, which is supported by an ESPON Database, as well as the generation of territorial indicators, regional typologies modeling and statistical updates.