Ms Heidi Vironen

Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow

European Policies Research Centre

Contact

Personal statement

Heidi joined the European Policies Research Centre in 2006. Her research areas focus on local and regional development issues in the high North and the Arctic, territorial cooperation and rural development research in Europe. 

Heidi Vironen (EPRC) is a Senior Knowledge Exchange and Research Fellow in the European Policies Research Centre (EPRC), a co-Director of the IQ-Net consortium (Improving the Quality of Structural Funds Programme Management), and a Shadow Director of EPRC Delft Board, which is EPRC's legal entity based at the University of Technology of Delft (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. 

Her research covers local, regional and rural development issues in Europe, with a specific focus on the areas of the High North and the Arctic.

  • She is the country expert for Finland and Sweden under EPRC's research projects and key consortia, IQ-Net (Improving the Quality of Structural Funds Programme Management) and EoRPA (European Regional Policy Research Consortium), researching the design and implementation of national regional development policies, and the implementation of Structural Funds.

 

  • She specialises in territorial cooperation, with a particular emphasis on the Northern countries. She has managed and contributed to a number of evaluations and research projects, including: ex ante, ongoing and impact evaluations of the 2007-13 Northern Periphery (NPP) and 2014-20 Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA), and Area Analysis and Programming Support for the 2021-27 NPA; a Scoping Study for the Irish Sea area; a Study on the Impacts of Interreg in the UK; ex ante evaluation of the North Sea Programme; Evaluations of the INTERACT programme; the assessment of territorial cooperation programmes in Scotland; Support to the Development of the 2021-27 PEACE PLUS Programme; the ESPON project on 'European Territorial Cooperation as a Factor of Growth, Jobs and Quality of Life’; as well as other studies related to the regional cooperation in the Arctic.

 

  • She is particularly interested in issues affecting the rural and peripheral areas of Europe, especially in the North of Europe. She is currently the PI in a Horizon funded research project on RUSTIK (Rural Sustainability Transition through Integration of Knowledge for improved policy processes). 

She has a number of management responsibilities at EPRC. She is involved in EPRC's management group and is a Shadow Director of the Board overseeing the operation of EPRC Delft Stichting, a legal entity of EPRC based at the University of Technology in Delft in the Netherlands. In addition, she has specific lead roles within the research projects and consortia of EPRC:

  • She is a Director of the IQ-Net consortium, which brings together regional and national partners from Structural Funds programmes from 13 countries. It aims to improve the quality of Structural Funds programme management through exchange of experience and mutual learning. The network involves a structured programme of applied research and debate with regular meetings (Coffee Break Workshops, Conferences) and advisory support for network partners. 
  • She is the PI for a Horizon funded research project on RUSTIK (Rural Sustainability Transition through Integration of Knowledge for improved policy processes). This is a four-year transdisciplinary research project aiming to enable rural communities’ actors and policy makers to design better strategies, initiatives and policies fostering sustainability transitions of rural areas. 

At the University level, she is the institutional representative of the University of Strathclyde at the University of the Arctic Network (UArctic) and the Scottish Arctic Network (ScAN) Steering Group. She led and contributed to the discussions which paved the way for the University of Strathclyde to become a member of the University of the Arctic network in 2020 (UArctic) and subsequently a member of the Scottish Arctic Network (ScAN).

At the School of Government and Public Policy, she is a member of the Gender Equality and Diversity Committee and contributes to the Athena Swan application of the School. 

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Publications

Civic and civil society engagement in Interreg study report
Ninka Besiana, Schausberger Bernhard, Minichberger Daniela, McMaster Irene, Wergles Nathalie, Vironen Heidi
(2024)
Identification and assessment of participatory processes in sustainability transition measures in case study regions.
Georgieva Neli, Ferry Martin, Dąbrowski Marcin Dąbrowski, Verbeek Thomas, Balz Verena, Garrido Verron Gisela, Drobniak Adam, Ochojski Artur, Polko Adam, Baron Marcin, Rykala Piotr, Trefon Grzegorz, Viderman Tihomir, Aleksieva Remina, Grozeva Rumyana, Cedergen Eline, Jungsberg Leneisja, Chilvers Myriam, Serdult Uwe, Vironen Heidi
(2023)
Review of rural proofing instruments and experiences in European and non-European countries
Mantino Francesco, Forcina Barbara, Vironen Heidi, Fonseca Liliana, Kahila Petri
(2023)
Regional transformation and sustainable development : regional policy in Sweden, country report
Vironen Heidi
44th Annual Meeting of European Regional Policy Research Consortium (EoRPA) (2023)
Regional transformation and sustainable development : regional policy in Finland, country report
Vironen Heidi
44th Annual Meeting of European Regional Policy Research Consortium (EoRPA) (2023)
Evidence and indicators in practical strategy & policy implementation
Kahila Petri, Halme Juha, Tillikainen Antti, Georgieva Neli, Vironen Heidi, Fonseca Liliana, Kah Stefan
(2023)

More publications

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Professional Activities

Presentation on the current Phase 8 and the future direction of IQ-Net
Speaker
23/1/2024
55th IQ-Net Conference
Chair
29/11/2023
55th IQ-Net Conference
Chair
29/11/2023
IQ-Net Coffee Break Workshop to IQ-Net Network of European Policymakers, Online
Participant
3/10/2023
44th Annual Meeting of European Regional Policy Research Consortium (EoRPA)
Participant
10/2023
IQ-Net Coffee Break Workshop to IQ-Net Network of European Policymakers, Online
Organiser
21/9/2023

More professional activities

Projects

Regional Policy in Europe: A Comparative Assessment (EoRPA_FI_24_26)
Bachtler, John (Principal Investigator) Mendez, Carlos (Co-investigator) Downes, Ruth (Research Co-investigator) Vironen, Heidi (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2024 - 31-Jan-2026
Rural Sustainability Transitions through Integration of Knowledge for improved policy processes
Vironen, Heidi (Principal Investigator) Kah, Stefan (Co-investigator) Georgieva, Neli (Researcher) Fonseca, Liliana (Researcher)
To enable rural communities’ actors and policy makers ​to design better strategies, initiatives and policies ​fostering sustainability transitions of rural areas,​ through advancing our understanding of ​different rural functionalities, characteristics and ​ future scenarios of rural areas, ​their potentials and challenges.
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2026
Regional Policy in Europe: A Comparative Assessment (EoRPA_SE_22_24)
Bachtler, John (Principal Investigator) Ferry, Martin (Co-investigator) Mendez, Carlos (Co-investigator) Vironen, Heidi (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2024
Regional Policy in Europe: A Comparative Assessment (EoRPA_Sweden)
Bachtler, John (Principal Investigator) Mendez, Carlos (Principal Investigator) Vironen, Heidi (Co-investigator) Downes, Ruth (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2024
Impact Evaluation of Interact
McMaster, Irene (Principal Investigator) Vironen, Heidi (Research Co-investigator)
27-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
The Role of Territorial Cooperation in Supporting Just Transition
Vironen, Heidi (Principal Investigator) McMaster, Irene (Research Co-investigator)
07-Jan-2021 - 22-Jan-2022

More projects

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Contact

Ms Heidi Vironen
Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow
European Policies Research Centre

Email: heidi.vironen@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 3061