Research and development represent the main drivers of technological progress, new product development and rising productivity, which are necessary for stable and sustainable economic growth. Many studies have investigated the relationship between R&D expenditure and GDP growth. And the conclusion is always the same: the level of R&D matters! In 2020, R&D expenditures of countries located within the CEE region totalled 0.84% of GDP, according to Eurostat, while in Germany it was 3.1% of GDP and in the EU27 it was 2.1% of GDP. Without investment in R&D and increasing innovative transformation of traditional business industries, the goal of faster convergence with developed countries will be very difficult to achieve for the CEE region. This workshop will focus on the role of the private sector and governments in an attempt to introduce the innovative economy and move from the period of “assembly line” to the age of knowledge economy within the CEE. Can effective cross-sector collaboration contribute to achieving this rather elusive goal?