The International Cooperative Alliance Committee on Cooperative Research (ICA CCR) international research conference will be hosted in 2014 by the University Juraj Dobrila in Pula, Croatia. The conference will bring together researchers and students of cooperative businesses and the social economy, as well as other fields of co-operative research, but it is also intended to provide a networking opportunity for fledgling local cooperatives. Cooperatives globally are increasingly playing an important role in local socio-economic development. Many local and regional governments have found in the cooperative enterprise model a way of promoting local economic development that best secures sustainable employment, ensures common prosperity and helps to ensure a sustainable and more equitable future for their communities. The cooperative model has played a key role in the sustainable local development of many localities and regions around the world – notably of late in Latin America - but it has not been deployed to its full potential, and particularly not in the Eastern European transition economies. In the post-2012 (UN- Year of Cooperatives) era for the global cooperative movement, ICA has drafted a Blueprint for the co-operative decade (http://2012.coop/en/blueprint). What does this mean on the ground? What can local and regional governments and existing co-operatives do to turn the next decade into one marked out by much faster and more sustainable growth of the cooperative model? What support do they need to reach this goal? What specific local and regional institutions are required to promote and carefully support genuine cooperative enterprises?