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Research and innovation

European Innovation Ecosystems

Policy, strategy, how to apply and work programmes.

Policy and strategy

European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) acts in complement and synergy with the European Innovation Council (EIC), European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and innovative activities across Horizon Europe and other EU funding programmes to improve the overall ecosystem for innovation in Europe.

The EU aims to create more connected and efficient innovation ecosystems to support the scaling up of companies, encourage innovation and stimulate cooperation among national, regional and local innovation actors.

It contributes to all 3 key strategic orientations of the Horizon Europe strategic plan. It also supports the New European Innovation agenda, particularly flagships 2 and 3.

Areas of intervention

  • builds interconnected, inclusive innovation ecosystems across Europe by drawing on the existing strengths of national, regional and local ecosystems and pulling in new, less well-represented actors and territories to set, undertake, and achieve collective ambitions towards challenges for the benefit of society, including the green, digital, and social transitions
  • reinforces network connectivity within and between innovation ecosystems to accelerate sustainable business growth with high societal value
  • supports the European Partnership for Innovative SMEs (Eurostars 3)
  • complements the European Regional Development Fund support for innovation ecosystems and interregional partnerships around smart specialisation topics

Apply for funding

All funding information and details on how to apply are on the Funding and Tenders portal.

Work programme

Funding opportunities under Horizon Europe are set out in multiannual work programmes, which cover the large majority of support available.

2023 - 24

31 MARCH 2023
Horizon Europe Work programme (2023-24) - European Innovation Ecosystems

2021 - 22

European Innovation Ecosystems work programme


19 MAY 2021
Pillar III: Innovative Europe


  • News article

The feedback is being collected at the level of the ‘Destinations’ or Missions, corresponding to the six Horizon Europe clusters, research infrastructures, European innovation ecosystems, the five EU Missions and cross-cutting activities and the New European Bauhaus facility.