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Research and innovation
News article28 March 2023Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

Call for expression of interest for Regional Innovation Valleys is now open

Today, the Commission launched a call for expression of interest for Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs), to strengthen and advance European innovation ecosystems, connecting all EU territories, to address Europe’s burning societal challenges, and to foster stronger cohesion.

Under the New European Innovation Agenda, the RIVs aim to harness the potential of deep-tech innovation across the different EU territories, and addresses the innovation divide.  It has set the ambitious goal to identify up to 100 regions committed to enhance the coordination and direction of their research and innovation investment and policies, at regional level and to collaborate on inter-regional innovation projects including in deep tech innovation, linked to key EU priorities. The initiative is endorsed by the European Committee of the Regions.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

With the Regional Innovation Valleys we aim to establish a community of regions that meet local challenges and needs whilst contributing to the Union’s strategic priorities. Committing to become a regional innovation valley means building resilience in the face of global competition. We call on regions to join forces and develop a robust European innovation ecosystem.

Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, said,:

Innovation is Europe’s best response to the challenges of the green and digital transitions. For the first time, Cohesion Policy Funds and the Horizon Europe programme work closely together to support interregional cooperation for innovation. I am looking forward to interested EU regions applying for this important opportunity, to reduce the innovation divide and build a stronger, more cohesive, and competitive Union.

This initiative builds on over 180 national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies and, where applicable, on the participation in the pilot action Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRIs).

If your region is willing to join the endeavour, we invite you to set out your commitment by 18 September 2023.

Apply by 18 September 2023

The Commission is also in the process of launching two calls for proposals on 17 May 2023 under the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) part of Horizon Europe, and the Interregional Innovative Investments (I3) of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). With a focus on addressing the innovation divide, a total of €170 million is allocated, €100 million and €70 million respectively.

Background information

The New European Innovation Agenda, adopted on 5 July 2022, aims to position Europe at the forefront of the new wave of deep tech innovation and start-ups. It will help Europe to develop new technologies to address the most pressing societal challenges, and to bring them on the market. Europe wants to be the place where the best talent work hand in hand with the best companies and where deep tech innovation thrives and creates breakthrough innovative solutions across the continent.

More information

New European Innovation Agenda

Call for expressions of interest FAQ

For questions please email: RTD-REGIO-regional-innovation-valleysatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (RTD-REGIO-regional-innovation-valleys[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)


Press contact:

EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation


Publication date
28 March 2023
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation