Today, the Commission published a matchmaking map highlighting European regions that have expressed their interest to become a Regional Innovation Valley by applying to the call for expression of interest launched in March 2023.
The matchmaking map aims to help interested regions to identify relevant partners willing to strengthen and advance European innovation ecosystems, by facilitating matchmaking and interconnections among regions across Europe. It displays regional authorities committed to tackle the most burning social challenges, based on but not limited to their smart specialisation strategies, whilst contributing to the Union’s strategic priorities. Together, these regions can collaborate on the preparation of joint innovation plans to tackle the EU innovation divide.
To date, 64 eligible regions expressed their interest in becoming Regional Innovation Valleys. These regions are from 22 Member States and Associated Countries to Horizon Europe (i.e., Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Türkiye). The applicants comprise 7 innovation leaders, 16 strong innovators, 18 moderate innovators, and 19 emerging innovators, according to the latest European Innovation Scoreboard published in July.
To facilitate collaboration, the map highlights the main commitments and challenges each region is tackling. It includes a filtering feature by region, country and performance (regional innovation scoreboard), as well as an option to download a full dataset.
The call for expression of interest will remain open until 18 September 2023 so you still have some time!
The matchmaking map will also facilitate the preparation of applications under the €122 million open calls for proposals under the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme or Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument. The calls for proposals is open until 17 October 2023.
Under the New European Innovation Agenda, the Regional Innovation Valleys aim to harness the potential of deep-tech innovation across the different EU territories, and to promote innovation cohesion. The Agenda has set the ambitious goal to identify up to 100 regions committed to enhance the coordination and directionality 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 call for expression of interest enables regions to express their interest to become regional innovation valleys and work together. Regions are invited to indicate on which main challenge (including food security, renewable energy, circular economy, digital transition, healthcare system) they would like to strengthen their research and innovation (R&I) investments and policies.
The Commission also launched two complementary calls with a total of €122 million for proposals under the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) part of Horizon Europe (€60 million) and the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument (€62 million).
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