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Research and innovation
News article19 October 2023Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Results of the Regional Innovation Valleys calls are in with strong interest from Member States and Associated Countries

On 17 October, the Commission closed the first coordinated calls under the Regional Innovation Valleys initiative to strengthen EU cohesion and innovation. Over 50 proposals were received with nearly 1000 participants from 25 Member States and 6 Associated Countries.

The Regional Innovation Valleys aim to harness the full innovation potential, including cutting-edge technology, in the different EU territories to address societal challenges and the innovation divide. Its objective is to identify up to 100 regions committed to strengthening the coordination of their research and innovation investments and policies.

To achieve that goal, the Commission made €122 million available under the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) initiative of Horizon Europe and the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument of the European Regional Development Fund. These calls for proposals aim to strengthen and advance European innovation ecosystems, connecting all EU territories to respond to societal challenges and foster stronger cohesion.

In total, 57 proposals have been submitted under both programmes combining cohesion and innovation policies. Both EIE WP and I3 instrument calls have achieved notable geographic balance.

8 proposals have been submitted under the European Innovation Ecosystems call “Implementing co-funded action plans for connected regional innovation valleys” (HORIZON-EIE-2023-CONNECT-03) from 22 EU Member States and 6 Associated Countries to Horizon Europe. For the EIE call, 181 participants requested € 83 million  and committed to co-fund another € 83 million, demonstrating their willingness to reinforce their research and innovation investments and policies.

49 proposals have been submitted under Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument. Under  the “Financial and advisory support for investments in interregional innovation projects” strand,  27 proposals have been submitted from 24 EU Member States. Under the “Financial and advisory support to the development of value chains in less developed regions” strand, 22 proposals have been submitted from 25 EU Member States. In total, 815 participants requested € 264 million  and committed to co-finance € 92 million from own sources in innovation projects in joint smart specialisation areas.

The proposals come in addition to the expression of interest with 164 eligible applicants from 23 Member States and 6 Associated Countries expressing interest to become regional innovation valleys.

Next steps

The evaluation will take place between October 2023 and February 2024. The results will be announced in March 2024

The Commission expects successful proposals to implement interregional innovation projects bringing together strong innovative regions with emerging ones. These projects will address the most burning challenges facing the EU, namely reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, increasing global food security, mastering the digital transformation (including cybersecurity), improving healthcare and achieving circularity.

Background information

The New European Innovation Agenda aims to position Europe at the forefront of the new wave of high-tech innovation and start-ups. It will help Europe develop new technologies to address the most pressing societal challenges and bring them to the market.  

The Commission 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).

More information

Flagship 3: Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide

Funding & tenders portal: Interconnected Innovation Ecosystems (HORIZON-EIE-2023-CONNECT-03)

Funding & tenders portal: Interregional Innovation Investments Strand 1 (I3-2023-INV1)

Funding & tenders portal: Interregional Innovation Investments Strand 2a (I3-2023-INV2a)

Online Info Session

Matchmaking Event for the territories interested to become Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs) - Smart Specialisation Platform

Inforegio - S3 Community of Practice

 

Press contact:

EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation

Details

Publication date
19 October 2023
Author
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation