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€67 million for Interregional Innovation Investments: May calls for proposals

Interregional Innovation Investments Article Cover

With a total budget of 570 million for the 2021-2027 programming period, and calls for proposals worth 67 million launching this May, the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument focuses on Smart Specialisation and interregional collaboration through the development of European value chains.

Guided by shared priorities defined in regional Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), I3 focuses on interregional innovation projects in:

  • Digital transition: innovative digital solutions for businesses, public administration, and healthcare
  • Green transition: innovative sustainable solutions in value chains, green technology, industry, transport and mobility, food systems, agriculture, clean energy, and reducing pollution
  • Smart manufacturing: innovative solutions for products, processes and services underpinning circular economy and more environmentally sustainable production.

Where are the opportunities?

I3 works through three action strands (1, 2a, 2b) with different purposes:

Strands 1 and 2a: support interregional investments combining assets mobilised across borders with the view to generate income and/or to create future value for more than one region. Strand 2a emphasises Less Developed Regions, allowing smaller partnerships to put in place cooperation schemes that may later scale up as innovation capacity and performance in these regions is increased.

Strand 2b: builds capacity in Less Developed Regions to strengthen their regional innovation ecosystems and value chains through coordinated and interlinked investments in several regions.

The May calls for proposals are for Strands 1 and 2a, whose objectives are to:

1. Enable less developed regions to participate in EU value chains, contributing to cohesion policy objectives

2. Link and align the bottom-up process centred on 'entrepreneurial discovery' that involves interactions among regional innovation stakeholders, to:

  • Identify new regional technological domains and market opportunities with the EU priorities
  • Bridge the gap between the supply and demand sides and help innovation ecosystems overcome market failures

3. Provide support for companies, especially SMEs, in:

  • Building portfolios of interregional innovation investments in shared or complementary S3 priority areas
  • Supporting the demonstration, market uptake and scaling up of mature innovations to be brought on the market

Taking part 

I3 projects target regional innovation actors:

  • SMEs, businesses, business associations
  • innovation intermediaries
  • citizen associations
  • public authorities involved in innovation policy

Benefits of taking part

  • Access to resources, skills, expert knowledge, and capabilities that do not necessarily exist within actors' own regional ecosystem
  • Greater advantages for industrial SMEs, compared to larger companies that usually rely on a larger international network of business units
  • Increased market potential and accelerated market uptake of new technologies in the context of industrial modernisation


  • Creating multi-partner consortia from different regions
  • Defining the scope of a project and the results to be achieved under given time and budget constraints

How can we help?

With an outstanding track-record of securing EU and public sector funding for our clients for over three decades, we can assist potential consortia throughout the journey, from the initial project idea and matchmaking to build the consortium of partners, to guiding the development of the project concept, ensuring that the partners have clear roles adapted to their profile and implementation capacity, all the way to delivering the mature proposal.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how we can help bring your project to life. 

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