Interregional Innovation Investment Strand 2a (European Regional and Development Fund)
The Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument is part of the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) and aims at supporting interregional innovation projects in their commercialisation and scale-up phases giving them the tools to overcome regulatory and other barriers and bring their project to investment level. The overall objective of the Strand 2a call is to provide financial and advisory support for interregional innovation investments in shared and complementary smart specialisation areas along European value chains.
An interregional investment is a combination of assets (time, money, effort, etc.) or items mobilised across borders with the view to generate income and/or to create future value for more than one region. It is a concrete concept to develop innovation and valorise available research results in a specific value chain. The development of the business and investment cases is facilitated by the regional innovation ecosystems with companies in the lead. I3 business investment cases have a minimum TRL 6 and have the ambition to facilitate demonstration and to accelerate market uptake and commercialisation.
The goal is to mobilise tangible and intangible investments in companies, in particular small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
- To enable less developed regions to participate in EU value chains, contributing to cohesion policy objectives.
- To link and align the bottom-up process centred on “entrepreneurial discovery” that involves interactions among quadruple helix actors to identify new regional technological domains and market opportunities with the EU priorities; and to bridge the gap between the supply and demand sides and help innovation ecosystems overcome market failures.
- To provide support for companies (in particular SMEs) in building portfolios of interregional innovation investments in shared or complementary S3 priority areas; and to support the demonstration, market uptake and scaling up of mature innovations to be brought on the market.
In line with the New European Innovation Agenda, this call for proposals seeks to bring together regions at different levels of development and less and more innovative regions, which share an ambition to become Regional Innovation Valleys and reinforce coordination of research and innovation activities towards EU priorities and 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 health care and achieving circularity). This call is about accelerating the development and deployment of innovation, including deep tech innovation.
Applicants are therefore encouraged to actively engage with the wider community including innovation ecosystems and (future) Regional Innovation Valleys, in particular in the framework of the Commission Smart Specialisation Community of Practice and relevant Thematic Smart Specialisation Partnerships.
Applications under this call for proposals must address one of the following thematic priorities:
- Digital transition or
- Green transition or
- Smart manufacturing
linked to the burning challenges identified in the New European Innovation Agenda.
The ERDF has allocated 31.213.426,50 EUR for this call for proposals.
The call targets consortia of independent legal entities covering actors from both the demand and supply side of the quadruple-helix ecosystem, such as (non-exhaustive list):
- Public authorities (national/regional/local)
- Universities, Research and Technology organisations, Innovation agencies
- Cluster organisations, SMEs, start-ups,
- Research data alliances (RDA)
- Any other entity that resembles the nature of the above mentioned entities.