Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument and Smart Specialisation Community of Practice

#30, January 2023

Silvia Alvarez-Santos and Tomislav Pinter

DG Regional and Urban Policy.

Innovating Together: The Power of Interregional Cooperation

The support for smart specialisation in recent years led to collaboration between academia, the private sector, and governments at the regional, national and EU levels. It created numerous partnerships focused on innovation. Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument is helping partnerships to create joint innovation, with a particular focus on less developed regions, i.e. regions with GDP per capita of less than 75% of the EU average. It supports investments in interregional innovation projects in shared or complementary smart specialisation areas as well as the development of the European value chains. Projects are supported in their commercialisation and scale-up phases. In this way, I3 aims to connect joint interregional investments that can lever further investments supported by national and regional programmes.

I3 Instrument has a budget of €570 million for 2021-27. The I3 Instrument is implemented by the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). In 2021, the first Calls were published with a budget of €145 million, resulting in projects implemented from 2022 and 2023. A new I3 Call, dedicated to the capacity building of less developed regions, was published in December 2022. All information about the I3 Calls and the application links are available on the EISMEA website.

You are invited to join the I3 Instrument Info day on 19 January 2023 to learn more about the Capacity Building Call. Registration ends on 17 January 2023. The call submission deadline is 16 March 2023. For more information, check the Call page.

The Smart Specialisation Community of Practice (S3 CoP): Providing Comprehensive Technical Assistance and Advice on Smart Specialisation

The Smart Specialisation Community of Practice (S3 CoP), established by the DG REGIO, will be launched in March 2023. The S3 CoP will provide technical assistance on smart specialisation to national and/or regional authorities and stakeholders by offering analytical, advisory and technical support, access to experts, as well as communication activities. It will act as the main point of contact and source of information in relation to the smart specialisation concept. The S3 CoP will manage and animate S3 thematic platforms (TSSPs) and provide support to S3 thematic partnerships. A major annual event will bring the community together, including policymakers and practitioners. A dedicated website, available as of early 2023, will be the central point of contact for all S3 stakeholders and all S3 partnerships.