The European Commission plans to designate 100 locations across Europe as Regional Innovation Valleys, in a bid to strengthen innovation in EU priority areas and encourage collaboration between more and less advanced regions.

The Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs)calls for proposals were launched under the New European Innovation Agenda and aim to harness the potential of deep-tech innovation across the different EU territories, and addresses the innovation divide.

With an overall commitment of EUR 170 million for Regional Innovation Valleys, this year, the European Commission dedicated EUR 60 million under Horizon Europe (European Innovation Ecosystems) and EUR 62 million from the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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 in the EU. Its objective is to identify up to 100 regions committed to strengthening the coordination of their research and innovation investments and policies. The Commission has recently launched a call for expression of interest inviting European regions to become regional innovation valleys.

The call for expression of interest will:

  • Enable regions to express their interest to become regional innovation valleys and work together based but not limited on their smart specialisation strategies, meeting specific local challenges and needs, whilst contributing to the Union’s strategic priorities. Regions are invited to indicate in which innovation domain (food security, renewable energy, circular economy, digital transition, healthcare system, other) they would like to strengthen their R&I investments and policies and engage in interregional cooperation.
  • Help interested regions to identify potentially relevant partners, by facilitating matchmaking and interconnections among those regions who are committed towards the same objectives. Together, these regions could join up to prepare joint innovation plans to constitute connected regional innovation valleys.

The calls are open for applications until 17 October 2023, 17:00 CET:

Target group(s): The topic is primarily focused on the regional aspects of innovation and targeted at national and/or regional innovation authorities. Other relevant entities should participate in the consortia as associated partners (such as research institutions, public authorities, universities, companies, clusters, innovation intermediaries, etc.).

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