With a total budget of 527M€ (2021-2027), the European Commission aims to create more connected and efficient innovation ecosystem to support the scaling of companies, encourage innovation and stimulate cooperation among national, regional and local innovators.
What is the European Innovation Ecosystems initiative?
As part of the Pilar III (Innovative Europe) of the Horizon Europe programme, the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) initiative has been designed to build a more interconnected and inclusive Innovation Ecosystem. The programme aims at reinforcing innovation capacities, and it promotes international cooperation, network creation and knowledge exchange in all corners around Europe. The EIE, which will contribute to all the Key Strategic orientations and impacts of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan, will have four areas of intervention:
- It builds interconnected, inclusive innovation ecosystems across Europe.
- It reinforces network connectivity within and between innovation ecosystems to accelerate sustainable business growth with high societal value.
- It supports the European Partnership for Innovative SMEs (Eurostars 3).
- It complements the European Regional Development Fund support for innovation ecosystems and interregional partnerships around smart specialisation topics.
Moreover, the European Innovation Ecosystems programme will cooperate and find synergies with the European Innovation Council (EIC) and European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and innovative activities across Horizon Europe and other EU funding programmes to improve the overall ecosystem for innovation in Europe.
How is this programme structured?
The European Innovation Ecosystems work programme is structured under three different destinations:
- CONNECT – This destination is focused on building interconnected, inclusive innovation ecosystems across Europe. CONNECT will draw on the existing strengths of European, national, regional and local ecosystems and pulls in new, less well-represented stakeholders and less advanced in innovation territories, to set, undertake, and achieve collective ambitions towards challenges for the benefit of the society, including green, digital, and social transitions. It has a budget of 8M€ for 2021 calls and 19.5M€ for 2022.
- SCALEUP – This destination is focused on reinforcing network connectivity within and between innovation ecosystems for sustainable business growth with high societal value. Actions funded under the SCALEUP destinations are expected to contribute to the following impacts: 1) Enhanced network connectivity within innovation ecosystems by reinforcing their capacity to support existing and emerging innovators and companies; 2) Strengthened and expanded cooperation between innovation ecosystems worldwide; 3) More inclusive and gender equal innovation ecosystems. It has a budget of 13,75M€ for 2021 calls and 20M€ for 2022.
- INNOVSMES – The objective of this destination is to support the European Partnership on Innovative SMEs, which will help innovative SMEs to increase their research and innovation (R&I) capacity and productivity and successfully embed in global value chains and new markets. INNOVESMES must contribute to strengthening the resilience of the European innovation ecosystem; 2) Addressing the productivity and internationalisation gap between innovative SMEs and large companies and aiming to improve SMEs’ global scale-up potential leading to increased employment and turnover; 3) Leveraging investment for innovative SMEs. It has a budget of 34,99M€ for 2021 calls and 37,89M€ for 2022.
How was the programme so far?
The program, which was officially launched by the Commission last year, has already run 9 different calls with a dedicated budget of 68.74 M€. Although the information about the funded projects is still unknown, the available quantitative information about the submissions is presented below:
Which are the next opportunities of the EIE in 2022?
On the 11th May, the Commission announced the adoption of the amended work programme. Among the main novelties is the additional provision of 11.7 M€ to strengthen the European Innovation Ecosystems. Apart from the existing actions, new funding opportunities for deep-tech start-ups led by women and the EU angel investment industry are foreseen. The overall budget of the 2022 pending calls is 27.5 M€ in the form of grants, and 2 M€ in public procurement actions.
Interested in these calls?
From SPLORO we want to help you make these calls more accessible for your company or organisation. See how SPLORO supports you in your application!
- Project concept: we give you guidance in the initial set up of the project idea and analyse the feasibility of it according to the call. The first check you need to know for deciding to apply to the call.
- Consortium building: we support you in the search for partners to build a strong consortium. We introduce you to our partners and networks that include accelerators, incubators or international agents that are going through your same ups and downs. All together we will built a winning consortium!
- Proposals writing and submission management: we support you to land that idea that you have in mind and adapt it to the requirements of the call. In addition, we carry out the management and upload on the different platforms of all the necessary documentation to ensure that your project is eligible for the call.
- Project management support: our service does not end with uploading the documentation, we help you throughout the full life cycle of the project, providing you management support and ensuring that you receive 100% of the grant you have won.