I3 Capacity Building Strand 2b


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument (I3)

Programme Description

The programme provides financial and advisory support in form of grants to mature joint innovation projects in shared smart specialisation areas structured in value-chain investment portfolios.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



I3 Capacity Building Strand 2b


The overall objective of the I3 Strand 2b is to build capacity in less developed regions to develop and strengthen their regional innovation ecosystems and value chains through coordinated and interlinked investments in several regions.

In particular, this call for proposals aims to improve the capacity of public authorities and innovation intermediaries (e.g. clusters) to support companies in the identification of investment portfolios at an interregional scale e.g. in particular by tackling EU burning challenges and fostering deep tech solutions.

Detailed Call Description

The purpose of this action is to build capacities for a successful participation in Strand 1 or Strand 2a calls, enhancing interregional cooperation with a view to identifying and sharing good practices, and experimenting new approaches. This will also help public authorities and agencies to design evidence-based and targeted policy interventions in the long-term.

Proposals shall present projects that help creating and maturing interregional innovation projects in shared smart specialisation areas. Proposals shall aim to facilitate the validation process of investment ideas through improved knowledge of business and investment planning. Projects shall identify and address gaps and business opportunities for reinforcing value chains or building new ones. This should be done by focusing on building concrete capacities on business and investment planning involving companies in a specific value chain with a clear path for developing a strand 2a I3 application.

Eligible actions have to provide coordination and support to regional actors (small and medium sized enterprises, research infrastructures, clusters, innovation agencies, managing authorities and other organisations operating in fields like business development, territorial cooperation and innovation).

Actions must be primarily capacity building measures including ecosystem building, coordination and networking of projects, programmes and policies.

Priority shall be given to actions for capacity building and investment project piloting related to the green and the digital transition and to smart manufacturing including deep tech innovation.

Further details in the call document p. 7-11.

Call Total Budget


Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan


Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between €500.000 – €1.500.000 per project, but this does not preclude the submission/selection of proposals requesting other amounts, if duly justified in the proposal.

The grant awarded may be lower than the amount requested.

Thematic Categories

  • Industry
  • Research, Technological Development and Innovation
  • Small-Medium Enterprises and Competitiveness

Eligibility for Participation

  • Educational Institutions
  • International Organisations
  • Investment Funds
  • Large Enterprises
  • Legal Entities
  • NGOs
  • Non Profit Organisations
  • Other Beneficiaries
  • Private Bodies
  • Researchers/Research Centers/Institutions
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • State-owned Enterprises

Eligibility For Participation Notes

Partners can be from all eligible countries.

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs)
    • non-EU countries: listed EEA countries and countries associated to the I3 Instrument or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)

Consortium composition – Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities), which complies with the following conditions:

  • composed of minimum 2 independent legal entities representing 2 different regional ecosystems from 2 different EU Member States
  • representing at least 1 “more developed region” of an EU Member State
  • include innovation actors such as public administrations, research and academia, industry, and end users
  • must include innovation intermediaries with an umbrella role (e.g., clusters representing companies, universities, RTOs) to maximise the representation of quadruple helix stakeholders from less developed regions
  • the coordinator must be established in an EU Member State from a “less developed region” and be either a public body, private non-profit organisation, Member State Organisation acting under indirect management or international organisation

Proposals should encourage the active involvement of companies and civil society alongside public administrations and other quadruple-helix stakeholders.

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


EU Contact Point

Questions should be sent at the latest 5 working days before the submission deadline] to the following email address: