Interregional Innovation Investments Strand 2a


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



Interregional Innovation Investments Strand 2a


The overall objective of Strand 2a is to provide financial and advisory support for demonstration activities, the commercialisation and upscaling of interregional innovation projects in shared or complementary smart specialisation areas, and the development of value chains in less developed regions.

Detailed Call Description

The objective of the I3 Instrument is to support interregional innovation investments by offering consortia of innovation actors from the quadruple helix ecosystems, the necessary financial and advisory support to bring their innovations to a mature level, ready for commercialisation and scale-up, while bridging and reducing the innovation divide in Europe.

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. This call for proposals is launched in coordination with the 2023-2024 Horizon Europe European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) Work Programme on “Implementing co-funded action plans for connected Regional Innovation Valleys”.

Proposals must address one of the following thematic priorities:

  • Digital transition
  • Green transition
  • Smart manufacturing

linked to the burning challenges identified in the New European Innovation Agenda.

Each project application under this call must address only one thematic priority and at least one burning challenge.

Projects selected under this call for proposals are implemented through a portfolio approach, which foresees the identification, within a specific thematic/technological area of cooperation, of a number of investment-ready sub-projects that address one or several bottlenecks identified in the application by the consortium coordinator.

Target investments can be both tangible and intangible investments in the form of one the following activities:

  • Advisory support for investment;
  • Financial support for producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services;
  • Adaptation of existing prototypes and tailoring them to the companies’ needs for the demonstration in a real environment;
  • Development of portfolios of projects for close-to-market investments that deploy new or improved technologies or processes;
  • Activities directly aiming at producing plans, arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services; 
  • Activities connecting or making complementary use of testing and demonstration facilities to accelerate market uptake and scale-up of innovative solutions in shared smart specialisation areas;
  • Innovation services for the development of the business investment interconnecting value chains;
  • Test beds and complementary activities needed to improve regulations, standards and/or to remove barriers and bottlenecks to innovation;
  • Activities bringing innovative ideas and new products to the market.

On 25 May 2023, the EIC and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) is organising an informative webinar to learn more about the Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs) calls for proposals under both the European Innovation Ecosystems and under I3. More information about the info day can be found at the following link:

Call Total Budget

€31 000 000

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

The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rates fixed in the Grant Agreement (100% for the costs of providing financial support to third parties and 70% for all other cost categories).

Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between €2 000 000 and €10 000 000 per project.

Thematic Categories

  • Research, Technological Development and Innovation

Eligibility for Participation

  • International Organisations
  • Local Authorities
  • NGOs
  • Non Profit Organisations
  • Researchers/Research Centers/Institutions
  • Semi-governmental organisations
  • State-owned Enterprises

Eligibility For Participation Notes

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must be legal entities (public or private bodies), established in EU Member States eligible or 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.

Consortium composition

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

  • minimum 3 independent legal entities established in 3 different regions in at least 2 eligible countries
  • the consortium should represent at least 1 more developed region and must have a strong involvement of less developed regions and focus on their needs.
  •  the consortium coordinator must be a:
    • Non-profit organisation including research bodies and innovation intermediate organisation (i.e. a cluster organisation, an innovation agency etc.) or
    • Member State Organisation acting under indirect management or
    • Public authority.

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


EU Contact Point

For individual questions on the Portal Submission System, please contact the:

Non-IT related questions should be sent 3 working days before the submission deadline to the following email address: