European Innovation Ecosystems

The European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) Programme aims at creating more connected and efficient innovation ecosystems to support the scaling of companies, encourage innovation and stimulate cooperation among national, regional and local innovation stakeholders. More specifically, EIE has two complementary objectives:

·       To bring together people or organisations whose goal is innovation

·       To include the links between resources (e.g.  funds, equipment, facilities), organisations (such as higher education institutions, research and technology organisations, companies, venture capitalists and financial intermediaries), investors and policymakers

Funding from the European Innovation Ecosystems is:

·       Open to all stakeholders of the innovation ecosystems in Europe, in any field

·       Almost exclusively for collaborative projects, mainly through Coordination and Support Actions (CSA)

A total budget of 500 million EUR is foreseen for EIE for the whole duration of the programme (2021-2027).

EIE is implemented through three destinations:


CONNECT actions aim at building interconnected and inclusive innovation ecosystems across Europe by drawing on the existing strengths of national, regional and local ecosystems and pulling in new, less well-represented actors and territories to set, undertake, and achieve collective ambitions towards challenges for the benefit of society, including the green, digital, and social transitions.

Actions to be funded will:

      ·     foster the implementation of co-funded multi-annual programmes of activities among Member States, Associated Countries and EU regions;

      ·     encourage the inclusion of more stakeholders from across the quadruple helix (academia, industry, public bodies, civil society and citizens) and a wider participation of territories in existing successful initiatives and networks towards the deployment of innovation;

      ·     stimulate innovation procurement to help the market uptake of innovative solutions and the integration of social innovation that responds to the needs of people and society. 


The actions in SCALEUP aims at strengthening network connectivity within and between innovation ecosystems to accelerate sustainable business growth with high societal value (incl. contribution to EU Green deal). SCALEUP destination includes the WomenTechEU initiative.

Actions to be funded will:

·       Support to innovation ecosystems to help companies to better capture and create ecosystem opportunities to sustain their growth and gain new competitive advantage.

·       Provide companies with access to new markets and customers and contribute to disruptive strategies through active engagement into their local, national and European networks.


The INNOVSMES destination supports the European Partnership on Innovative SMEs.

The European Partnership on Innovative SMEs 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

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