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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
Call for proposalsOpen

Capacity Building Strand 2b (I3-2023-CAP2b)


Publication date
Opening date
Deadline model
Multiple cut-off
Deadline dates
15 Feb 2024, 17:00 / 14 Nov 2024, 17:00 (CET)


In line with the New European Innovation Agenda, the actions supported in this call for proposals targeting “Capacity Building - Strand 2b” will test new approaches for increasing the capacity of regional innovation ecosystems in less developed regions to collaborate in EU value chains. They shall also facilitate the interregional cooperation between regional innovation ecosystem actors to increase their capacity to participate in other calls under the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument, e.g. for the submission of proposals under the I3 Instrument Strands 1 and 2a.  


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.  

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, e.g. (non exhaustive list):  

  • Creation and reinforcement of an interregional innovative and resilient ecosystem (e.g. through innovation ecosystem governance empowerment); 
  • Company engagement and identification of a pipeline of investment projects,  
  • Increasing investment readiness and capacity to build interregional business and investment plans; 
  • Exploring the use of technical assistance from the mainstream programmes to structure and reinforce the local ecosystems internally (identification of specific challenges to address fragmentation, identification of the innovation potential, ecosystem building and animation, company involvement, putting in place the right framework conditions based on best practices identified) in order to develop the capacities to connect the local ecosystems at interregional level; 
  • Connecting the less developed regions with other ecosystems (reinforcing connections with relevant platforms and EU networks, mobilising the ecosystem in the framework of S3 partnerships) and integration them in EU value chains; 
  • Building capacities to understand value chains articulation and implementation. 

Budget and project duration

The available call budget for each of the two cut-off dates in 2024 is €13 million.

Projects should range between 18 and 24 months with expected budget to range between €500,000 – €1.5 million per project (other amounts possible if duly justified in the proposal).


First cut-off date: 15 February 2024, 17:00:00 CET

Second cut-off date: 14 November 2024, 17:00:00 CET

Info session

An online information session on the call Capacity Building Strand 2b (I3-2023-CAP2b) was organised on 23 November 2023. The recording and presentation are available HERE.

Additional information

EU Funding & Tenders Portal Online Manual

EU Grants AGA — Annotated Grant Agreement