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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
Supplementary information17 May 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency6 min read

Call for expert evaluators for the I3 Instrument

The European Innovation and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA) is looking for independent experts to assist in the evaluation of proposals submitted for funding under the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument.

We are looking for the experts in regional and cohesion policy with the expertise in following, designing, assessing, implementing and funding innovations in the fields of green transition, digital economy and smart manufacturing. 

We are inviting you to registered as an expert in the Portal Expert Database or update your profile in and send us an e-mail to the address EISMEA-I3-Instrument-Expertsatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (EISMEA-I3-Instrument-Experts[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) with your registration number by 31 July 2024.


  • Publication date: 17/05/2024
  • Deadline date: 31/12/2027  


The European Innovation and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA), and in particular the I3 Instrument sector within the unit I.01 EU and place-based Innovation Ecosystems, is looking for independent experts to assist in the evaluation of proposals, in their personal capacity, assessing applications for funding under the I3 instrument.

The Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument is a funding instrument under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) regulation (article 13). The I3 Instrument is implemented by the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) based on a biannual work programme adopted by its parent DG Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO).

In the implementation of the I3 Instrument, the experts appointed in the evaluation of the proposals will be chosen on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge relevant to the tasks which will be assigned to them. EISMEA shall ensure that experts do not evaluate, advise or assist on matters with regard to which they have any conflict of interest. They shall also have appropriate language skills, in particular in English, for the tasks to be carried out. 

I3 Instrument policy objectives 

The main objective of the I3 Instrument is promoting innovation in EU cohesion policy through Smart Specialisation and interregional collaboration.

Stronger strategic interregional cooperation and sustainable connections between regional ecosystems are vital to accelerate market uptake of research results and stimulate innovation. It supports companies in scaling up their ideas in the EU single market and in taking advantage of opportunities available at global level. At the same time, better aligning investment pipelines across borders will create opportunities in new EU value-chains.

The general objective of the I3 Instrument is to promote innovation, and innovation diffusion, and the reinforcement of EU and regional value chains, through cooperation on the basis of shared priorities and complementary capabilities.

I3 Instrument aims at supporting predefined portfolios of interrelated and mature interregional innovation investments in different regions and based on shared or complementary S3 priority areas; and to support the demonstration, market uptake and scaling up of mature innovations to be brought on the market. Special attention is given to the participation of less developed regions.  

Fields of expertise 

EISMEA is looking for experts with a high level of expertise and professional experience in the following I3 objectives. Applications from experts with experience in EU cohesion policy and relevant socio-economic expertise are also encouraged.


  • Good knowledge of the EU cohesion policy, smart specialisation platforms, European innovation ecosystem, regional innovation ecosystem and regional smart specialisation strategies.
  • Experiences in innovation process management and project management. 
  • Expertise in following, designing, assessing, implementing and funding innovations in the fields of green transition, digital economy and smart manufacturing.
  • Financial and advisory support for investments in interregional innovation projects. 
  • Experience in building the interregional value chains between quadruple helix stakeholders and facilitating interregional cooperation in the areas of regional Smart Specialisation.
  • Preparing and evaluating the innovative investment projects, investment strategies and business plans.

Application procedure 

EISMEA invites individuals to apply as independent experts registering into the Portal Expert Database, which is the central database for all experts. Registration is a mandatory prerequisite for being contracted. Experts must register online. 

Please note that registration does nothing more than declare your interest in working for us. We do not check your eligibility or any other conditions at that moment and registration does not entail any entitlement to receive assignments, which will depend on business needs and fulfilment of the formal requirements. 

Experts who already registered in the database of experts and who wish to apply for the evaluations of I3 Instrument proposals, are invited to declare their interest in being considered by entering the ‘My Expert Area’ on the Portal Expert Database and duly updating all sections. Areas of expertise and professional experience must be in line with the above-mentioned areas, adequately detailed and documented, avoiding including any sensitive information of any kind. It is also recommended to include ‘open keywords’ to further support the search in areas of expertise of relevance to the I3 Instrument 

The I3 Instrument is added to the list of programmes in the ‘Programme selection’ tab.

Please note that to be considered for the evaluation starting in the relevant year, interested experts are advised to update their profile no later than end of July of the same year. After registration or update, experts are invited to express their interest by sending an e-mail to the address EISMEA-I3-Instrument-Expertsatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (EISMEA-I3-Instrument-Experts[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) indicating their registration number. To be considered as an evaluator for the I3 Instrument 2024 calls for proposals, please send us the email with your registration number by 31 July 2024.

Selection procedure 

The selection of experts will be made on the basis of selection criteria such as professional expertise and experience, language skills, geographical and thematic balance, gender balance, regular rotation and absence of conflict of interest. 

The selection will be objective and follow the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment. 

For the evaluation starting in a specific year, experts selected will be contacted no later than one month before the start of the evaluation process. The experts will be informed on the indicative timing and will be invited to confirm their interest and availability. 

Prior to assigning a task, the experts will need to sign an EU expert contract. By signing the contract, experts will need to agree to perform the assignments to the highest professional standards and in compliance with the conditions set out in the call, the Expert Terms of Reference and the Expert Code of Conduct. 

To ensure the independence of the work that they are called upon to perform in their capacity as 'independent experts', prior to the signature of their contract, they will also be required to attest that they agree to abide by the terms of the code of conduct (including confidentiality aspects) in the electronic exchange system. In particular, they will be required to sign a declaration certifying that there is no conflict of interest at the time of contracting and that they undertake to inform the Commission or the relevant funding body if any conflict should arise in the course of their duties. 

Please note that the work of the independent experts will be remunerated. Contracts will contain the details relating to the assignment (e.g. tasks and working arrangements, remuneration and payment arrangements). More information about the applicable ceilings and the payment of experts can be found in the general Call for Funding & Tenders Portal Expert Database (Call for Expression of Interest 2021-2027).

Note: As the Commission service collects and further processes personal data, it is subject to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC. Processing operations are under the responsibility of the data controller. 




EISMEA I3 Instrument

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EISMEA I3 Instrument
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