Enabling innovation ecosystem actors
to work together across Europe
As part of Horizon Europe, the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) programme aims to create more connected, inclusive, and efficient innovation ecosystems and support the scaling of companies, as laid out in the New European Innovation Agenda.
- bring together people or organisations whose goal is innovation, and
- include the links between resources (such as funds, equipment, and facilities), organisations (such as higher education institutions, research and technology organisations, companies, venture capitalists and financial intermediaries), investors and policymakers.
The actions supported by European Innovation Ecosystems complement the actions carried out by the EIC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), activities across Horizon Europe, initiatives at national, regional and local level as well as private and third sector initiatives.
The New European Innovation Agenda
The New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA) will help Europe to develop new technologies, to address the most pressing societal challenges and bring them on the market. Europe wants to be the place where the best talent work hand in hand with the best companies and where deep tech innovation thrives and creates breakthrough inspiring solutions across the continent.
The European Innovation Ecosystems projects contribute to the Agenda by:
The 2023-2024 European Innovation Ecosystems actions are grouped under two destinations: CONNECT and INNOVSMES complemented by the 2021-2022 SCALEUP destination.
The actions in CONNECT focus on building interconnected, 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.
European Partnership on Innovative SMEs/EUROSTARS
The INNOVSMES destination supports the European Partnership on Innovative SMEs/Eurostars.
This Partnership helps innovative SMEs and project partners (such us large companies, universities and research organisations) by funding international collaborative R&D and innovation projects. By participating, organisations can increase their research and innovation (R&I) capacity, their productivity and successfully embed in global value chains and new markets.
This action is led by the Eureka Secretariat with the co-fund provided by the Member States. More information here.
The actions in SCALEUP focus on reinforcing network connectivity within and between innovation ecosystems to accelerate sustainable business growth with high societal value. By actively engaging in local, national and European networks, companies can better capture and create ecosystem opportunities and gain new competitive advantage.
One of the actions funded under the SCALEUP destination is the Women TechEU.
INNOSUP legacy programme
The INNOSUP programme was part of Horizon 2020 and its legacy continues until 2024. The ultimate goal was to enhance innovation in SMEs in Europe essentially via cascade funding schemes. Currently it is part of the European Innovation Ecosystems actions.
The programme focused on developing the ecosystem of innovation support to SMEs in Europe. The INNOSUP actions aimed to test new approaches for better innovation support through funding opportunities for innovation actors across Europe.
They were designed to provide opportunities to Member States and regions to enhance their services through collaboration, and peer-learning, with an emphasis on testing new approaches that facilitate SMEs’ access to customers, capital and competencies; the latter especially in the domains of business, innovation and intellectual asset management.
More can be found on the EASME legacy website.
Guidelines for applicants
On 16 February 2023 the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) organised an informative webinar to learn more about the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) Work Programme 2023-2024. This specific informative session focused on four Calls in CONNECT.
Presentations and recording of the webinar are available below.
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- News article
GALACTICA EU-funded project closes with final event and pitching competition in Barcelona
On 16 February 2023, more than 110 participants attended the H2020 INNOSUP-funded project GALACTICA’s final event.
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Spotlight on the first projects implementing the New European Innovation Agenda
The Commission announced that only 6 months after adoption of New European Innovation Agenda, a critical mass of ongoing projects will directly contribute to the agenda’s objectives.
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UNICO, a start-up who received funding from the H2020-INNOSUP-1 project DigiCirc, raised additional EUR 1.5 million to optimise waste collection in cities
In 2022, UNICO announced a fundraising of EUR 1.5 million to accelerate the commercial development of its Saas solution dedicated to the logistical optimisation of waste collection.
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ADMA TranS4MErs xChange Platform: a one-stop shop for your digital transformation journey
The ADMA TranS4MErs project launched its xChange Platform, a single digital marketplace at the heart of a pan-European network that brings together innovative actors in the manufacturing industry and facilitates knowledge exchange.
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Southern European Entrepreneurship Engine (South3E) project: first call open for research teams, start-ups and SMEs
The consortium of S3E – Southern European Entrepreneurship Engine has launched its first open call.