A regional and local perspective – why place-based innovation ecosystems are important

To achieve and maximise impact of EU programmes related to research and innovation, regional and local innovation ecosystems are crucial. Innovation takes place in a precise location and there are specific local conditions which make such innovation ecosystems flourish.

A wide range of stakeholders – academia, industry, the public sector, and civil society – need to be involved in collaborative projects. Ecosystems bring together stakeholders from different sectors and with different skills to improve the sourcing of new knowledge, allow for the development of more relevant products and services, and to provide space for the testing of new technologies to build acceptance.

Our expertise lies in the close collaboration with our members and in our ability to provide concrete input based on experience and expertise.

European flag

ERRIN contribution the Horizon Europe strategic planning process

The present contribution to the Horizon Europe strategic planning process is based on input from our members and especially from our Working Group leaders in the respective thematic clusters. The work has been coordinated by a dedicated taskforce in our Policy Working Group.

Our position


Blue building

In short we advocate for:


A collaborative approach

To fundamentally change the way that local and regional actors work together in the quadruple helix model focusing on the wider regional development agenda and ecosystem thinking.

A coherent approach

To increase the impact of research and innovation policy and programmes, place-based innovation ecosystems should be part of Horizon Europe to better coordinate research and innovation priorities, practices, and funding at all governance levels.

A complementary approach

There should be complementarities between Horizon Europe and other EU programmes such as ERDF, Digital Europe, and Creative Europe.

Horizon Europe - place-based innovation ecosystems

Our short policy paper outlining the importance of place-based innovation ecosystems in the next framework programme for research and innovation.

More impactful European Partnerships in Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe aims to simplify the landscape of the European Partnerships and to introduce a more strategic, coherent and impact-driven approach with a goal of fewer partnerships with more impact. In practice this means that there will be only three types of partnerships: co-funded, co-programmed, and institutional. ERRIN advocates for a greater involvement of local and regional stakeholders in the European Partnerships and their governance structures. This is crucial to create synergies with regional programmes, ensure better connection to societal needs and challenges, and increase the impact of the partnerships.

EU flag waving in the wind

A Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities

Horizon Europe will incorporate, as a new element, research and innovation missions. To start with, five mission areas have been selected – one of them being Climate Neutral and Smart Cities. Each mission has a dedicated Mission Board consisting of 15 experts, which is supported by a Mission Secretariat and an Assembly. The task of the Mission Board is to develop, together with stakeholders and citizens, the research and innovation activities that will contribute to the mission. The Mission Assembly, in which ERRIN is represented, aims to provide an additional pool of ideas, knowledge and expertise to the mission.

The Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities proposes to support 100 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate-neutrality by 2030. The Mission aims to create a bottom-up approach towards achieving climate neutrality supported by a Climate City Contract, which requires the participation of the entire local ecosystem and support from all governance levels.

An aerial view of Copenhagen

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