Place-based R&I ecosystems

Building an effective European research and innovation policy, and optimising the impact of related funding programmes depends on strong interconnected R&I ecosystems embedded in regions and cities. Innovation happens in places and there are specific local conditions that enable ecosystems to flourish. Therefore, enhancing local and regional ecosystems and working towards achieving a less fragmented European innovation ecosystem is crucial. Supporting collaboration between different stakeholders – public administrations, universities, research organisations, companies, clusters and civil society – at regional level to strengthen ecosystems, as well as collaboration between ecosystems, are both essential to reach that goal.


ERRIN input to Horizon programmes 2014-2027 consultation

February 2023

ERRIN's work on ecosystems

Regional and local R&I ecosystems are at the heart of all ERRIN activities. The current multiannual financial framework (2021-2027) places increasing importance on the place-based dimension and includes several programmes and instruments that are developed around ecosystem thinking, requiring the engagement of multiple stakeholders and embracing quadruple helix collaboration. European Digital Innovation Hubs (Digital Europe Programme), European Innovation Ecosystems Action (Horizon Europe) and I3 Instrument (ERDF), are examples of such developments. ERRIN has actively contributed to all these instruments.

In the frame of Horizon Europe, ERRIN sees great potential of fostering a place-based dimension in the various parts of the programme and in particular under Pillar II in EU Missions and European Partnerships, Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area (ERA) as well as Pillar III European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) and European Innovation Council (EIC). The network is also advocating strong place-based ecosystem approach in the future cohesion policy post-2027 (see our input from August 2023 here).

When it comes to wider initiatives at the EU level to strengthen the regional and local R&I ecosystems, the network actively follows and engages in undertakings such as the ones below, further described in separate subpages:

ERRIN event on building a regional innovation ecosystem

ERRIN’s policy messages

Ecosystem approach is a vital underlying principle for realising the full potential of research and innovation in Europe. The following points should be taken into account:

  • Strengthening attention towards exploring place-based strategic policymaking tools and methods such as the Partnership for Regional Innovation (PRI) based on smart specialisation (S3)
  • Implementing, more broadly in Horizon Europe, calls that engage the whole regional and local ecosystems
  • Involving cities and regions as demonstrators to tackle needs and challenges on the ground
  • Identifying and reinforcing ecosystem connectors with an ability to bring together different stakeholder groups (representing various interests and combining various funding programmes)

Key funding instruments supporting ecosystem thinking

Latest Updates

  • By Ewa Chomicz

Call for presenters at the S3 Conference 2024

The Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) Conference 2024 will take place this year on 11-12 December in Rimini, Italy, organised by DG REGIO and S3 CoP Secretariat, in partnership with Emilia-Romagna Region. A call for applications to present at the conference is currently open for all interested regional/national policymakers, S3 partnerships, practitioners and researchers until 30 June.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

Smart Specialisation WG: Call for examples of benefits from PRI

The ERRIN Smart Specialisation Working Group is looking for 2-3 members who would like to showcase the benefits they perceived for their ecosystem from engagement in the Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) initiative so far. The examples will be presented in the upcoming S3 WG meeting on “S3 and PRI - the way ahead”, to be held online on 11 June from 14:00-15:30 CEST. The deadline for expressing interest is 30 May.

  • By Astrid Hannes

Express your interest for the new European Partnership on Social Transformations and Resilience

The European Commission is mapping stakeholders interested in the new co-funded European Partnership on Social Transformation and Resilience, which will be established under Horizon Europe 2025-2027. The partnership aims to create a transformative R&I programme supporting the modernisation of social protection and essential services, shaping the Future of Work, fostering education & skills development and contributing to a fair transition towards climate neutrality.

  • By Astrid Hannes

New CircularInvest call for project promotors aiming to increase the investment readiness of their local and regional circular economy projects

CircularInvest helps cities and regions implement circular strategies by removing obstacles and closing the gap between circular economy project promoters and investors. A new CircularInvest call has been launched for project promotors who want to increase the investment readiness level of their local and regional circular economy projects. The deadline for applications is 13 September 2024.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

Feedback opportunity for Horizon Europe work programme 2025

The European Commission opened an opportunity to provide input for the development of the Horizon Europe ‘main’ work programme 2025. Submitted responses will contribute to the co-design of the work programme 2025, covering all six clusters, research infrastructures, European innovation ecosystems, the five EU Missions and the New European Bauhaus facility. The deadline for feedback is 6 May 2024 midday, CEST.

  • By Ewa Chomicz

On the way to shaping cohesion policy post-2027

While following developments towards the next European Framework Programme for R&I (FP10), ERRIN also keeps a close eye on the future of cohesion policy, its R&I dimension and coherence with R&I policy post-2027. Have a look at recent key highlights on the topic.