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.

Our Policy Work

  • By Anna Tranberg

Horizon Europe: Climate, energy & mobility cluster

Together with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), ERRIN organised a high-level meeting to explore how the Horizon Europe cluster on climate, energy and mobility could be implemented. Collaboration between these areas is crucial to build sustainable low carbon regions and cities.

  • By Agnieszka Wieczorek Jetha

ERRIN reflection paper - Mission-orientation within Research and Innovation Policy and FP9

ERRIN considers that the mission approach is an opportunity to overcome policy fragmentation, to break down silos, and to avoid short-term thinking. Missions will also be an opportunity to strengthen public engagement through the involvement of regional innovation ecosystems. Missions could serve as a uniting force between various policy areas, funding programmes, initiatives, and institutional actors.

  • By Ryan Titley

Policy Recommendations - Regional R&I Ecosystems: Contributing to a competitive Europe

Going towards FP9, several reports - including the Lamy report - underlined the necessity to address the challenge of turning research knowledge into innovation and growth. To maximise impact and the European innovation potential, experience shows that strong territorial innovation ecosystems are essential.

  • By Hilary Webb

The European Union's digital policies: what is the role of universities?

The European University Association is offering a webinar on the European Union's digital policies and how universities can benefit from them.

  • By Anna Tranberg


Building an effective and well-resourced European research and innovation policy post-2020 requires input from a range of stakeholders, including citizens. These stakeholders often work together in partnership at the city or regional level combining proximity with critical mass.

  • By Hilary Webb

European Week of Regions and Cities

Brussels' biggest event dedicated to regional policy, the European Week of Regions and Cities, will take place in Brussels from 12th - 15th October 2020.