On 28 March 2023, the European Commission launched a call for expression of interest for Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs), to strengthen and advance European innovation ecosystems, connecting all EU territories, to address Europe’s burning societal challenges, and to foster stronger cohesion.
Under the New European Innovation Agenda, the RIVs aim to harness the potential of deep-tech innovation across the different EU territories, and addresses the innovation divide. It has set the ambitious goal to identify up to 100 regions committed to enhance the coordination and direction of their research and innovation investment and policies, at regional level and to collaborate on inter-regional innovation projects including in deep tech innovation, linked to key EU priorities. The initiative is endorsed by the European Committee of the Regions.
Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms:
Innovation is Europe’s best response to the challenges of the green and digital transitions. For the first time, Cohesion Policy Funds and the Horizon Europe programme work closely together to support interregional cooperation for innovation. I am looking forward to interested EU regions applying for this important opportunity, to reduce the innovation divide and build a stronger, more cohesive, and competitive Union.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
With the Regional Innovation Valleys we aim to establish a community of regions that meet local challenges and needs whilst contributing to the Union’s strategic priorities. Committing to become a regional innovation valley means building resilience in the face of global competition. We call on regions to join forces and develop a robust European innovation ecosystem.
This initiative builds on over 180 national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies and, where applicable, on the participation in the pilot action Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRIs).
If your region is willing to join the endeavour, apply by 18 September 2023.