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News article26 June 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

EC Allocates €116 Million to Regional Innovation Valleys to Boost Competitiveness and Promote Innovation


The European Commission has designated 151 regions as Regional Innovation Valleys (RIVs) under the New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA). These RIVs aim to enhance regional innovation ecosystems, bridge Europe's innovation gap, and boost overall innovation performance by connecting various regions with different innovation levels and their key innovation stakeholders.

The European Union (EU) will back this initiative with €116 million through the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) programme of Horizon Europe, and the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument of the European Regional Development Fund. 72 regions with varying levels of development and innovation performance are set to become Regional Innovation Valleys, pending the signing of grant agreements.

These regions are dedicated to enhancing their innovation policies and investments, addressing the challenges identified by the NEIA. These challenges include reducing reliance on fossil fuels, enhancing global food security, advancing digital transformation (including cybersecurity), improving healthcare, and promoting circularity.

Following a call for expressions of interest, an additional 79 regions have been identified as potential future RIVs. These regions have committed to improving the coordination and focus of their innovation investments and policies, engaging in interregional collaboration to advance innovation, and strengthening and connecting their regional innovation ecosystems.

In addition to funding, the Commission will also support these regions through community building activities, matchmaking events and targeted communication actions.



Publication date
26 June 2024
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency