The Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) instrument is a funding instrument under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) regulation. Its objective is to encourage the development of European value chains by mobilising innovation ecosystems to scale up and commercialise interregional innovation projects, through the linkage to mainstream Cohesion policy operational programmes, mobilise additional investments in the selected priority areas and enhance the cooperation with partners from different Member States, and strengthen complementarities between different EU, national and regional funding instruments.
The instrument provides funding for mature joint innovation projects and supports stakeholders involved in smart specialisation to develop and set up such projects in value-chain investment portfolios. The I3 instrument is implemented by the European Innovation Council and SMEs executive agency (EISMEA) based on a biannual work programme.
The I3 work programme (annex) aims at promoting innovation through Smart Specialisation and interregional collaboration. The I3 supports stronger interregional cooperation in investments and makes sustainable connections by linking regional ecosystems in shared smart specialisation areas vital to accelerate market uptake of research results and stimulate innovation. Therefore its focus is on:
Strand 1 - Financial and advisory support for investments in interregional innovation projects
Strand 1 targets mature partnerships to help them accelerate market uptake and scale-up of innovative solutions in shared smart specialisation priority areas, as well as to develop a portfolio of investment projects.
Strand 2a - Financial and advisory support to the development of value chains in less developed regions
Strand 2a focuses on increasing the capacity of regional innovation ecosystems in less developed regions to participate in global value chains, as well as the capacity to participate in partnerships with other regions.