The I3 instrument aims to promote innovation through smart specialization and interregional collaboration. It must bring together researchers, companies, civil society and public administrations involved in smart specialization strategies established at national or regional level.
The calls for projects are organized under 2 chapters:
Strand 1: Support for investments in interregional innovation projects in shared smart areas of specialization
Funding in this chapter is directed at associations to help them accelerate the time to market and scale up of innovative solutions in shared priority areas of expertise.
Chapter 2a: support for investments in interregional innovation projects for the development of value chains in less developed regions
Funding under this strand focuses on increasing the capacity of regional innovation ecosystems in less-developed regions to participate in global value chains, linking less-developed ones to regions where regional innovation capacity innovation is more advanced.
Chapter 2b: Capacity building for value chain development in less developed regions
Increase the capacity of the regional innovation ecosystems of the less developed regions to collaborate in the EU value chains.
Chapter 1: consortium of a minimum of 5 partners from 5 different regions and from at least 3 different eligible countries. The coordinator must be established in a more developed region of the EU and be a non-profit organisation. At least 1 partner must be established in a less developed, transition or outermost region.
Chapter 2a: consortium of a minimum of 3 partners from 3 different regions and at least 3 different eligible countries. The coordinator must be established in a less developed, transition or outermost region of the EU and be a non-profit organisation. At least 1 partner must be established in a more developed region.
Chapter 2b: at least 2 independent legal entities from different regional ecosystems and from 2 different EU Member States. The coordinator must be established in an EU Member State of a less developed region. At least 1 partner must be established in a more developed region of an EU Member State.
Mainly for non-profit organizations (regional development agencies, technology centers, universities, chambers of commerce and industry, business associations) acting as coordinators and companies, mainly SMEs (as partners or cascading financing).
Grants. The co-financing rate for strands 1 and 2a is up to 70% for all cost categories at project level. The 30% co-financing can be covered by any other public source (national, regional or a combination of both) or private.
The subsidy for chapter 2b is up to 100% of the total costs of the project.
The total budget for the period 2023-2024 is approximately 159 million euros.
Direct costs related to the nature of the project, such as personnel costs, subcontracting costs, acquisition costs (travel, equipment used for the action), other costs such as events or communication costs related to the project and indirect costs.