European Regions, Interregional Smart Specialisation partnerships and other innovation stakeholders jointly call upon the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to preserve the proposed ‘Interregional Innovation Investments’ component and to preserve the following key elements irrespectively of the final regulatory location: Interregional nature, budget, central management and openness to third countries. All EU institutions acknowledge the EU added value of this new component and in particular how it can harness existing potential across less and more developed EU regions to develop EU innovation value chains and to strengthen EU competitiveness. Therefore, upcoming budget negotiations should not put this innovation component at risk.
On May 29, 2018, the European Commission proposed, as part of the European Territorial Cooperation INTERREG regulation, a new INTERREG component 5 on Interregional Innovation Investments. This new component 5, financed at €970 MLN, aims to develop European value chains across Europe through two strands: 1) support for investments in interregional innovation projects and 2) support for the development of value chains in less developed regions.
In a new joint statement, European networks and S3 partnerships come together to support the interregional innovation investments. The signatories of the statement include the Vanguard Initiative, EARTO, ERRIN, AER, CPMR, EuroTech Universities, European Network of Living Labs and several interregional S3 partnerships.
Together, the signatories call upon the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to preserve the following key elements of the component, irrespectively of its final regulatory location:
- Interregional nature: The main European added value and the main characteristic of the component is to cofinance Smart Specialisation driven common projects of different EU regions.
- Budget: €970 million for seven years is a starting point and an absolute minimum, bearing in mind the ambition of the component and the fact that it will be split in two strands.
- Central management: The management of the new instrument should allow swift allocation addressing effectively fast developing technologies and value chains, while putting regional actors at the core of its governance. It should moreover enable coordination in practice, resolve issues with state aid, capitalise on regulatory attempts to bring synergies in the next Multiannual Financial Framework and provide room for bottom-up processes.
- Openness to third countries: Based on mutual benefit, cooperation should be open to third country partners that share the European Union’s values.