VI launches its innovative interregional funding mechanism: VInnovate

VI launches its innovative interregional funding mechanism: VInnovate

Mathieu Didry 3 minutes

 On 5 December, 16 Vanguard regions signed a letter of Intent at the Official Launch Ceremony of VInnovate, marking their commitment to participate in its pilot call to be launched in 2024. This novel interregional funding instrument is aimed at enabling the funding of interregional projects in the context of the VI Pilots activities.

Congratulations to Baden Wuerttemberg, Basque Country, East and North Finland, East Netherlands, Emilia Romagna, Flanders, Galicia, Lombardy, Lower Austria, Lower Saxony, Noord Brabant, Norte, North East Romania, Slovenia, Wales, Wallonia.

VInnovate is the sole current mechanism in the EU landscape actually combining:

  • The possibility for ‘structural’/continuous regionally anchored ‘cross-regional joint-programming’
  • A user-friendly provision of Interregional Grants Schemes
  • A structural and holistic approach to innovation support

With VInnovate, the Vanguard regions will bridge two (very often fragmented) key pillars in Innovation Support, i.e. the support for projects generations and developments in the VI pilot projects and the actual financial support.

This marks a significant step towards realising VI’s goal of fostering industry-led and strategically impactful interregional projects that align with an appropriate funding landscape, facilitating timely implementation.

Transforming Interregional Funding Ambitions into Action: The creation of VInnovate

On behalf of the Vanguard, IDEA Consult designed and prepared the implementation of the innovative Interregional Funding Mechanism. Together with a group of ‘core regions’.

Key guiding principles were agreed upon on the basis of an analysis of Vanguard funding needs, which served as a basis to kick-start a co-design process towards an interregional funding mechanism in line with the conditions, preferences, and ambitions of the IFM core regions.

Jose CaldeiraWhile IFM core regions were tasked to position themselves regarding four distinct mechanism options, Thorough consultations and interactions among representatives from core regions led to consensus, resulting in the creation of VInnovate.


Presenting the instrument ahead of its official launch ceremony at the VI 10-year anniversary conference, Jose Caldeira, Task Group Lead of the VI co-funding and financing Task Group, offered a roadmap for navigating the complex landscape of funding and financing. He also presented the Vanguard insightful perspectives on how to develop value chains faster more efficiently, by focusing efforts on enhancing the existing framework through the development of synergies.




Erwin Hoogland, Regional Minister for the Economy and International Affairs of East Netherlands, which past chairmanship was pivotal in launching the creation exercise of VInnovate, delivered a keynote speech at the launch ceremony of VInnovate, highlighting the three fundamental principles that define this innovative financial instrument.

  • Regional ownership: VInnovate is placing regions in the driver's seat, as they determine the allocation of regional funds, set project scopes, autonomously manage and assess projects.
  • Tailormade:  The instrument will finance SME innovation tailored to the specific needs of one region, while the collaborative nature of VInnovate enables project results to spillover across the network.
  • Leverage: Recognizing the vital role of innovation for SMEs, VInnovate stands as the next progressive step in the European financing landscape, serving as a model for Europe and the forthcoming multi-annual financial framework post-2027.