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European Innovation Council
News article4 February 20222 min read

​​​​​​​New calls open to boost the European Innovation Ecosystem – €12 million available

A new round of calls is open for submissions via two destinations of the European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE) Work Programme – CONNECT and SCALEUP.

The calls for projects worth €12 million in terms of the available budget will contribute to a European innovation ecosystem that is more sustainable, robust and integrated. In addition, the projects will support the scaling of companies and ideas whilst spurring innovation across ecosystems to address important challenges.


The actions under the SCALEUP destination focus on reinforcing network connectivity within and between innovation ecosystems in view of supporting the European companies to better sustain their growth and gain new competitive advantages.

Therefore, one EIE SCALEUP call with a total budget of EUR 5 million is open for submission until 10 May 2022, 17.00 CET:

This action aims at supporting co-designed programmes of activities, of at least two study years, proposed jointly by educational institutions from ‘modest’ and ‘moderate’ innovation ecosystems and the private sector from innovation hubs (‘strong innovators’ and ‘innovation leaders’  see the Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS), European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS), Global Innovation Index (GII)). The proposals should valorise high levels of technical and entrepreneurial skills of the youth in developing innovation ecosystems with hands-on knowledge and experiences in business management and international scale-up process.


Overall, the CONNECT destination contributes to interconnected, inclusive and more efficient innovation ecosystems across Europe. It draws on the existing strengths of European, national, regional and local ecosystems and pulls in new, less well-represented stakeholders and less advanced in innovation territories, to set, undertake, and achieve collective ambitions towards challenges for the benefit of the society, including green, digital, and social transitions.

Two EIE CONNECT calls with a total budget of €7 million are open for submission until 26 April 2022:

The topic aims to increase Europe’s innovation efficiency and capacity by supporting projects that will expand the cooperation and enlarge the participation of more diverse innovation stakeholders and territories in existing and successful innovation initiatives and networks that support innovation deployment and key stakeholders (including SMEs and start-ups) in the Member States, Associated Countries, at national, regional and/or local level.

These actions will raise awareness and ease the access of social entrepreneurs to the resources of pan-European, national, regional and local innovation ecosystems. In addition, the action aims to have a lasting spill-over effect by bringing attention to the benefits of social innovation projects to the society as a whole, and to strategic priorities and objectives of the Commission in particular.


As part of Horizon Europe, the EU aims to create more connected, efficient and fairer innovation ecosystems to support the scaling of companies, encourage innovation and stimulate cooperation among national, regional and local innovation actors.

Innovation ecosystems bring together people or organisations whose goal is innovation and include the links between resources (such as funds, equipment, and facilities), organisations (such as higher education institutions, research and technology organisations, companies, venture capitalists and financial intermediaries), investors and policymakers.

The actions supported by the first-ever European Innovation Ecosystems Work Programme complement the actions carried out by the European Innovation Council and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), activities across Horizon Europe, initiatives at national, regional and local level as well as private and third sector initiatives.



Publication date
4 February 2022


European Innovation Ecosystems

European Innovation Ecosystems
EISMEA-EU-ECOSYSTEMSatec [dot] europa [dot] eu