The European Innovation Ecosystems work program aims to create more connected and efficient innovation ecosystems that support the scaling of startups and SMEs and encourage disruptive innovation across the EU.

This work programme can contribute to all key strategic orientations and impact areas of Horizon Europe and to tackling the innovation gap. It will also work in complementarity with the European Innovation Council (EIC), the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the “Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area” work programme and innovative activities across Horizon Europe, the Digital Europe Programme, as well as other relevant funding and policy initiatives at EU, national, regional and local level, such as the Enterprise Europe Network and the regional smart specialisation strategies.
The work programme contains actions under three (3) destinations: CONNECT, SCALEUP and INNOVSMES.

  • The actions in the CONNECT destination aim to leverage the strengths of national, regional and local ecosystems to set goals for the challenges faced in these ecosystems and to encourage stakeholder participation in achieving these goals. Thus, it focuses on creating interconnected, inclusive and innovation ecosystems across Europe in line with the goal of reaching the green, digital European Research Area.
  • The actions in the SCALEUP destination aim to strengthen the interconnection of innovation ecosystems within and between each other for sustainable business growth with high social value.
  • The action in the INNOVSMES destination will support the "European Partnership on Innovative SMEs", which will help innovative SMEs increase their R&D, innovation capacity and productivity and help them settle in global value chains and new markets.

Budget: 54.74 Million € (For 2021)