Excellence Hubs

Partnerships of place-based innovation ecosystems in widening countries, involving larger communities of actors in a regional context, based on the quadruple helix principle. To limited extent, participants from other EU member states, associated countries and international co-operation partners may join in duly justified cases e.g. given by a specific expertise needed or the involvement in a relevant value adding chain.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Excellent and sustainable place-based innovation ecosystems in widening countries, in relevant domains of cutting-edge science and innovation
  • Long term joint R&I strategies underpinned by concrete action plans of European relevance
  • Common investment plans for R&I including infrastructures leveraging national, regional and European fund as well as private capital in a synergetic manner   
  • R&I pilot projects alongside a joint strategy and in line with regional and national strategies notably regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation (RIS3) 
  • New competencies and skills for researchers, entrepreneurs, and professionals in R&I intensive domains
  • Strengthened linkages between science and business
  • Poles of attraction for talents in catching up regions
  • Improved knowledge transfer and development of entrepreneurial skills. 
  • Uptake of innovative technologies 
  • New business opportunities especially for SMEs and new employment.

Type of Action: Coordination and Support action (CSA)
Expected EU Contribution per Project: EUR 3-5 million
Project Composition: Consortia must include at least two different place-based R&I ecosystems in at least two different countries eligible to host the co-ordinator under the widening part of Horizon Europe. Each ecosystem needs to include four different categories of actors i.e. a) academic institutions (universities and/or non university research centers or labs), business entities (active established firms with relevant revenues), public authorities or authorised agencies and societal actors (civil society organisations, associations, citizens, end users, media, cultural actors etc.).

Eligible Costs:

  • Joint pilot research projects.
  • Complementary activities that may promote knowledge and technology transfer, mutual learning and skills development especially in research and innovation management and entrepreneurship as well as citizen engagement.