Regional and national R&I ecosystems
Action 15 deals with building up regional and national R&I ecosystems to improve regional/national excellence and competitiveness, and "ERA Hubs".
The persisting fragmentation and lack of cohesion in the European R&I system has hindered an optimal growth of Europe’s knowledge society and its capacity to address existing and future societal, industrial, and environmental challenges. Current European initiatives (e.g. the EIT KICs and the Digital Innovation Hubs) most often aim at supporting technology-based industry-oriented innovation. The implementation of regional smart specialisation strategies and related programmes differs largely between Member states and regions, depending on regional specificities and funds available. OECD studies show that in the EU Member States, challenge-oriented policies and programmes aiming at transformation at the national level are based on arrangements that allow for strategic orientation, a holistic policy co-ordination (across policy silos) and an integrated implementation.
In the light of existing regional development and cohesion efforts and the remaining challenges that need to be overcome, the ERA Hub initiative can have a clear added value, offering the opportunity to contribute to the deepening of the ERA and overcoming the current R&I divide, while enhancing and speeding up the transfer and exploitation of research results within the economy and society.
Action 15 will therefore consist of defining, testing and deploying ERA Hubs as follows:
- Strand 1: Creating a network of ERA Hubs: The objective of this strand will be to co-design the initiative with Member States and stakeholders and set up the network on the basis of technical specifications and a call for expression of interest.
- Strand 2: Towards a project portfolio as a testbed: The aim of this strand which will run in parallel to Strand 1 is to set up a testbed with a project portfolio of ERA Hubs as a result of Horizon Europe calls or other similar initiatives by stakeholders and Member States.
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