Contacts Contacts

Contact the S2E email box

Know the S2E Team members

More Specific contacts are available for the respective registered Member States on S3P, for instance:

- H2020 National Contact Points

- European Entreprise Network branches


Publications Publications


This S2E Policy Insight summarises the main lessons learnt from the S2E National Events and demonstrates how the S3 and synergies between different...

Region & Country Information

S2E team
Quantitative and Qualitative information are produced for EU13 regions and countries

Synergies between EU R&I Funding Programmes. Proceedings from the Launching Event of the Stairway to Excellence Project

12/2014 Susana Elena Perez, Andrea Conte, Nicholas Harrap
This S3 Policy Brief 12/2014 was published as an outcome of the S2E launching conference

Stairway to Excellence Stairway to Excellence

What is Stairway to Excellence

The "Cohesion Policy and the synergies with the research and development funds: the STAIRWAY TO EXCELLENCE (S2E)" project was launched in 2014 within the Smart Specialisation Platform (S3P).

The Stairway to Excellence (S2E) project aims to support EU13 member states and their regions in developing and exploiting the synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), Horizon 2020 (H2020) and other EU funding programmes and:

  • Assist them in closing the innovation gap, in order to promote excellence in all regions and EU countries;
  • Stimulate the early and effective implementation of national and regional Smart Specialisation Strategies.

Activities of S2E

Background for the Project

National Events

National Events were organized in EU13 Members States to:

  • Ease understanding of national and regional innovation ecosystems
  • Raise awareness to enable synergies between EU funding programmes
  • Share experiences in combining Structural Funds and Framework Programme to improve excellence
  • Draw lessons for the future and identify follow-up actions to enhance potential synergies  

Country & Region Information

Quantitative and Qualitative information were produced for EU13 member states and their regions:

  • National and Regional Fact & Figures aim to draw the European profile of a country/ region with statistical and financial information coming from the EU's 7th Framework Programme and Structural Funds dedicated to research and innovation. 
  • S2E Country Reports provide further analysis on selected policy issues that affect optimal use and the combination of key EU funds for R&I and offer country-tailored policy suggestions aiming to tackle the weaknesses identified in the analysis.


     BG         HR           CY           CZ          EE           HU           LV          LT           MT           PL          RO          SK           SI

R&I Regional Viewer

The R&I Regional Viewer (ESTAT/ ESIF/ H2020 data) is a tool allowing to visualize and compare Research & Innovation investments under different funding channels and EU programmes across EU Regions, i.e. economic indicators from Eurostat, planned R&I-related investments under ESIF, and Horizon 2020 funding captured by stakeholders.

Synergies examples

Synergies examples are provided in which SF/ ESIF and FP7/ H2020 funds have been combined in order to amplify the R&I investments and their impact, using different forms of innovation and competitiveness support, or carrying innovative ideas further along the innovation cycle or value chain to bring them to the market.

Relevant Instruments, Platforms, Projects and Documents

Fiches are available on a selection of European instruments/ platforms/ concepts that can be considered as facilitators especially for "downstream activities", to exploit and diffuse results from earlier programming period (FP7) and current one (H2020), and as key elements in monitoring the implementation of synergies in their various forms.

Beyond the Reference Documents (below) and Related Links (left), there are a number of Relevant Initiatives, Projects and Platforms for Cohesion Policy and the synergies with the research and development funds.

We gather Related Documents relevant to Cohesion Policy and the synergies with the research and development funds, including guidance for Policy-Makers, Implementing Bodies and Beneficiaries of EU Funds and instruments issued by the European Commission or other bodies.


Frequently Asked Questions relate to practical application of the Guidance on synergies between ESIF, Horizon2020 and other research, innovation and competitiveness-related Union programmes.

A list of acronyms is also available.


Events Events

Collaboration Opportunities and Synergies between RIS3 and EIT-RIS

The main aim of this event is to gather key stakeholders from different European MSs and regions and facilitate interaction, exchange of good practices,...


The workshop is organised as part of the activities of the Stairway to Excellence project managed by the DG JRC, in close cooperation with DG REGIO, as a...

S3 High Quality Food Workshop - Warminsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship (PL)

The event will focus on the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) in the region of Warminsko-Mazurskie Region in Poland.

Seminar on synergies between funding in the aeronautics field

Seminar with the Member States and Regions on Synergies with ESIF in Aviation/Aeronautics
View more

Related Documents Related Documents

Related/ relevant references

References related/ relevant to Cohesion Policy and the synergies with the research and development funds are gathered here

Other guides related to aspects of the S3

European Commission
Other S3 guides beyond the S2E list of reference documents

Latest News Latest News

Seminar on synergies between funding in the aeronautics field

The Stairway to excellence project and the Cleansky Joint undertaking are organising a Seminar with the Member States and Regions on Synergies...

Collaboration and networks: EU13 participation in international science

This S2E Policy Insight analyses the international collaboration of EU countries

Synergies for Innovation: Lessons Learnt from the S2E National Events

This S2E Policy Insight summarising the main lessons learnt from the S2E National Events

Overview by country

Compilation by country of S2E contributions

Horizon 2020 Information Day on the Research Public-Private Partnerships

The aim of the event is to give the research community an overview of ongoing activities in the following PPPs : Factories of the Future,...
View more

Research for REGI Committe - Maximisation of Synergies Between European Structural and Investment Funds and Other EU Instruments to Attain EUROPE 2020 Goals

Martin Ferry, Stefan Kah, John Bachtler
Study by DG-REGIO for REGI's Committee: comprehensive and systematic analysis of the existing scope for synergies between ESIF and other EU instruments...

EU Funds working together for jobs and growth: Synergies between the R&I Framework Programmes and the European Structural & Investment Funds

Directorate-General for Research and Innovation
This publication describes the rationale for developing links between the different funding sources and explains how they can be combined. It showcases...

European Structural and Investment Funds and European Fund for Strategic Investments complementarities: Ensuring coordination, synergies and complementarity

The Commission, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), explains how to best combine the funds

EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS): Implementation Guidance Note

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Guidance for implementing rules for the EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) based on the objectives, main principles and characteristics of...

Guidance for Beneficiaries of European Structural and Investment Funds and related EU instruments

Guidance for Beneficiaries of European Structural and Investment Funds and related EU instruments
View more