STOA Workshop: Exploring synergies between Horizon Europe and regional policy (online event)
02 Feb 2021
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIFs) and Horizon Europe, when operating individually, provide significant support for research, development, and innovation. Supporting synergies in their use and implementation may deliver additional gains in terms of innovation results, close the innovation gap in Europe, and promote economic growth.
However, to actively promote the combination of both funds is no simple matter given the different aims and nature of the funds. Further, the combination of various EU funding sources is complex due to differing rules, eligibility criteria, and time-frames (for calls, policy cycles, etc.) between EU-funded programmes.
Despite their differences, there are also major complementarities and synergies that should be utilised. Horizon Europe focuses on tackling major societal challenges, maximising the competitiveness impact of research and innovation and raising and spreading levels of excellence in the research base. ESIFs have a strong emphasis on governance via the smart specialisation process and the definition of clear objectives on building knowledge and innovation capacity.
However, the process of synergy is sluggish, with complex interactions existing between different innovation actors. The successful deployment of a strategic perspective combining different funding instruments and policy frameworks may substantially boost competitiveness, welfare and growth in the EU regions.
To achieve this objective, it is crucial to align strategies and implementation modalities and complement existing and future roadmaps. The aim of this meeting is to explore breakthroughs in the synergies between the Horizon Europe and regional policy instruments.
Christian Ehler, MEP and STOA First Vice-Chair
Anna Panagopoulou, Research & Innovation Outreach, DG Research, European Commission
Martin Kern, European Institute of Innovation & Technology