Expression of interest Expression of interest

Submission procedure for coordinating/lead regions

EU regions are invited to propose a thematic area that is of their interest and it is linked to agri-food and their smart specialisation strategies (RIS3), and in which they wish to collaborate on with other regions in perspective of starting a partnership for co-investment in the development of new value chains.

Submissions are welcome from one region or a group of regions which are keen to act as coordinating/lead region(s).

A limited number of thematic areas can be supported at a first stage by an expert contracted by the European Commission. The expert will provide advice and support services in developing a scoping note for a proposed activity. The purpose of the scoping note is to identify and specify an area for co-investment, with high potential business and societal return at regional and European level, leveraged through combining smart specialisation investments across committed regions and bringing their cluster and innovation actors together.

Expert support services can be provided to the lead-region(s) whose proposals will be the most advanced in terms of:

  • Relevance and importance of the proposed thematic area for industrial modernisation/agri-food (transformative and innovative idea, clear added-value, sufficient granularity, business interest, synergies, etc.).

  • Level of ambition and commitment (political and financial) expressed by the leading/coordinating and participating region(s) for the envisaged collaboration.

  • Leadership: two or more regions have commitment as lead-regions.

  • Number of regions involved and geographical balance.

  • Envisaged involvement of stakeholders (industry, academia, public authorities, civil society). Envisaged involvement of industry stakeholders, including cluster organisations and business networks.

  • Links to RIS3 priority areas.

  • Openness towards other regions.

Interested in joining coordinating/lead regions?

Other EU regions are welcome to ask to the coordinating/lead region(s) to join as a participating region. A region can participate in different thematic areas as a coordinating/lead and/or participating region.

The coordinating/lead region should ensure that the participation of other EU regions to the thematic area remains open. To invite additional regions joining the thematic area, the coordinating/lead region may organise calls for expression of interest.


Support provided by the European Commission

Through different activities the European Commission will assist coordinating/lead region(s) in their work. These include for example:

  • Organisation of specific workshops to identify common interests and discuss implementation actions.

  • Support to partnerships in identifying strong and missing competences among the participating regions by combining existing EU analytical tools and if necessary supported by studies and specific surveys through experts in the specific fields.

  • Organisation of partnering and matchmaking events for industrial partners aimed to discuss, facilitate and accelerate the development of joint industrial investment projects.

In the long-term, the European Commission will also aim at facilitation of the financial engineering of specific investment projects.


Call: Expressions of interest for setting-up and leading new partnership in new thematic areas related to Agri-Food, Energy or Industrial Modernisation can be submitted here between the following periods:

  • 1 February - 31 March
  •  1 September - 31 October

It is anticipated that the evaluation of all new submissions will be completed by:

  • 31 May (for the proposals submitted between February and March)
  • 31 December (for the proposals submitted between September and October)


Proposals for the development of S3P Agri-Food thematic partnerships

Thematic area

Coordinating/lead region(s)


Additional Documents

Rural diversification and Smart Agri-Food destinations

Region of Central Macedonia

and Noord-Brabant

- Final Scoping note (29 May 2017), link

- Letter of Intent, link

- Final Mapping Exercise, link

High-tech farming


Public Meal as a driver of sustainability, health and innovation in the agri-food chain Skane  

Nutritional quality of mass catering

South Ostrobothnia


Traceability and big data


Vanguard Initiative Bioeconomy Pilot - Agri-Food



Sustainable development of production field crops North East region (Romania)  
From farm to fork West region (Romania)  
Better food value chains, more resilient, transparent and competitive Castilla y Leon  

Applying spatial data in data-driven food production and policy-making


Smart sensor systems 4 agri-food



European Agri-Food Partnership on Nutritional Ingredients

Consumer involvement in agri-food innovation

Province of Gelderland