Expression of interest

Expression of interest

Submission procedure for coordinating/lead regions

EU regions can propose a new thematic area that is of their interest and is linked to any of the three existing Thematic Platforms on Agri-food, Energy or Industrial Modernisation, and on which they wish to collaborate with other regions in perspective of starting a partnership for co-investment in the development of new value chains.

Submissions of expression of interest are welcome from one region or a group of regions that are keen to act as coordinating/lead region(s). A proposal can be launched by a regional authority and/or Managing Authorities of the ERDF Funds or other organisations mandated for this task.

Criteria to be fulfilled

Criteria to be fulfilled by interregional partnerships for establishing a new Thematic Area:
  1. The regional partnership should be composed of at least 3 regions from 3 different EU Member States;
  2. The thematic area should correspond to the leading regions' smart specialisation strategy;
  3. A commitment letter signed by the representative authority of the leading regions to ensure political commitment and resources for the management of the partnership for at least 2 years;
  4. High relevance and importance of the proposed thematic area for agro-food, energy or industrial modernisation.

The following elements will be relevant for the approval of the proposal:
  • Relevance and importance of the proposed thematic area for industrial modernisation/agri-food/energy (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.
  • Lead regions should ensure that this work is open and inclusive to all interested and committed regions willing to join the partnership.

Possible linkages with and plans for the set-up of related European Strategic Cluster Partnerships for smart specialisation investments as well as other relevant sectoral initiatives related with the three S3 Thematic Platforms are encouraged and would be a particular asset.

In this context, all regions are buoyed to involve appropriate organisations and stakeholders, such as cluster organisations, business associations, etc., related to the proposed thematic area, when setting up a new partnership to ensure that this corresponds to the interest of territorial  developments and investments in this area.

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.​​​​​​
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