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ERDF I3 – Innovation Investments Strand 3 – MANUFACTURING – 2021

The Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) instrument is a funding instrument under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) regulation aiming to encourage the development of European value chains by mobilising innovation ecosystems to scale up and commercialise interregional innovation projects.

Detailed budget below

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Sectors Buildings & Public Works Environment & Climate Research & Innovation Technology & Digital
Beneficiaries Association & NGO EU & International Organisation Local Authority & Affiliated Entity Research centre & university Smes & Start-Ups (< 249 Employees) State administration & affiliated entities
Regions European Union

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To use knowledge and innovative technologies to produce complex products and improve processes to lower waste, pollution, material consumption and energy use.


  • Priority 1: Demonstration processes, i.e. helping new products to reach the market faster or having more efficient and sustainable processes adopted by the industry;
  • Priority 2: Valorisation of research results and practical applications. This might include the active involvement of ecosystems and the co-creation process with stakeholders and end-users;
  • Priority 3: Connecting or making complementary use of testing and demonstration facilities at interregional level;
  • Priority 4: Improving the use of natural resources and in the reuse of materials, promoting circularity models (de- and remanufacturing) and investments in carbon neutrality;
  • Priority 5: Implementation of interregional demonstration cases to test and replicate the results;
  • Priority 6: Innovation diffusion and involvement of SMEs in EU value chains.

Among financed actions

  • Advisory support for investment (developing or implementing interregional business and “go to market” investment plans in specific value chains);
  • Financial support for producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services such as demonstrating, testing and piloting activities by companies, large-scale product validation and market replication (new to Europe and new to the application sector);
  • Adaptation of existing prototypes (i.e. by combining two or more key enabling technologies) and tailoring them to the companies’ needs for the demonstration in real environment (ex-novo prototyping is not eligible);
  • Development of portfolios of projects for close-to-market investments that deploy new or improved technologies or processes;
  • Activities directly aiming at producing plans, arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services (adaptation to the companies’ needs);
  • Activities connecting or making complementary use of testing and demonstration facilities to accelerate market uptake and scale-up of
    innovation solutions in shared smart specialisation areas;
  • Innovation services for the development of the business investment interconnecting value chains;
  • Test beds related activities, needed to improve regulations and/or to remove barriers and bottlenecks to innovation;
  • Activities bringing innovative ideas and new products to the market.

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals.
  • Initial duration of the project: between 30 and 36 months.


  • Be legal entities (public or private bodies);
  • Be established in one of the eligible countries;
  • A consortium composed of at least 5 entities, established in at least 5 different regions in 3 eligible countries must be constituted.
  • Available call budget (for all three topics):
    • 2021: 39 795 300 euro
    • 2022: 36 763 277 euro
  • Maximum grant amount: between 4 million euro and 10 million euro
  • Co-financing rate: up to 70% of the total eligible costs

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