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Preparatory action for setting up joint programmes among innovation ecosystems actors
The urgent challenges of today are inherently complex and systemic and will not be solved by individual actors or territories in isolation. To foster enabling innovation ecosystems across Europe requires a systemic approach that is inclusive and collaborative, involves diverse actors, institutions and places, maximises the value of innovation to all and ensures equitable diffusion of its benefits.

This destination offers a holistic package of actions that:
o foster the implementation of co-funded multi-annual programmes of activities among Member States, Associated Countries and EU regions;
o encourage the inclusion of more stakeholders from across the quadruple helix[[ A model of cooperation between industry, academia, civil society and public authorities, with a strong emphasis on citizens and their needs.]] (academia, industry, public bodies, civil society and citizens) and a wider participation of territories in existing successful initiatives and networks towards the deployment of innovation;
o stimulate innovation procurement to help the market uptake of innovative solutions and the integration of social innovation that responds to the needs of people and society.

The destination is open for any thematic area and will focus on building interconnected, inclusive innovation ecosystems across Europe by drawing on the existing strengths of national, regional and local ecosystems and encouraging the involvement of all actors and territories to set, undertake, and achieve collective ambitions towards challenges for the benefit of society, including green, digital, and social transitions and the European Research Area.

The topic will allow national, regional and/or local authorities from Member States, Associated Countries and/or EU regions in charge of innovation policies and programmes, in cooperation with private and research and innovation actors, to prepare joint multi-annual programmes of activities (action plans) with the aim of strengthening their efficiency, capacities and interconnection and jointly tackle challenges at EU, national, regional and local level.

The topic will allow applicants to prepare and agree on a common programme of activities (action plans); the applicants are encouraged to consider a project duration of up to two years and in their proposals they should:

o identify areas and activities of cooperation, to improve the efficiency and performance of Europe's innovation ecosystems, fostering their interconnection and scale-up while tackling EU, national, regional and/or local challenges; the proposals may focus on a thematic/technological area of common interest and innovation priorities with an EU added-value, and/or around one or more EU priorities; the proposals are encouraged to contribute to one or more EU priorities and challenges, including climate action, green deal and digital transformation, and should pay attention to gender equality objectives;
o plan their long-term commitment; the applicants are encouraged to consider planning commitments of at least five (5) years, towards engaging in the joint cooperation activities set up in the frame of the projects;
o explain the potential for growth and competitiveness foreseen in the targeted sector and/or expected impact in EU challenge(s) through the proposed cooperation;
o ensure inclusiveness and diversity with the involvement of all innovation actors applicants, enhance complementarities of EU, national and/or regional funds and programmes and encourage the alignment of their innovation agendas;
o provide a justification on the need for those joint activities that should be scalable at European level and demonstrate their strong EU added value;
o explain how the proposed action plans complement and reinforce their national and/or regional and/or local innovation plans, policies and/or strategies in synergy, including with their smart specialisation strategies;
o explain the process that they plan to follow, with an open, clear, realistic and impact-oriented approach, including relevant guidance mechanisms and tools;
o present what common knowledge assets are expected from the proposed action plans, and the benefit of the intended beneficiaries of the plans;
o present the targeted milestones to be achieved.

The proposals for the development of a joint long-term action plan may include the following two (2) phases:
o A first phase to foster close dialogue among key stakeholders for strategy/partnership building, mapping and analysis of existing national and/or regional and/or local innovation agendas/strategies/policies/plans/activities, the relevant active/inactive actors (including financial actors and citizens) and ways to motivate their inclusiveness, identification of areas of competitive advantage for sustainable economic growth mapping of gaps, needs and opportunities. Any activities are encouraged to consider existing tools, knowledge and expertise. Responsible Research and Innovation expertise may be relevant in this regard;
o A second phase dedicated to the concretising, setting up and finalising the joint action plan(s) and allocation of the activities over a period of the proposed action plans.

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
o Open the dialogue, prepare the ground and facilitate the agreement among Member States, Associated Countries and EU regions, in cooperation with the private sector and research and innovation actors, towards more dynamic, inclusive, gender diverse, and connected innovation ecosystems, via co-creation, co-planning and co-investments around promising areas of joint and European interest;
o Prepare the implementation of joint long-term programme of activities (action plans) fostering collaboration and creation of common knowledge assets among EU, national, regional and/or local level innovation ecosystems' stakeholders, enhancing synergies and complementarities of their programmes and encouraging the alignment of their innovation agendas;
o Ensure the inclusiveness of all key innovation players from across the quadruple helix, and all EU territories;

Target group(s): National, regional and/or local authorities together with private actors, including public-owned enterprises, and research and innovation actors.

Further Information: