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Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument (I3) and Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP)

Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument (I3) and Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP)

I3 Instrument, as part of the European Regional Development Fund, exploits the potential of interregional cooperation and supports the implementation of innovative and interregional investment portfolios. Since its setting up in 2021, the uptake of the I3 Instrument has grown strongly as it complements mainstream Cohesion policy programme funding possibilities in EU Member states and regions. It combines investment support in key European priorities with each European region's strongest areas of innovation with the objective to bring innovations to a mature level, ready for commercialisation and scale-up. I3 projects create a framework for cooperation between less and more developed regions in shared (or complementary) smart specialisation areas.

Participants in the I3 projects are mainly small and medium enterprises and innovation actors from research sector, civil society, and public administration. Its approach includes engaging local and national administrations pertinent to projects that require multi-level governance collaboration.

Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP) serves as a mechanism within the I3 Instrument, specifically aimed at involving SMEs in interregional projects. Unlike the traditional approach of joining at the proposal stage, FSTP allows SMEs to engage with existing projects. This streamlines their participation by reducing wait times and uncertainties and is particularly beneficial for SMEs that bring added value to the projects.

More info


2023-2024 I3 Work Programme

European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)

I3 Contracted Projects

The Smart Specialisation Community of Practice

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