(19 June 2018) – Today the Commission is renewing the initiative ‘Stairway to Excellence’, to continue to provide tailored support and expertise to regions lagging behind in terms of innovation.
The initiative will help regions develop, update and refine their smart specialisation strategies – that is, their regional innovation strategies based on niche areas of competitive strengths – ahead of the start of the 2021-2027 budgetary period.
It will also help them identify adequate EU resources to finance innovative projects, and pair up with other regions with similar assets to create innovation clusters.
The initiative, coordinated by the Joint Research Centre, will give regions four main forms of support:
1. Spotting areas for improvement.
2. Tapping into all potential funding streams, such as Horizon Europe, Digital Europe and Cohesion Policy funds.
3. Identifying and remedying specific regional bottlenecks to innovation.
4. Meeting and exchanging good practices, and developing partnerships for interregional innovation investments.