Synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) & Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Funding: The Stairway to Excellence (S2E)

16 March 2017
Synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) & Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Funding: The Stairway to Excellence (S2E)

On 8th of March in Brussels within the broader context of the S3 activities, was held “Synergies between European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) & Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Funding: The Stairway to Excellence (S2E)”. The 2017 Conference on the synergies between Horizon 2020 (COSME, ERASMUS + etc.) and ESIF was organized in collaboration with the European Parliament (EP), and DG REGIO to raise awareness of major stakeholders on (1.) the progress in exploiting the synergies between Horizon 2020 (and other funding programmes) and ESIF and (2.)Discuss practical bottlenecks emerging when R&D&I actors will start implementing the available tools for synergies between funds.

This event presented the achievement of the project, lessons learnt and discuss challenges ahead with regional and national managing authorities who are involved in the managing R&I funds in order to exchange ideas and good practices. 

Key objectives of this event were:

• To present the achievement of the project, including lessons learnt from the S2E National Events organized since 2015.
• A better understanding of the national (and regional) innovation ecosystem with a special emphasis on the identification of obstacles, barriers and potentials to innovation.
• Raising awareness of the actions needed to enable synergies between different EU funding programmes for research and innovation.
• Sharing experiences in combining Structural Funds and Framework Programme to improve excellence in R&I systems.
• Drawing lessons for the future and identifying follow-up actions to enhance the potential synergies between different EU funds in the MS.

The "Stairway to Excellence" (S2E) initiative is a pilot project funded by the European Parliament (EP) and focused on supporting European Regions and Member States in enhancing synergies in the use of different EU funding sources for research, development and innovation (European Structural and Investment Funds and Horizon 2020, also taking account COSME, ERASMUS+, Creative Europe and so on).

The Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) are now a reality in Europe. With EU regions and nations having completed the technical fulfilments of the ex-ante conditionality and related action plans, the activities are now moving to the implementation phase. More information is available.

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