Skip to main content


EURADA Brokerage Event 2024 – the successful pathway continues

Article written by Giacomo Frisanco – Communication, Policy and Membership Manager

EURADA’s June programme was very intense and concluded a series of 3 in-person days with a Brokerage Event for Development Agencies on Wednesday 5th of June at Residence Palace.

Project opportunities for development agencies at the European level are numerous. However, it can be difficult to understand the different funding programmes and to find the right partners. Overcoming these hurdles and ensuring the best possible framework conditions for innovation agencies to participate in European funding programmes is the objective of the EURADA Brokerage Event.

The main goal of this EURADA event is to bring together experts in regional development, innovation, high-level speakers from European institutions, and more, to get an overview of current funding opportunities, share best practices, find new partners for ongoing or future European project proposals, and learn from each other. This year’s edition offered invaluable insights into European funding opportunities of the Digital Europe Programme, the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument, and the European Urban Initiative.

The first speaker of the event was Tommaso Galli, Programme Officer at the European Commission – European Cybersecurity Competence Centre, who presented the recently created European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC) and some Digital Europe Programme Calls.

The ECCC is the engine for the implementation of Europe’s strategy in research, innovation, and industrial policy in the area of cybersecurity. The main objective of the ECCC is to increase the global competitiveness of the Union’s cybersecurity industry. In addition, the centre also manages cybersecurity-related financial support from Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe Programme.

ECCC-funded projects aim to deploy and uptake cybersecurity technologies and develop solutions for:

  1. Cyber Alert System (through ‘cyber hubs’);
  2. Cybersecurity in health;
  3. Novel applications of Artificial Intelligence;
  4. Transition to post quantum cryptography;
  5. 5G infrastructure;
  6. Support to EU cyber legislation.

ECCC managed funding projects in the framework of Cluster 3 of Horizon Europe. They recently launched an open call called "Increased cybersecurity and a more secure online environment" which aims to strengthen key pillars of the research and innovation cycle to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its contribution to the development of security capabilities as well as Support innovation uptake and go-to-market strategies to pave the way towards increased industrialisation, commercialisation, adoption and deployment of successful outcomes of security research, thus contributing to reinforce the competitiveness of EU security industry and safeguard the security of supply of EU products in key security areas.

This call, which has a budget of  € 60.40 million, will be open until 20 November 2024.

In the framework of the EURADA Brokerage Event, 2 pitching sessions were also hosted. The first batch foresaw 5 pitches. Our members from Oost NL presented the AI Hub of East Netherlands, ADR Nord Est presented a project proposal in the framework of a WIDERA call on construction and machinery buildings, EQA showcased how they can help RDAs in the evaluation of project proposals, while the previous director of EURADA, Esteban Pelayo, highlighted of the Alicante Science Park is supporting the development of  Deep Tech Startups. In addition, the CLIMAAX call on climate change adaptation strategies and risk management plans was also illustrated.


Anita Tregner, CEO at STEMwise and Senior evaluator and project reviewer for the European Commission presented the Interregional Innovation Investments (I3) Instrument. In particular, her presentation was focused on lessons learned from previous I3 applications and challenges faced by current I3 projects. After introducing the general policy objectives of the instrument, she dedicated a few slides to describe the I3 thematic areas and strands. The I3 has currently 3 thematic areas: digital transition, green transition, and smart manufacturing. With a budget of 570 million, so far, the I3 published calls under 3 strands:

  1. Strand 1, support for investments in interregional innovation projects in shared smart specialization areas
  2. Strand 2a, support for investments in interregional innovation projects for the development of value chains in less developed regions
  3. Strand 2b, capacity building for the development of value chains in less developed regions.

At least 70% of the total eligible costs must be allocated to investments in companies, with a focus on SMEs.

Anita shared with the audience also three important tips in order to submit a successful project proposal such as:

  1. When designing your project, conduct thorough market research and anticipate disruptive market changes in due time to mitigate risks regarding the placement of the envisioned technologies/products/services in the market.
  2. SMEs shall be guided through the preparation and implementation process as the majority did not have an opportunity to deal with the administrative and reporting procedures. Explain early enough what is expected from them and what the process will look like to avoid misalignments and false expectations.
  3. Engage regional authorities at the time of the preparation of the proposal and keep them involved throughout the implementation as they are your potential co-investors! Moreover, I3 instrument is a cohesion instrument, therefore, alignment with the S3 is a must!

After a well-deserved coffee break, 50 participants went back to the plenary room for the 2nd group of pitches. If the first group was fully dedicated to the EURADA members and EURADA projects, in the second group all the EURADA friends had the chance to present their own activities/project proposals. Lilia Infelise, Founder and Director of ARTES -Applied Research into Training and Education Systems, is looking for cooperation to design a project proposal for the I3 call just released on the 7th of June; David Jepson presented his idea to Tacklie Under Employment For the New Economy; Luca Polidori presented the Holland Circular Hotspot his project’s idea for the new I3 call and for some Horizon project on circular economy. Giovanni Zazzerini showcased INSME and what they are doing to support local entrepreneurs, while Philippe Sejalon and Laura Servadio presented the Ingage Institute, content marketing and training for the risk/insurance industry.

The last speaker of the day was Romain Turminel, Project Officer at the European Urban Initiative who presented the two European Urban Initiative (EUI) calls. EUI is a European Union instrument and is managed by the European Commission's DG Regional and Urban Policy. They have a total ERDF budget of €450 million for 2021-2027. The European Urban Initiative is an essential tool to support cities of all sizes, to build capacity and knowledge, to support innovation and to develop transferable and scalable innovative solutions to urban challenges of EU relevance.

The main goal of EUI is to foster the deployment of proof-tested urban innovations across the EU and to provide opportunities for cities, as enablers of innovation, to take the risk to turn ambitious and creative ideas into pilot projects that can be tested in real urban settings.

Recently, EUI launched an open call which has two main topics: energy transition and technology in cities. The total budget for this call is € 90 million ERDF, while the max budget per project is € 5 million. There is a co-financing part: 80% ERDF from EUI-IA

The project on Energy transition will have to address some challenges:

  • Minimising the energy demand in cities;
    • Retrofitting of public buildings and housing sector (energy poverty, vulnerable households, deprived neighbourhoods);
    • Decarbonisation of urban public transport as an alternative to passenger cars
  • Diversifying local energy sources
  • Deploying smart and integrated local energy systems
  • Maximising multi-stakeholder and citizens’ engagement
  • Boosting jobs and skills for the energy transition.

Projects on Technology in cities will deal with different challenges:

  • Ensuring better and adapted public services;
  • Consolidating the multilevel and multistakeholder governance, ensuring an effective participatory democracy and stimulating innovation and competitiveness;
  • Mastering the digital transformation, local data collection and sharing while ensuring the highest standards for data privacy;
  • Perfecting the spatial planning and land use and industrial zoning.

This call is open until 14 October 2024. By clicking here you can find more information about it.

To sum up, the 9th EURADA Brokerage Event for Development Agencies was another EURADA success given the fact that more than 50 in-person participants attended the event, 3 funding opportunities were presented and 1 pitch was also included as part of the official agenda of the event. The EURADA secretariat hopes that through this high-level event, several EURADA members will apply for the 3 funding programmes presented and/or will create new partnerships for upcoming project proposals under different funding schemes.