Expanding Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Expanding Entrepreneurial Ecosystems


Actions in the SCALEUP destination focus on strengthening network connectivity within and across innovation ecosystems for sustainable business growth with high social value.

The changing economy and rapid development of technology have changed the working conditions and skill sets needed to grow one's business. More than ever, educational institutions should work closely with the business sector to prepare students for the rapidly changing work environment by cultivating their entrepreneurial skills. Compared to dense areas around economic centres, the gap in entrepreneurial skills and activity is greater in outlying areas with lower economic activity, confirming the importance of closely interconnected ecosystems to support entrepreneurial activity and employment rates.

Expanding Entrepreneurial Ecosystems should improve the entrepreneurial skills of youth in "modest" and "moderate" innovation ecosystems by supporting entrepreneurial education through programs designed in close collaboration with the private sector and business accelerator entities. Proposals should leverage private sector best practices in Europe's well-functioning innovation hubs and existing collaboration with educational institutions. Only by building local talent, including female talent, and providing them with knowledge and opportunities to contribute to the local private sector or develop their own businesses, can the local innovation ecosystem expand based on sustainable and inclusive growth.

The call for proposals contained in the Work Programme, for 2022 is as follows:

Elevating the scalability potential of European business (2022.1) HORIZON-EIE-2022-SCALEUP-01, with a budget of 5M€ and containing the topic:

HORIZON-EIE-2022-SCALEUP-01-01: Expanding Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, with a budget of 5M€. A European contribution of 1M€ per project is expected, for which 5 projects are expected to be funded.

Expected opening date: 25 January, 2022.



Expanding Entrepreneurial Ecosystems


Link to the call page



10 May 2022


Horizon Europe


Work Programme

HE Main Work Programme 2021–2022 – 10. European Innovation Ecosystems (EIE)

Funding body:

European Commission

Budget (€):

5 000 000 euro


It is expected that the results of the projects that the EC intends to co-fund will contribute to some of the following expected outcomes:

  • Improved innovation resource flows between innovation ecosystems at various levels of development;
  • Improved quality of entrepreneurial education and local talent with skills to support business acceleration and digitization;
  • Enhanced entrepreneurial activity in the development of innovation ecosystems and its expansion across Europe or internationally;
  • Increased (self) youth employability;
  • Increased awareness of different business cultures and opportunities across sectors and/or geographies.



The action supports co-designed programs of activities, of at least two years' duration, proposed jointly by educational institutions from 'modest' and 'moderate' innovation ecosystems and the private sector from innovation hubs ('strong innovators' and 'leading innovators'), to cultivate entrepreneurial skills through activities, for example:

  • involvement of business experts in the implementation of educational programs;
  • involvement of students and graduates from various disciplines and departments in their respective corporate structures, and involvement of educational staff in the companies' business processes, both with a goal of gender-balanced participation;
  • organization of co-development challenges, where students can propose innovative solutions in the field of partner expertise and are provided with resources and support to develop the product and its business development strategy.
To ensure that the impact of the action goes beyond the consortium members and their respective countries, consortia are encouraged to work closely with innovation agencies in their respective territories and beyond, and seeks synergies with relevant EU initiatives such as the European Institute of Technology and Innovation.