Project partners: Lombardy Region - DG Environment and Climate
It is common sense, that macroregional strategies like EUSALP can only fulfil the role as laboratories for a modern Europe when appropriate funds are available to join forces, to strengthen cooperation and to achieve economic, social and territorial cohesion. To do so, all available sources of funding, be it European, international, national, regional, public or private, have to be used. Although efforts are currently made to better align EUSALP topics with funding priorities of the programmes, it will by nature always be the case that any action for which funding out of these programmes is foreseen, has to respect specific rules set up by the responsible authorities based on legal provisions. Specific rules for programmes necessarily limit the flexibility for overall approaches covering different types of activities, territories, partners to be involved. In some cases, it is impossible to gain financial support specifically for cross-sectoral and/or highly innovative implementation initiatives, as national and regional budgets are mainly bound to sectoral policies and often concentrated on few powerful project partners.
As a consequence, a specific and flexible funding opportunity separate from any other funding programme or – in other words – a sort of innovation or venture capital tool, which allows reacting dynamically in terms of time, content and purpose on societal developments, is required. The tool should allow the funding instrument to be applied to the project concept (and not vice versa). It shall trigger innovative approaches supporting all EUSALP cross-sectoral initiatives or e.g. ideas coming from youth and young experts participation initiatives. It should also exploit potentials for triggering innovation in SMEs. The overall goal is to make EUSALP a frontrunner for innovation in Europe. As a working title, we use the term “EUSALP Innovation Facility (EIF)” to make clear that the final design and the institutional character as well as the final role and setting within the EUSALP Governance System will be subject of further analysis resp. decisions. This also applies to the question about who will decide about the use of EIF funds. Based on a transparent procedure this question will be (among others) addressed with the help of a feasibility study and accompanied by a so-called EIF Advisory Group. This group shall bridge between the EIF process and the Executive Board and connect with relevant actors in EUSALP countries and regions.
The results of the EIF feasibility study will be published and presented at the AlpGov2 Final Conference in the second quarter of 2022.