SPREAD2INNO: Project closing the geographical innovation gap in the EU by connecting innovation ecosystems

Since European innovation ecosystems face increasing global competition and discrepancies between European regions’ innovative capacities, SPREAD2INNO aims to strengthen less-developed innovation ecosystems in Eastern and Southern Europe. Via a multitude of measures, the project seeks to connect important stakeholders, support startups, and develop best practices to ensure sustainable improvements for European innovation.

SPREAD2INNO: “SPREADing the global potential of developing innovation ecosystems to strengthen INNOvation in regional and local businesses” is a 24-month project that started in January 2023. It is funded by the European Commission through the framework programme HORIZON Europe in the course of its call HORIZON-EIE-2021-SCALEUP-01 (“Expanding Acceleration Ecosystems”).

The project brings together different innovation stakeholders – incubators, accelerators, innovation businesses, research organizations, consultancies and networks – from crucial European innovation regions. It aims to implement a scalable, replicable and holistic 2-year programme for the provision of high-quality business services. Furthermore, the programme’s goal is to promote collaboration between different entities of both well-connected and less-connected regional innovation ecosystems, with immediate impacts on the local and EU level.

There are multiple milestones that will mark the progress of SPREAD2INNO’s success. First, six local startup events will bring innovation ecosystem stakeholders together and allow startups to present their business ideas by competing in pitches. Second, a one-stop-shop platform will be set up in order to serve as a single point of reference for the information exchange between innovation ecosystems about opportunities, events, and funding possibilities in the targeted EU regions. Third, two intensive training academies will be conducted as well as tailor-made feasibility studies for participants created, in order to actively support specific innovation ecosystem stakeholders. Finally, a one-week business case and investor training will be implemented.

The consortium

The consortium for this project consists of seven partners from six countries: Teseas (Italy), Fraunhofer Society (Germany), the European Business Angels Network (EBAN, Belgium), MINDS & SPARKS (Austria), Cleantech (Bulgaria), and Patras Science Park (Greece). The project is coordinated by Fondazione E. Amaldi (Italy).

MINDS & SPARKS will take charge of spearheading the dissemination, exploitation, and communication (DEC) efforts within the SPREAD2INNO project. Our primary focus lies in maximizing the reach and dissemination of the project outcomes while also piquing the curiosity of key stakeholders, both to involve them in the project’s efforts, and to facilitate networking activities between them.






Innovation, startups, SMEs, geographical innovation gap

PHArA-ON stakeholder collection overview sheet
PHArA-ON stakeholder collection overview sheet