Our impact on regional innovation


How we help central Europe to bridge the innovation divide

Central Europe shows a continuous East-West innovation gap. Regions lagging behind are marked by reduced expenditure on research and development, insufficient coordination of innovation policies, and a lack of harmonization in regulations, impeding cross-border collaboration. In addition, overarching trends such as Industry 4.0 and societal issues like climate change and migration underscore the need for comprehensive innovation solutions that encompass institutional and cultural considerations.

In the programming period 2014-20, Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE strengthened existing potentials of technology-oriented areas through a better linkage of actors of the innovation systems. In addition, our projects assisted regions and cities to reduce regional disparities in knowledge and education and helped them to strengthen their capacities and competencies for entrepreneurship and social innovation.


The external impact evaluation concluded that the programme had a positive impact on stimulating and boosting the innovation ecosystem in central Europe by supporting all actors and reinforcing linkages between them, thus helping to build trust across the borders.


Innovation projects increased the number of sustainable linkages between actors of the innovation systems.


Innovation projects increased the number of sustainable linkages between actors of the innovation systems.


The programme financed projects that increased the support for digitalisation by enhancing the outreach of the innovative sector. This, in exchange, empowered enterprises with competitive and novel solutions.


Projects successfully increased regional support of SMEs, making key enabling technologies available to them through transnational networks. Moreover, they increased knowledge and technology transfers between research organisations and businesses.


The programme supported social innovation. It financed projects that helped to build social innovation skills, support social entrepreneurs, establish social innovation ecosystems or create social innovation hubs to offer professional, business-oriented support to disadvantaged persons.



“The Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme developed innovative solutions in a wide range of fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing, processing and packaging, key enabling technologies and food, as well as social innovation with different purposes such as building social innovation skills, supporting social entrepreneurs, establishing social innovation ecosystems or creating social innovation hubs to offer professional, business-oriented support to disadvantaged persons.”

CIVITTA and wiiw (External experts)

Funded projects

Project partners

Million EUR from ERDF

Project highlights

Browse through our projects and learn more about their impact in the innovation field.

CERUSI project

The project took novel approaches such as the organisation of ‘Rural Social Innovation Labs’ which strengthened the capacity to overcome local challenges by bringing to fruition the ideas and solutions developed by local communities.

digitalLIFE4CE project

The project created seven Digital Excellence Health Spots with the specific aim of developing cooperation between research and business.

KETGATE project

The project connected business support organisations and research institutes to help SME’s access high-level technology. 

3DCentral project

The project helped to strengthen the impact of 3D printing and prototyping innovators by uniting their knowledge and efforts through an online learning platform.

Social(i)Makers project

The project developed and deployed a transnational educational programme to train and connect social innovators through a transnational community.

NUCLEi project

The project involved seven local clusters to create a transnational pool of knowledge that supports advanced manufacturing innovation beyond regional borders.


The project brought attention to laws and attitudes to better support entrepreneurs, starting by adapting the regional smart specialization strategies.


Tools to better coordinate innovation activities


Strategies and action plans to exploit benefits from innovation


Pilot actions to demonstrate the benefits of innovation


Trainings to enhance skills for the innovation ecosystems


Million EUR of follow-up investment leveraged in the innovation sector




In 2020, we launched an independent impact evaluation of the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE 2014-20 funding programme. The evaluation was conducted in two phases over a period of three years, between 2020 and 2023. It involved a thorough analysis of the programme, which employed a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. 

Wind turbines in the field


Learn more about our impact on carbon emissions.


Rolling hills


Learn more about our impact on the environment.


Colour palette with art written on it


Learn more about our impact on culture.


Prague main station


Learn more about our impact on transport.