Project RISE aims to accelerate innovation deployment and foster sustainable cooperation in less developed regions—Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Portugal, being supported by transitional regions in Spain, Finland and Sweden and gathering experience from developed regions from France and Italy.

The consortium of eight partners, led by foundation CleanTech Bulgaria in it’s role of coordinator, N-ABLE (France), ACPMR – Cluster Portugal Mineral Resources (Portugal), Fundación ICAMCyL – International Center in Advanced Materials and raw materials of Castilla y León (Spain), LE2C – Lombardy Energy Cleantech Cluster (Italy), DIGIPOLIS – Kemin Digipolis Oy(Finland), The PAPER PROVINCE Ekonomisk Foerening (Sweden) and TECOS –  Razvojni Center Orodjarstva Slovenije (Slovenia) will drive the green and digital transition, emphasizing on key areas such as Efficient and Sustainable Manufacturing, Bioeconomy, Smart Technologies and more.

RISE aims to:

1.      Provide the required support to less developed regions bringing to the frond the interregional structure of RISE 

2.     Go beyond the theory and provide tangible, working results from the building of the RISE interregional ecosystem 

3.      Raise the capacity of involved regions and map their innovation capacity 

4.      Ensure scaling up of SMEs and bring them close to implementing smart technologies 

5.      Build the future and ensure sustainability of results 

Funding Programme: Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument, European Regional Development Fund

Start Date: 01.11.2023

Closing Date: 31.10.2025

Duration of the project: 24 months

Grant agreement: 101133160

Focus on innovation for less developed regions

Three less developed regions will benefit greatly from the joint experience and capacity of two developed regions, while at the same time this process will be adjusted by the findings and information gained in three transition regions under the project.

Providing support in key domains

Mineral Raw Materials, Forest Biomass, and Bioenergy and Sustainable Buildings in the Energy Field, where the three less developed regions need targeted support in reinforcing their existing ecosystems, but also building them up and making them more resilient. RISE will provide this support by engaging the quadruple-helix ecosystems and raising their capacity to successfully participate in interregional cooperations (including, but not limited to, for Strand 1 or Strand 2a calls).

Identification of shared S3 areas

RISE firmly places innovation and circular economy in the centre of all activities, with focus on key elements for the target less developed regions – Sustainable Manufacturing technologies; Bioeconomy and energy, aligning completely with the relevant S3 strategies and platforms.

SMEs in the centre of activites

The holistic RISE approach focuses on the whole spectrum of actors in the quadruple-helix ecosystem, but with addition effort going into the most vulnerable group in the target less developed region, i.e., SMEs. The actions concerning capacity raising, transfer of good practices and provision of concrete solution will be tailor-made to suit this group and boost them throughout the project. 


One of the major objectives of RISE is to provide as a result a strong pipeline of investment projects, which will both serve as a result of the project, but would also guarantee the sustainability of its results past RISE’s successful implementation.

RISE Consortium’s Collaborative Approach

There are three types of regions:

Less developed regions (Bulgaria – CTBG, Portugal – ACPMR, Slovenia – TECOS) will benefit by aligning their capacity with the project’s goals, enhancing interregional cooperation, and identifying good practices. They’ll receive support in developing resilient ecosystems, identifying investment projects, and building a project pipeline for funding.

Developed regions (France – N-ABLE, Italy – LE2C) will transfer expertise to less developed regions, promoting innovation and economic growth. Leveraging well-established innovation ecosystems, they offer valuable best practices to accelerate innovation processes.

Transition regions (Spain – ICAMCyL, Finland – DIGIPOLIS, Sweden – PAPER PROVINCE) play a crucial role in transferring knowledge to less developed regions. They learn from developed regions while sharing their own experiences, contributing to the overall progress of the RISE project.

The collaboration of regions in the RISE project contributes significantly to its main objective in the following ways:

  1. Diverse Geographic Representation: The participating regions cover a wide range of geographic locations and economic profiles across Europe. This diversity facilitates cross-regional learning, collaboration, and innovation by bringing together different levels of economic development, innovation capacity, and industry specialization.
  2. Mix of Less Developed, Transition, and Developed Regions: The combination of less developed, transition, and developed regions creates valuable opportunities. Less developed regions can learn from the expertise of developed regions, while transition regions can share their experiences of economic restructuring. This mix adds a realistic perspective to expectations and the overall transition process.
  3. Varied Industry Specializations: The included regions exhibit diverse industry specializations, fostering innovation across multiple sectors. This diversity expands opportunities for new projects and collaboration, contributing to a broader range of innovation initiatives.

The Consortium uses the Quadruple-Helix Ecosystems: These ecosystems excel in collaboration and innovation by integrating academia, industry, government, and civil society. This approach leverages each sector’s expertise for holistic problem-solving, enhancing regional innovation systems’ resilience and capacity.