CERIecon stands for “CENTRAL EUROPE Regional Innovation Ecosystems Network”.

The project application was jointly developed by 14 partners from eight polycentric urban areas and submitted to Central Europe in 2015 under Programme priority specific objective 1.2 “To improve skills and entrepreneurial competences for advancing economic and social innovation in central European regions”. Seven Central Europe Member States are involved with two partners from every Member State. Ten Associated Strategic Partners Institutions from the seven partner regions are supporting the project.

The proposed project duration is 36 months (June 2016 – May 2019).

The project will ask for € 2.558.255,00 European Regional Development Fund support from a total eligible budget of € 3.112.975,00.

The project objective is to increase and improve the skills of employees in the business sector (particularly in start-ups and young SMEs) in CE Member States regarding novel technologies, innovative products, services or processes and social innovation contributing to regional smart specialisation strategies. An entrepreneurial culture will be developed and fostered so that more and more young females and males are inspired to become entrepreneurs and develop their own firms. Their skills and entrepreneurial competences will be improved through the best possible regional support and training available in new-type comprehensive regional innovation ecosystems.

These ecosystems will incorporate and utilise regional smart specialization strategies (RIS3) as drivers for innovation. A transnational network interlinking the ecosystems will provide entrepreneurs with opportunities to increase their international skills in an international business environment. The result will be a significant advancement in economic and social innovation in Central Europe making cities and regions “better places to work and live”. By mid-2019, CERIecon will have changed the way entrepreneurs are inspired, trained and supported through a balanced package of strategies, actions plans, pilot actions, training, and tools to create new-type comprehensive regional innovation ecosystems and a transnational innovation ecosystems' network in a majority of Central European Member States. With the three-step logical project approach (Development – Implementation – Improvement) the project aim is that entrepreneurs and SMEs benefit the most from what the CERIecon partnership does.