Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Promoting Innovation Excellence in Transformation of Coal Regions to Climate-Neutral, Thriving Economies

Project description

Regional excellence hubs to facilitate decarbonisation transition

The EU-funded COALition project is implemented in the three carbon intensive regions of Western Macedonia (Greece), Centru (Romania) and Southeastern Bulgaria. The project will establish one excellence hub in each region; the aim is to deliver support in R&I, entrepreneurship and reskilling/upskilling of the affected workforce, as part of a European initiative to strengthen regional innovation excellence in placed-based innovation ecosystems by cross-border collaboration on a common strategy and alongside value adding chains. Since participating regions are situated in the heart of ecosystems in transition, challenges and opportunities therein will be dealt within the context and potential synergies with the Just Transition Fund to raise the level of innovation and financially support excellence in sectors related to sustainable energy.


Energy efficiency, Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Storage/Batteries, Hydrogen, Efficient Buildings, climate neutrality, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonization of industries & coal regions are in the heart of European Policies for the new programming period (ie. Green Deal, EU Strategic Energy Technology Plan, Twin Industrial Transition etc.). Many financial instruments have been setup to support these objectives that have a common denominator in sustainable energy. EU alliances across the value chains (ie. EBA), IPCEIs (ie. Descarbonization & Hydrogen, Batteries) and Research & Policy Platforms (ie. Coal Regions in Transition), are dedicated to facilitate the advancement of R&I in the field through the collective effort of EU members, and enable the transformation of EU regions to climate neutral, thriving economies.
This context finds a lot of countries striving to comply, especially challenging those that traditionally have economies heavily dependent on fossil fuel mining and exploitation; a major shift has to be done in a short amount of time, putting at risk the balances in the local economies and making years-long expertise and well-established skills become obsolete. COALition intends to strengthen the regional innovation ecosystems in coal-depended areas through the creation of regional excellence hubs and the definition of a joint strategic agenda for sustainable energy so as to facilitate their transition in a just and inclusive way. The regions have been carefully selected (Western Macedonia - GR, Centru - RO, Southeastern - BG) among the under transition EU states that are also characterized as widening, in an attempt to maximize the long-term impact of the joint R&I strategy that will be developed within the project, as those territories are about to amass large amounts of funding and COALition aims to create multiplier effects in the given investments by attracting and mobilizing external investments.


Net EU contribution
€ 614 012,50
57001 Thermi Thessaloniki

See on map

Βόρεια Ελλάδα Κεντρική Μακεδονία Θεσσαλονίκη
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 614 012,50

Participants (15)