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Fostering research excellence in EU Outermost Regions

Project description

Research and innovation in EU outermost regions

Some EU Member States have part of their territory located in areas of the world that are remote from Europe. There are nine such regions, known as outermost regions (ORs). The list includes Spain’s Canary Islands and the French overseas department of Guadeloupe. The participation of ORs in Horizon 2020 has been limited due to the fragmentation of the research community. The large potential for research activities therefore remains unexplored. The EU-funded FORWARD project intends to improve ORs’ excellence in research and innovation potential, supporting their participation in such EU-funded projects and helping to connect research activities with development in these areas. The project will analyse research and innovation ecosystems and, relying on the results, will implement tailored actions.


The EU has nine Outermost Regions (ORs): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Saint Martin, Réunion, Mayotte; the Canary Islands; and the Azores and Madeira. ORs are an integral part of EU territory but, as Article 349 TFEU recognizes, they differ from the rest of the EU due to their remoteness, their insularity, their small size, their adverse topographical and climatic conditions and their dependence on a limited number of local industries. ORs' participation in Horizon 2020 is inhibited by the fragmentation of the research community due to the geographic isolation but also lack of commitment of research institutions and missing connectivity with excellent partners in Europe and internationally beyond the traditional links with the European mainland of the same country. Therefore, the potential for excellent research activities based on the above described assets remains largely unexploited. The overall objective of the FORWARD project is to improve ORs' excellence in research and their innovation potential to improve their participation in EU research and innovation funded projects and link research activities with territorial development. The project commits the regional governments from the nine ORs in charge of R&I regional policies together with key R&I actors from each region. FORWARD will perform an initial analysis of R&I ecosystems and, based on these results, it will put in place tailored actions including definition of joint strategy and thematic action plans, capacity building and networking activities, and approaches for connecting research and policy-making. Based on a multi-actor, multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial approach, the project will also support the collaboration and networking among representatives of the quadruple helix (university, industry, government and civil society) at regional level and with their counterparts from EU Members States and Third Countries.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 170 375,00
Avenida José Manuel Guimerá 5
38071 Santa Cruz De Tenerife

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Canarias Canarias Tenerife
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 170 375,00

Participants (24)