With the I3 –INSHAPE project we aim to strengthen the European economy by developing the S3 ClusSport Partnership (recognized by the EU in the smart specialisation area (S3) of sports and vitality) into a European competence centre (the EU network of Innovation Hubs) for SME initiatives in the field of sports and vitality/digital technology: the INSHAPE Innovation and Investment Hub where we will accelerate interregional innovation opportunities related to sports and vitality/digital technology and bring them to the market. 

Support for more than 35 SMEs 

We support prototype SME-led innovations (TRL 6) in the validation, commercialisation and scale up phases to penetrate this fast-growing global market. 

As such with INSHAPE we contribute to solving the problem of increasingly inactive lifestyles across the population, recognised as a major cause of increased levels of chronic and endemic diseases (diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer and cancer). 

We build a portfolio of interregional innovation & investment (I3) cases (TRL6-9) starting with 7 pre-selected flagship SME cases (included in the partnership) and add another 30+ SME Cases during the project lifetime. 

Demand driven approach

Our approach is demand driven. We link Key challenges in society with identified SMEs to support them in upscaling their innovations and bringing them to the market: 

1) build interregional connections to create international value chains and expand market presence; 

2) digitalise services & products and create better access to data, 

3) deliver business and innovation support: user-driven innovation, scale-up, commercialization and access to financing. 

Hands on support to achieve impact

Part of the SMEs will benefit from cascade funding to 

1) to address specific needs/requests from Flagship SMEs and 

2) to build a second stream of additional I3 cases, thereby contributing to building interregional value chains around the Flagship and Second Stream I3 cases. 

Result: the INSHAPE Innovation & Investment Hub

Finally, we will create the INSHAPE Innovation & Investment Hub : a self-sustaining, demand driven ecosystem carrying on beyond the lifetime of this proposal. 


  • Budget: 9,5M€, 70% funded by EU-I3 program
  • Lead region: South Netherlands, formally endorsed by Province of Noord Brabant on behalf of South Netherlands. 
  • Lead partner: Cluster Sports and Technology
  • Partners: NL, Spain, Hungary, Finland, Belgium
  • Supported SMEs >35
  • Start September 2023 (launch on September 20 during ELIS Innovation Summit for Sports & Vitality in Eindhoven, the Netherlands)
  • Duration: 36 months