The session will showcase how connecting regional innovation ecosystems to develop interregional value chains is of paramount importance in achieving the digital yransition. The Vanguard Initiative (VI) leads by example, allowing its members to collaborate by implementing a fresh approach to industrial transformation based on smart specialisation strategies (S3). By highlighting such best practices, this workshop will provide other regions with the opportunity to learn from current activities and connect for future endeavours. Indeed, the pilot activities offer a line of action that fosters interregional value chains by drawing on the existing strengths of regional ecosystems and remaining open to pulling in new, less well-represented actors or territories. While the role of S3 will be essential in the next EU programming period (2021-2027), the Vanguard member regions are well placed to highlight how synergy and complementarity between funding instruments will be pivotal at all levels. In this context, they have been contributing for a number of years to the process of co-designing the Interregional Innovation Investment (I3) instrument with the European Commission, and have welcomed that instrument, which could be a catalyst for place-based recovery and interregional innovation activities.