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European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority
General publications

Joint ESAs Report on Innovation Facilitators: innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes


Publication date
11 December 2023


Following the 2019 Report of the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) on innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes (herein referred to as innovation facilitators)1, this report provides an updated overview of the design and operation of innovation facilitators, observed practices, challenges and limitations faced by competent authorities. The report sets out a series of considerations and recommendations for further enhancing the role of innovation facilitators and their effectiveness.

The outcome of the ESAs’ analysis suggests that innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes continue to be the main types of solutions preferred by the regulators and supervisors to facilitate innovation in the financial sector across the EEA. As of October 2023, there were 41 innovation hubs, with at least one in all 30 EEA countries, and 14 regulatory sandboxes in 12 EEA countries. The majority of innovation hubs have been established between 2016 and 2019, while most of the regulatory sandboxes have been launched between 2020 and 2021.

In this report, the ESAs describe new emerging activities and features, for example, virtual sandboxes, hackathons/TechSprints, or discussion forums with representatives of the FinTech sector. Several EU-wide sandbox-related initiatives have also been put in place, for example, the European Blockchain Sandbox, the DLT pilot regime and upcoming AI regulatory sandboxes.


11 DECEMBER 2023
Joint ESAs Report on Innovation Facilitators 2023 - innovation hubs and regulatory sandboxes
(2.12 MB - PDF)