Kick-start for knowledge triangle can inspire Europe’s talent, says Commissioner Vassiliou
The European Union's new 'knowledge and innovation communities' (KICs) will be in the spotlight at a conference in Barcelona (2-3 June) which aims to strengthen links between higher education, research, business and innovation stakeholders. Androulla Vassiliou, the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will be the keynote speaker on the second day of the event, which is organised by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and Spanish Presidency of the EU.
"Our aim is to create stronger synergies within the 'knowledge triangle' of higher education, research and innovation. I am convinced that the KICs can act as a magnet to inspire Europe's brightest talents and enrich Europe's knowledge and innovation landscape," said Commissioner Vassiliou, who is responsible for the EIT within the European Commission.
Martin Schuurmans, chairman of the EIT governing board, hopes the KICs will also encourage entrepreneurial skills and sensible risk-taking."We believe they can be icebreakers in advancing new ways of thinking and working together for the benefit of a more innovative and entrepreneurial Europe," he added.
The three first KICs were designated by the EIT in December 2009, with a start-up grant of €3 million. They focus on climate change, sustainable energy, and information and communication society (see IP/09/1950). One of their first objectives is to develop new educational programmes for the autumn semester for universities linked to the KICs.
The Barcelona conference will also prepare the ground for a broad public consultation on the EIT's future strategy.