European Institute of Innovation and Technology
About EIT: What is the EIT ?
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an EU body, set up in 2008 with the objective of promoting excellence in innovation.
“With the EIT, we are seeking to promote an entrepreneurial culture in Europe and, at the same time, to inspire the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Through its focus on entrepreneurship, the EIT equips small businesses, students and researchers with the knowledge and skills they need to turn innovative ideas into commercial opportunities. I am convinced that the EIT can make a major contribution to how Europe addresses the economic, social and environmental challenges it faces.” Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
Its mission is to contribute to sustainable European economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of the Member States and the EU by promoting and integrating higher education, research and innovation of the highest standards.
The following specific objectives will contribute to the effective delivery of the EIT's mission:
The concept: What are the EIT's main features?
The EIT integrates, for the first time at EU level, all sides of the knowledge triangle: education, research and business-innovation. It complements other European initiatives which aim at reforming individual sectors and their cooperation models, by promoting the smooth and mutually beneficial linkage of all sides of the knowledge triangle.
The EIT operations: How does the EIT work?
The EIT operates today through three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). These bring together industry, higher education, and research, in areas of societal challenges that are of utmost relevance for our common future. Each KIC is lead by a CEO and KIC partners are represented by a single legal entity.
The three first KICs were designated in December 2009 and cover the following priority areas:
Following adoption of the Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) the EIT Governing Board may select and designate additional KICs.
Distinguishing features of the KIC concept are:
Each KIC is organized around a small number of co-location centres which work as geographical hubs for the operational integration of the Knowledge Triangle. In the co-location centres, talented individuals from different organisations such as universities, industry, research centres, and major companies, work together to bring about innovation across Europe.
Typically each KIC has a limited number of co-location centres, each one potentially associated with a subtheme of the overall theme of the KIC. There are currently 17 co-location centres spread across Europe. One of the KICs (Climate KIC) has set up 6 additional centres led by a regional or local government (called RICs).