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European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

What is it?

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is a key driver of sustainable European economic growth and competitiveness. It reinforces the innovation capacity of the EU and its Member States in order to address grand challenges facing European society.

The main priorities of the EIT include:

Why is it needed?

Despite excellent research, education, and inventions, Europe faces difficulties in fully capitalising on its innovation potential. Fragmented systems, a weak entrepreneurial culture, and limited cooperation between higher education, research, business, and innovation organisations hinder Europe’s ability to compete in research and innovation at a global level.

The EIT tackles this issue through a network of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). In the KICs, the EIT develops and tests new models of how innovation is approached, managed, financed, and delivered in Europe.

Through its work, the EIT contributes to the goals of the EU2020 Strategy and its flagship initiatives, in particular the Innovation Union, the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs and the Digital Agenda.

The EIT is part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which ensures that the EIT works in partnership with other EU initiatives and programmes.

What has been done so far?

In 2010 the EIT established three KICs. These communities are supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as generating breakthroughs in the ways that the higher education, research, and business sectors collaborate. The current KICs are in the areas of:

In a record time, the EIT and its existing KICs, have brought about promising results by training more than 1000 students, creating more than 100 start-ups which have launched more than 400 products and services.


The European Commission carries out many studies on the outcomes of the EIT and KIC's activities. The most recent study was on: "Educational activities of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology – experiences, innovative practices and ways forwardpdf Choose translations of the previous link  ".

The executive summaries of the following studies are now available:

  1. Study on the policy of the EIT and its KICs regarding Intellectual Property Rightspdf(137 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 
  2. Study on the concept, development and impact of co-location centres using the example of the EIT and KICpdf(144 kB) Choose translations of the previous link 

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