EIT - European Institute of Innovation and Technology

General information

Previous name

EIT - European Institute of Innovation and Technology​

Organigram

Introduction

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology seeks to strengthen the capacity of EU Member States for innovation, to foster sustainable economic growth and competitiveness, and to address major societal challenges faced by the Union. EIT mission is to:

 

  • Promote and integrate higher education, research and innovation of the highest standards;

  • Promote synergies and cooperation between higher education, research and innovation;

  • Contribute to sustainable economic growth, competitiveness and entrepreneurship by enhancing EU Member States’ capacity for innovation;

  • Address major societal challenges faced by the Union.

 

The EIT forms 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.

 

The EIT established 8 Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) and two more will be created. These communities are supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as generating breakthroughs in the ways that higher education, research and business collaborate. The existing KICs are:

 

The EIT will also launch two new KICs in specific thematic areas in order to tackle future emerging global societal challenges and needs (calls foreseen in 2021 and 2024)

 

The EIT will implement activities aiming at:

 

(1) Strengthening sustainable innovation ecosystems across Europe;

(2) Fostering the development of entrepreneurial and innovation skills in a lifelong learning perspective and support the entrepreneurial transformation of EU HEIs – Higher Education Institutions;

 

(3) Bringing new solutions to global challenges to the market.

 

Focus of funding for 2021-2027

The Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) proposed for 2021-2027 ensures alignment with the objectives of Horizon Europe and introduces the following main new features:

 

  • Increasing the regional impact of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs): In the future, the EIT will strengthen its networks, involving more higher education institutions, businesses and research organisations by developing regional outreach strategies. The selection of cooperation partners and the preparation of KIC activities will be more inclusive. KICs will also develop links to Smart Specialisation Strategies, an EU initiative to spur economic growth and job creation by enabling each region to identify and develop its own competitive advantages.

 

  • Boosting the innovation capacity of higher education: The EIT will support 750 higher education institutions with funding, expertise and coaching, enabling them to develop economic activities within their area of interest. The Institute will design and launch activities particularly in countries with a lower innovation capacity. In doing so, the EIT will build on successful policy initiatives such as HEInnovate, a free self-assessment tool for all types of higher education institutions, or the Regional Innovation Impact Assessment Framework, which allows universities to assess how they are fostering innovation in the regions they are based in.

 

  • Launch of new KICs: The EIT will launch two new KICs, selected in fields most relevant to Horizon Europe policy priorities. The first new KIC is set to focus on the cultural and creative industries (CCI) and is planned to start in 2022. This sector has a high growth potential, many local grassroots initiatives and strong citizen appeal and is complementary to the existing eight KICs. The priority field of a second new KIC will be decided at a later stage; it is due to be launched in 2025.



The EIT will provide support to KICs that are running portfolios of knowledge triangle activities through:

 

  1. Education and training activities with strong entrepreneurship components to train the next generation of talents, including the design and implementation of EIT labelled programmes, in particular at master and doctoral level (EIT Label);

  2. Activities supporting innovation to develop products and services that address a specific business opportunity;

  • Business creation and support activities, such as accelerator schemes to help entrepreneurs translate their ideas into successful ventures and speed up the growth Process.



KICs shall in particular undertake:

 

  1. Innovation activities and investments with European added value, including the support to the creation and development of innovative businesses, fully integrating the higher education and research dimensions to attain a critical mass and stimulating the  dissemination and exploitation of results;

  2. Cutting-edge and innovation-driven research experimentation, prototyping and demonstration in areas of key economic and societal interest and drawing on the results of European Union and national research, with the potential to strengthen Europe’s Union’s competitiveness at international level and find solutions for the major challenges faced by European society;

  3. Education and training activities in particular at masters and doctoral level, as well as professional training courses, in disciplines with the potential to meet future European socio-economic needs and which expand the Union’s talent base, promote the development of innovation-related skills, the improvement of managerial and entrepreneurial skills and the mobility of researchers and students, and foster knowledge-sharing, mentoring and networking among the recipients of EIT-labelled degrees and training;

  4. Outreach activities and the dissemination of best practices in the innovation sector with a focus on the development of cooperation between higher education, research and business, including the service and financial sectors;

  5. To seek synergies and complementarities between KIC activities and existing European, national and regional programmes, where appropriate.

Thematic Priorities

 

Research & innovation                     EnvironmentEducation
Development & Cooperation           Climate Action    Youth
Agriculture & Rural Development   Justice               Migration
Employment, Social Affairs & InclusionBusiness & industry                         Europe for Citizen
Consumer & Public Health              SportsCulture & Media

Participating countries

 

EU27IPA   ACP   
ASEAN               

Possible applicants

 

NGOs Private Companies Research Institutes   
Public Bodies                    Natural Entities              

Target group / Final beneficiaries

 

SMEsUniversitiesMigrants
NGOs   StudentsCivil Society                      

Budget

Total Budget for 2014-2020

2400 Million Euros

Total Budget for 2021-2027

3000 Million Euros

Increase / Decrease in %

Increased by 25%

Budget per project

Complexity of budget

From 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult): 4

Criteria for the complexity of budget

  • The Budget needs to be included by Work Package, year and category;
  • It involves a considerable effort;
  • Permits budget overview/editing.

Tips for applicants on budgeting

  • The distinctive focus of the EIT will be on human capital, entrepreneurial education, stronger regional outreach and support to business creation and development in specific thematic areas.

  • EIT contribution to the KICs may cover up to 100 % of the total eligible costs of KIC added-value activities only in the initial stages of the KIC life. Such contribution shall gradually decrease over time in compliance with the co-funding rates defined in the SIA (see 3.4,  Annex to the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of Council on the SIA for the EIT); 

  • Available platform with webinars to support proposal submission;

  • Plan the Budget with the support of Excel, simulating the fields of Plaza platform (to have the overview of the Budget);

  • The minimum condition to form a KIC is the participation of at least three  independent partner organisations, established in at least three different Member States;

  • At least two thirds of the partner organisations forming a KIC shall be established in the Member States;

  • At least one higher education institution, one research organisation and one private company shall be part of each KIC.

Programme Specific Tips for Applicants

2-3 lessons learnt in 2014-2020

  • The distinctive focus of the EIT will be on human capital, entrepreneurial education, stronger regional outreach and support to business creation and development in specific thematic areas.

  • EIT contribution to the KICs may cover up to 100 % of the total eligible costs of KIC added-value activities only in the initial stages of the KIC life. Such contribution shall gradually decrease over time in compliance with the co-funding rates defined in the SIA (see 3.4,  Annex to the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of Council on the SIA for the EIT); 

  • Available platform with webinars to support proposal submission;

  • Plan the Budget with the support of Excel, simulating the fields of Plaza platform (to have the overview of the Budget);

  • The minimum condition to form a KIC is the participation of at least three  independent partner organisations, established in at least three different Member States;

  • At least two thirds of the partner organisations forming a KIC shall be established in the Member States;

  • At least one higher education institution, one research organisation and one private company shall be part of each KIC.

Programme Specific Practical Information

 

  • Define your ‘KIC business plan’ describing the objectives and the planned KIC added-value activities;

  • The KICs shall ensure that their activities are conducted with a high level of transparency. In particular, they shall set up an accessible, free website providing information about their activities;

  • Each KIC is organised around five to ten of co-location centres (CLCs) which are intended to act as geographical hubs for the practical integration of the knowledge triangle;

  • The first wave of KICs (EIT Digital, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT InnoEnergy), launched in 2009, is established and mature and after 2024 their framework partnership agreements will be terminated, in line with the maximum grant duration. A second and third generation of KICs (EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials (2014), EIT Food (2016) is maturing.

Positive aspects

 

  • The network is very strong;

  • The access to support is easy – to Q&A or to get contact with other entities;

  • KICs shall have substantial overall autonomy to define their internal organisation and composition, as well as their precise agenda and working methods;

  • The variety of sources of funding eligible (EIT, KAVA, KCA);

  • Further simplification of procedures for the efficient management of KICs (e.g. with the introduction of a new co-funding mechanism, multi-annuality of grants, etc.)

Negative Aspects

 

  • Innovation / Innovative Europe pillar is very competitive; 

  • The projects are approved on an annual base;

  • KICs are incited to self ‘financial sustainability’, meaning a capacity of a KIC to fund its knowledge triangle activities independently after the end date of the partnership.

General DOs and DON’Ts

DOs

 

  • Develop efective and efficient Monitoring and Evaluation Tools for operational performance of the KICs;

  • Reinforce openness and transparency of the KIC and the alignment with the proposed approach for European Partnerships under Horizon Europe

  • Give priority to the transfer of its higher education, research and innovation activities to the business context and their commercial application, as well as to supporting the creation of start-ups, spin-offs and SMEs;

  • Be clear on the role of the partners and responsibilities since the beginning of the process;

  • Define – with the consortium – milestones, main editors of proposal sections and proof writers;

  • Engage the CLC on the proposal writing for validation and Q&A;

  • Engage KOL on validating your proposal since the beginning; 

DON'Ts

 

  • Never start writing without having the consortium closed (considering all the value chain mandatory to fulfil the tasks proposed);