Brussels, - The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to significantly step up its efforts to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the EU with the creation of six new cross-border innovation hubs, known as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), in 2014-2020. The European Commission has allocated a budget of €2.8 billion in the next financial framework to enable the EIT to expand and consolidate the development of its existing KICs which focus on climate change, sustainable energy and ICT.
"The new package we are proposing for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology is great news for European business, research and academia. We are investing in creating the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and strengthening the innovation capacity of the EU so that we remain a match for the world's best," said Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
Today, the Commission also adopted a proposal for the EIT 'Strategic Innovation Agenda', which defines the framework for the Institute's operations in the years to come. The Commission expects it to provide an impetus for creating up to 600 start-up companies and for training 25 000 students and 10 000 PhDs in new curricula combining excellent science with a strong entrepreneurship component.
The EIT brings together excellent higher education institutions, research centres and businesses with a view to tackling major societal challenges in an innovative way. It complements other European education and research initiatives and is at the heart of the new Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (see more in the MEMO/11/851). The Commission plans to set up the new KICs in two phases.
The first group, to be set up in 2014, will have the following themes: innovation for healthy living and active ageing (improving the quality of life and well-being of citizens of all ages); food4future (sustainable food supply chain, from farm to fork); raw materials (sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution of raw materials).
The next wave of KICs, to be established in 2018, will focus on: added value manufacturing (developing more competitive, sustainable and environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes); smart secure societies (addressing Europe's security gaps through the development and deployment of innovative ICT solutions); and urban mobility (delivering a greener, more inclusive, safer and smarter urban mobility system).
The themes were selected on the basis of criteria established by the Commission, following a public consultation with the innovation community.
For more information:
EIT website: http://eit.europa.eu