New opportunities to work with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) launches a selection process today to set up two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), with partners from higher education, research and business. The two KICs will focus on innovation for healthy living and active ageing, and on raw materials – sustainable exploration, extraction processing, recycling and substitution. The application process is open until 10 September. Following an independent evaluation of the proposals, guided by specific selection criteria, one KIC in each field will be designated. The EIT is part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation.
"This is the first step in our expansion of the EIT, with five new KICs planned over the next seven years. We're looking for great innovators and entrepreneurs with the drive to tackle concrete challenges and deliver results. I hope that many organisations will respond to this call and join us in this exciting journey," said Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for the EIT.
The KICs are autonomous public-private partnerships which bring together top-class higher education institutions, research centres, companies and other organisations committed to tackling societal challenges through, among other means, the development of products, services and processes.
There are currently three KICs focused on climate change, ICT and sustainable energy (Climate KIC, KIC InnoEnergy and EIT ICT Labs). They have provided entrepreneurship training for more than 1 000 students and contributed to the creation of more than 100 start-ups. Around 90 new products, services or processes have been launched and more than 400 business ideas are currently being incubated within the KICs.
The partnership for the new KICs must consist of at least three organisations, established in at least three different EU Member States. It must include at least one higher education institution and one private company.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
The core mission of the EIT, established in 2008, is to promote the competitiveness of Member States by bringing together excellent higher education institutions, research centres and businesses to focus on major societal challenges. The EIT has its administrative headquarters in Budapest while the existing three KICs (climate change, ICT and sustainable energy) operate from 19 sites throughout Europe.
The EIT will receive €2.7 billion from Horizon 2020 over the next seven years to promote innovation in Europe. This is 3.5% of the overall EU research and innovation budget and represents a significant increase from the initial EIT start-up budget, which was around €300 million for 2008-2013. The funds will strengthen Europe's research and innovation capacity and contribute to jobs and growth.
In addition to the three existing partnerships, the EIT will launch five new KICs in the next few years: in addition to the two announced for this year ('Innovation for healthy living and active ageing', and 'Raw materials: sustainable exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and substitution)', further KICs will be added in 2016 ('food for the future', and 'added value manufacturing') and in 2018 ('urban mobility').
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