European Institute of Innovation and Technology: Commission welcomes political agreement on strategy for 2021-2027

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This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The Commission has welcomed the political agreement reached yesterday between the European Parliament and EU Member States on an update of the legal basis of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) as well as its new Strategic Innovation Agenda for 2021-2027. Trilogue negotiations have now concluded, pending the final approval of the legal texts by the European Parliament and the Council.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said: “I welcome the political agreement on the future of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which is an integral part of the new Horizon Europe programme 2021-2027. Since its creation in 2008, the EIT has proven its worth in strengthening innovation ecosystems across the EU. With this improved legal framework and its new strategic agenda, coupled with an increased budget to match its ambitions, the EIT will be able to deliver on the main EU priorities in the field of education, innovation and research and thus contribute to the recovery of Europe’s economy and society. I particularly welcome the improvement made in the EIT to ensure a greater geographical reach of the EIT to tackle the innovation divide, and the fact that the EIT will launch two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities in the coming years, one operating in the field of the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries and one on Water, Marine and Maritime Sectors and Ecosystems. Both fields of activity are important for the Commission given their contribution to addressing existing and future societal challenges.

The proposals adopted yesterday will align the EIT with the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027) delivering on the Commission’s commitment to further boost Europe’s innovation potential. With a budget of nearly €3 billion, which represents an increase of almost €600 million compared to the current funding period, the EIT will drive the recovery of the economy as well as the green and digital transition in order to build a more sustainable and resilient society. The EIT will boost innovation by involving 750 higher-education institutions in its activities, supporting 30,000 students, bringing 4,000 innovations to the market and promoting 700 start-ups.

The EIT operates through its Knowledge and Innovation Communities that bring together companies, universities and research centres across Europe. The EIT will now be able to put more emphasis on its regional dimension: the strengthened Regional Innovation Scheme will target countries that lag behind in innovation performance. Also, a new pilot initiative will increase the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of higher education institutions. Finally, the EIT will scale up its collaboration with the European Innovation Council which will help boost Europe’s overall innovation capacity.

Background

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology was established in 2008 by Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 amended by Regulation (EC) No 1292/2013 and is based in Budapest. Its purpose is to address major societal challenges by improving the innovation capacity and performance of the EU through the integration of the knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation.

The EIT is one of the three components of the ‘Innovative Europe’ pillar of the Horizon Europe programme. Horizon Europe provides the funding for the EIT under the EU’s long‑term budget 2021-2027 and defines its rationale, added value, areas of intervention and broad lines of activity. The legal basis of the EIT remains the EIT Regulation that sets out its mission, its key tasks and the framework for its functioning. The Strategic Innovation Agenda 2021-2027, in turn, outlines the strategy and priorities of the EIT for the next programming period, its objectives, key actions, activities, mode of operation, and expected impacts.

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