In the 2018 edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard, 14 Member States are classified as “Moderate Innovators” (performance level between 50% and 90% of the EU average) and two Member States as “Modest Innovators” (performance level below 50% of the EU average). The European Institute of Innovation and Technology Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) is a knowledge transfer measure designed to increase innovation capability specifically in the regions of these countries.

First introduced in 2014 as an outreach activity of the EIT Innovation Communities, the scheme is focused on transferring know-how and good practices to boost innovation. Through designated “EIT Hubs” set up in eligible countries and regions, the activities, services and programmes run by Innovation Communities are made available to organisations, students and entrepreneurs in order to foster cooperation among knowledge triangle actors. The implementation is funded by EIT and each Innovation Community designs its own outreach activities.

Building on their knowledge and experience, the Innovation Communities also support national, regional and local authorities in innovation-related policy making and implementation processes. There are currently six Innovation Communities, each with its own focus: climate, digital, food, health, energy, and raw materials. The clear thematic link with priority areas found in many regional smart specialisation strategies, and in several Interreg Europe projects, highlights the potential for Managing Authorities and regional stakeholders to build synergies with EIT RIS project stakeholders concerning policy learning. There are also opportunities for regions to work together to address the need for creating further thematic Innovation Communities.

The link to smart specialisation is highlighted by the collaboration agreement between the Joint Research Centre and the climate-focused Innovation Community. The agreement covers a range of cooperation activities, including the sharing of knowledge and best practice through the Smart Specialisation Platform and EIT-RIS.

What are EIT Innovation Communities?

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent EU body set up in 2008 to boost innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe. At the heart of this mission are the so-called “Innovation Communities” – cross-border partnerships of companies, universities and research centres focusing on different societal challenges. The “Knowledge Triangle Integration” in these partnerships is the core of EIT’s approach to innovation. Each community operates through a number of national co-location centres forming pan-European networks.

To generate innovative products and services, new companies and entrepreneurs, the Innovation Communities target the whole innovation chain. Their activities comprise training and education programmes, support for the process from research to the market, innovation projects, as well as business incubators and accelerators for SMEs. Having a high degree of autonomy allows the Innovation Communities to react to new challenges and changing environments. 

More information about EIT Regional Innovation Scheme

Policy Learning Platform news item on European Innovation Scoreboard 2018

EC news item on JRC and Climate KIC collaboration agreement

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