Following a Call for Proposals launched in January 2018, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) in early December announced the winning partnerships designated to set up two new Innovation Communities: EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility. With the addition of these two there are now eight Innovation Communities (Climate-KIC, Digital, Food, Health, InnoEnergy, Raw Material, Manufacturing, Urban Mobility) in total, spanning a wide range of technology sectors.
EIT Manufacturing will be facilitated by “Made by Europe”, a consortium of 50 partners from 17 countries with the Greek University of Patras as the key coordinating partner. The mission is to “bring European manufacturing actors together in innovation ecosystems that add unique value to European products, processes, services – and inspire the creation of globally competitive and sustainable manufacturing.”
EIT Urban Mobility will be facilitated by the ”MOBiLus” consortium consisting of 48 partners from 15 countries, coordinated by the City of Barcelona. The objective is to “rethink urban spaces, overcoming fragmentation by integrating all urban mobility players – including cities and citizens – and increasing social inclusion and equality.”
Both consortia include members that are active in the Interreg Europe community as well, for example cities like Amsterdam, Helsinki and Prague. Furthermore, the topics of manufacturing and mobility are reflected in the focus of Interreg Europe projects like MANUMIX, NMP-REG, URBAN M and INNOTRANS.
In order to have the two new Innovation Communities up and running a soon as possible, the EIT will provide each of the winning partnerships with a start-up grant of up to EUR 4 million. Under Horizon 2020, the annual funding will gradually increase to over EUR 80 million per Innovation Community. However, each KIC is also expected to attract significant investments from private and public sources, levering the investments made by the EIT and progressively replacing them to reach financial sustainability in the long-term.
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.
Official announcement on EIT’s website.
Image credit: Pexels
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