The European Institute of Innovation and Technology

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology [EIT] is an initiative set up to meet the challenges of globalisation head on. The initiative, which aims to become a flagship for excellence in European innovation, will focus on strategic priority areas where the nature and scale of the innovation challenge requires action at EU level.

The EIT will effectively integrate the three sides of the 'knowledge triangle' - education, research and innovation - through partnerships between the private sector, research organisations and higher education institutions. These will be known as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).

For further information on the EIT see

The Governing Board of the EIT met on 16 December in Budapest to designate the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).  Following presentations from the 6 shortlisted candidates (2 from each potential KIC), the Governing Board designated the first 3 KICs:

  • Sustainable energy - InnoEnergy
  • Future information and communication society - ICT Lab
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation Climate KIC Imperial College London and the West Midlands Development Agency are partners in the Climate change mitigation and adaption KIC.

KIC's selection criteria - selection criteria

Statement from Dr. Martin Schuurmans - Chairman of the EIT Governing Board:

"Today is a great day for innovation in Europe. With the selection of the first three Knowledge and Innovation Communities, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology marks the starting point of a new approach to innovation and knowledge sharing. The KICs will be our test-beds for an entirely new type of collaborations across the innovation web, bringing together our most excellent resources from higher education, research, business and entrepreneurship. Through the KICs we want to generate real impact in terms of new business creation, entrepreneurship and societal benefit.

Over the past months, universities, research centres, technology transfer organisations, big industry and smaller businesses have come together - in a probably unprecedented manner - to present their proposals for the first KICs. In the Governing Board we were extremely impressed with the response to the call for KICs, as the proposals showed a high level of commitment from stakeholders across Europe and from all over the innovation web. The firm interest in the opportunities offered by the EIT and its KICs across the three priority areas of the call - climate change mitigation and adaptation, sustainable energy and future information and communication society - also proofs to us that there is a real need and a real momentum for this initiative.

When selecting the first KICs, our overriding criteria for our decision were leadership and excellence. The KICs' ultimate real-life success and impact will clearly depend on a number of key elements: co-locating people from across the innovation chain to work closely together, clear leadership and a 'can do' approach, as well as entrepreneurship and a real commitment from the private sector.

Today's decision is only the starting point of our common effort to turn the KICs into a true success for Europe and its citizens. It is now our foremost task in the EIT to get the KICs energised by mid next year and to immediately start a substantial learning process based on the wealth of knowledge and good ideas that has been put into all the proposals.

The EIT will help the KICs launch their activities immediately. We must get down to action now. Let us shape Europe's innovation future together."

European Institute of Innovation and Technology FAQs

Knowledge and Innovation Communities FAQs

For further details contact
Graham M Mobbs
European Operations Manager
Technology Strategy Board

Last updated on Monday 21 February 2011 at 15:36

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