Collin Arocho
5 December 2019

The governing board of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) has announced its plans to invest 500 million euros in 2020. The money will be spread among its eight competing Knowledge and Innovation Communities throughout Europe. Each of these groups were evaluated based on their 2020 business plans, strategies and performances to date. The projects include climate, digitization, food, health, energy, raw materials, manufacturing and urban mobility.

Additionally, the board will allocate 30 million euros to the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS) – the program that helps modest and moderate regions (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard) to fully realize their innovation potential through the sharing of good practice and experience from across the EIT community. The EIT RIS fund will be available to all EIT Innovation Communities that include EIT RIS eligible activities in their upcoming business plans. The board also decided to allocate 12.5 million euros for joint activities between Knowledge and Innovation Communities, for example in the areas of artificial intelligence and “skills 4 future”.

EIT Dirk Jan van den Berg
According to EIT board chairman Dirk Jan van den Berg, the investment “is to bring about the urgent need for more innovative European solutions at a much larger scale to tackle pressing societal challenges.”

Finally, the EIT governing board put together a task force on enhancing innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education institutions, in preparation for the EIT’s role in Horizon Europe. The task force will be chaired by Patrick Prendergast, member of the EIT governing board, and will include representatives of the European Commission.

“I’m very pleased to see the progress in the past year, which is strongly based on the focused stewardship of the EIT’s governing board. It’s crucial that the opportunities the EIT community offers innovators are scaled up across the whole of Europe,” comments EIT board chairman Dirk Jan van den Berg. “This investment is not just to create another product, or power another start-up; it’s to bring about the urgent need for more innovative European solutions at a much larger scale to tackle pressing societal challenges.”