The European Commission has put forward its 2021-27 Strategic Innovation Agenda for the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT).
The Commission proposed a €3bn budget for the EIT, which is set to align with the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon Europe; the proposal represents a 25% increase in real terms compared to the previous 2014-20 Strategic Innovation Agenda. The new EIT innovation strategy will see the institute provide funding and support for innovation at 750 higher education institutions, in addition to supporting a number of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) – cross-border innovation partnerships between universities, research centres and private industry.
The primary goals of the 2021-24 EIT innovation strategy are:
- Launching two new KICs, the first of which will focus on the creative sector and is projected to launch in 2022;
- Developing regional outreach policies to shore up the regional impact of KICs, as well as developing links between KICs and the EU employment initiative Smart Specialisation Strategies, which encourage regions to identify and emphasise their own competitive advantages; and
- Promoting innovation policy initiatives at institutions of higher education through coaching, expertise and financial support; focusing particularly on regions with a lower capacity for innovation.
Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics, who oversees the EIT, said: “Since 2008, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology has been nurturing talent and creativity through a unique focus on education and entrepreneurship. The strategy we are now putting in place for 2021-2027 will help ensure that all of Europe’s regions benefit from the institute’s potential and will further boost the innovation capacity of our higher education sector. And I am particularly proud to announce today the launch of a new Knowledge and Innovation Community to support innovation in the cultural and creative industries, planned for 2022.”
The revised EIT innovation strategy will now be passed to the European Parliament and Council for approval.