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EIT: European Institute of Innovation and Technology - Europe's innovation engine for jobs and growth. Ioannis Tsoukalas MEP


29 Nov 2012


Innovation & Enterprise
EU Priorities 2020

The Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European gave strong backing today to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an instrument that aspires to be Europe's 'innovation engine'.


The EIT has a special place in the overall Horizon 2020 strategy as it is designed to be the embodiment of Europe's innovation agenda. Innovation has largely been absent from previous framework programmes, yet the EIT is specifically tailored for tackling the 'European Paradox' and for transforming excellent European research, with the help of industry and SMEs, into successful entrepreneurial activities, innovative companies, jobs and growth.


The EIT will play the role of innovation catalyst, bridging the gap between the lab and the market, enabling world-class, long-term, cross-border and cross-discipline collaborations between academics and companies, and assisting the development and rapid commercialisation of innovative products and services. The EIT will be a factory of growth and jobs that will turn the tide in the way the EU utilises and monetises the excellent research results it produces.


Ioannis Tsoukalas MEP highlighted the educational aspect of the EIT: "The EIT is the single instrument within the Horizon 2020 framework that has such a strong emphasis on education, by implementing the Knowledge Triangle - Education + Research + Innovation. The EIT combines high quality training, entrepreneurial education and mobility for our brightest young scientists and researchers. The EIT's ambitious goal to provide 20,000 post-graduate and PhD students with EIT-labelled degrees and entrepreneurial skills by 2020 will provide the missing link in the innovation chain: the European innovators that we so urgently need."


Lambert van Nistelrooij MEP was happy to see that the EPP Group's proposal for a Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) was adopted. The RIS has the potential to widen participation in the Knowledge and Innovation Communities' (KIC) activities, on the basis of excellence, and will create a systemic impact in emerging centres of excellence across the EU. The RIS will target organisations that have the ambition and potential to develop into ecosystems mirroring the main traits of the KIC's co-location centres. Structural and national funds can be used for the preparation of participation in the RIS scheme, thus creating a stairway to excellence and ensuring an optimal investment of Structural Funds, and an alignment with EU goals.


The funding of the EIT was set at 3.3% of the total Horizon 2020 budget, yet several MEPs believe that it should be further strengthened, as the EIT can be a critical tool for the EU to innovate its way out of the crisis. In any case, a strong, ambitious budget for Horizon 2020 is a prerequisite for achieving European growth. Let us not forget: scientific research is not an expense; it's an investment.


For further information:
Ioannis Tsoukalas MEP, Tel: +32-2-2845295
Theo Georgitsopoulos, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-750566


Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.




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