The criteria for the 2018 call and the conditions of the call will be laid out in the call text to be approved later on in 2017, i.e. the conditions cannot be confirmed at this stage. However, the EIT considers the limitation of the number of partners in the consortium applying for a KIC to 50 as a good practice.
The criteria for the 2018 call and the conditions of the call will be laid out in the call text to be approved later on in 2017. The decision to designate a KIC is expected to be taken by the EIT’s Governing Board in December 2018 and cannot be anticipated at this stage. However, the EIT will only designate a KIC in a thematic area if the best proposal meets the overarching excellence criterion, regardless of the number of applications.
The Added Value Manufacturing and Urban Mobility themes presented in the EIT’s Strategic Innovation Agenda 2014-2020 are broadly defined on purpose to follow the EIT’s non-prescriptive approach. The EIT did not indicate any particular area or approach as innovation stakeholders are best placed to decide where to put the focus when tackling a particular societal challenge. This is in line with the EIT’s bottom up approach, allowing KIC Call applicants to define an innovative approach that will make a maximum impact through innovation in order to benefit citizens and resolve the societal challenge.
The strategic approach and impact of proposals should be very specific and quantifiable. The overarching principles of the Call are excellence and impact. This means that proposals are expected to define their focus in such a way that delivers the biggest economic and societal impact in specific areas within the manufacturing and urban mobility themes.
Following Hearings between the EIT Governing Board and the Added Value Manufacturing applicant, the EIT Governing Board concluded that the proposal did not meet the excellence levels required to be designated as a KIC.
Excellence is the overarching key principle in terms of partnership, strategy and potential to achieve impact. The EIT’s KIC model is a demanding one requiring substantial commitment from the partners and in terms of financing.
KICs bring together businesses (large corporates and SMEs, including start-ups), research centres and higher education institutions as partners, creating a favourable environment for creative thought and innovation to flourish, allowing innovative products and services to be developed in every area imaginable, new companies to be started or accelerated; and a new generation of entrepreneurs to be trained. KICs create a pan-European network and carry out a whole range of activities that cover the entire innovation chain – including training and education programmes, reinforcing the journey from research to the market, innovation projects as well as business incubators and accelerators. KICs have been conceived so that they are able to react in an effective and flexible way to new challenges and changing environments. This allows them to produce innovative services and products and create new markets in order to help to address major societal challenges.
A KIC follows a long-term innovative and impact-driven strategy, operating with business logic and a results-oriented approach. It operates across the EU carrying out a whole range of world-class activities covering the entire innovation value chain in a particular field. Each KIC operates through a limited number of innovation hubs across Europe called ‘Co-location Centres’. A KIC is established as a legally and financially structured partnership. The EIT has provided the KICs with a great degree of autonomy to define their legal status, internal organisation and working methods. Information about KIC’s model, the way how KICs operate and KICs activities is available on the EIT website and the websites of the existing KICs:
Yes, direct early business engagement during the KIC preparation phase is essential. It can enhance the credibility of the KIC value proposition for leveraging the inclusion of other strong business, higher education and research partners. Strong impact from a KIC cannot be expected without industry leadership and strategic engagement.
A strong KIC proposal must demonstrate added value over existing initiatives. The proposal needs to be explicit on what is intended to be achieved by a KIC and why it cannot be achieved by other EU programmes and initiatives. The proposal should be aimed at the breakthrough solutions commonly shared by research, higher education and business partners.
A successful proposal would have to be aligned on the current priorities in the sector, develop a pan-European strategy to address these priorities and include a convincing implementation plan and a suitable KIC partnership to succeed. It should clearly demonstrate how business, academia and research partners are committed and engaged at the strategic level to transform the sector through operating within the knowledge triangle.
The indicative timeline for the EIT’s 2018 Call for KIC Proposals is:
- July 2017 – publication of the selection criteria
- October/ November 2017 – publication of the Framework of Guidance
- 12 January 2018: Launch of the EIT’s Call for KIC proposals: EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility
- 13 February 2018: EIT Information Day in Brussels
- 12 July 2018: Closure of the EIT’s 2018 Call for KIC Proposals
- December 2018: EIT selects two new Innovation Communities: EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility
The KIC model is not research programme. Through the KICs, the EIT develops and tests new models of how innovation is approached, managed, financed and delivered in Europe. The KICs develop innovative products and services, start new companies, grow existing ones, and train a new generation of entrepreneurs. They bring ideas to market, turn students into entrepreneurs and, most importantly, they innovate.
Questions can only be submitted via the Contact Page on the EIT website. Information on the Call will be regularly updated on the EIT website and will include answers to all questions that have been submitted to the EIT. It is therefore strongly recommended to regularly consult the website.
All information and any update relating to the EIT’s 2018 Calls for KICs will be posted on the EIT’s KIC Call page: https://eit.europa.eu/collaborate/2018-call-for-kics.