Since the launch of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) in 2014, EIT RIS Hubs have emerged as the backbone of the Scheme’s “place-based” approach. By the end of 2020, 97 RIS Hubs, each representing an EIT KIC, had been establishing across Europe, in all EU Member States and beyond, helping to significantly increasing the regional impact of the EIT KICs and widen their geographical coverage.
With EIT RIS receiving a stronger mandate and additional resources under the EIT SIA (2021-2027), the EIT has published a set of Minimum Standards and Guiding Principles for the EIT RIS Hubs to serve as a common strategic approach, which will underpin the establishment and operation of all EIT RIS Hubs from 2023.
At the core of these Minimum Standards and Guiding Principles is a framework which will see the gradual launch of EIT Community RIS Hubs which will cover all EIT RIS eligible countries and territories by the end of 2025, with two pilots, in Latvia and North Macedonia, to be launched by the end of 2022. These Hub will differ from the current RIS Hubs by serving as a one-stop-shop for the whole EIT Community. The EIT Community RIS Hubs will provide local innovators with a centralised source of information on all services and opportunities provided by the entire EIT Community, both locally and more widely. They will serve as a gateway to all EIT KICs, attracting and engaging an increasing number of participants into EIT Community activities. The Hubs will additionally spearhead the EIT Community’s engagement with local authorities, including providing policy support and expertise as required. Where an on-the-ground EIT Community presence already exists, the EIT Community RIS Hubs will consolidate and scale-up ongoing activities and may also implement Cross-KIC activities tailored to the local needs. Each Hub will be managed by a National Secretary, selected via an Open Call, whose tasks will include: setting up and maintaining a physical space where stakeholders can walk-in to obtain information on the EIT Community; managing the EIT Community Hub’s website, in the local language, with information on EIT Community activities and opportunities; and; facilitating the organisation of EIT Community awareness-raising events locally.
Additionally, with a view to ensuring the EIT RIS Hubs’ contribution towards achieving the EIT’s Objectives and Key Performance Indicators, the Minimum Standards and Guiding Principles set out four minimum functions which all existing and future EIT RIS Hubs will be required to fully perform. Provisions have also been set out which will create a common evaluation and reporting principles aimed at ensuring more consistent effectiveness across the EIT RIS Hub network and a performance-based system of financing.