The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) opened the first Community Hub outside of Europe in Silicon Valley yesterday.
Building on the existing Silicon Valley Hub of EIT Digital, the EIT Hub in San Francisco will support European innovators to attract US customers, partners and investors. It will also showcase innovation made in Europe and bolster the visibility of innovative European solutions to global challenges.
Martin Kern, EIT Interim Director, said: ‘To strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and to tackle the most pressing global challenges facing our society through innovation, we have to connect globally. This EIT Hub will further strengthen Europe’s innovation ecosystem and act as a bridge between Europe and the Silicon Valley for entrepreneurs, innovators and students.’
Jim Wunderman, President & CEO Bay Area Council, stated: ‘The Bay Area Council welcomes the establishment of the EIT Hub in Silicon Valley and is happy to welcome the EIT among its partners. International ties have long standing tradition that have been beneficial to both sides and the presence of the EIT strengthens our connection to Europe.’
The EIT was created in 2008 to drive innovation across Europe. The EIT Community, Europe’s largest innovation network with more than 1 000 partners from business, education and research, powers innovators and entrepreneurs, helping them turn new ideas into innovative products and services. Greater transatlantic collaboration will generate new opportunities for growth and jobs in Europe.
Kirsten Dunlop, EIT Climate-KIC CEO, said: 'In pursuit of addressing the urgent global challenge of climate change through transformative innovation, we are delighted to launch our collaboration with our like-minded partners in California – sharing responsibility for the radical problem-solving that is needed. This partnership builds on our complementary expertise, blending the outstanding exponential technology of Silicon Valley with our uniquely European approach to innovation that brings together both economic and social transformation. Only this holistic, systems approach can provide solutions in time.'
Willem Jonker, EIT Digital CEO, added: 'After we, EIT Digital, as the first EIT family member to land in Silicon Valley at the end of 2014, I am extremely happy to see the rest of our family, now eight Innovation Communities, joining us: in varietate concordia!'
Rene Arvin, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Omnibot, added: ‘This is precisely what scale-ups need: support and access to a network that opens doors throughout the growth stages. We’ve scaled, are ready to grow further globally and thrilled that EIT Digital and the EIT Hub in Silicon Valley will be there to support us on the next stage of our journey’.
In the first phase, the EIT Silicon Valley Hub will represent EIT Digital, EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Food, EIT Health, and EIT Raw Materials. The Hub will support European ventures to sell their products and services on the US market, attract US students to the EIT’s entrepreneurial education programmes in Europe, provide a gateway to Europe for US-based organisations, facilitate joint open innovation initiatives and generally stimulate stronger collaboration between the EIT Community and Silicon Valley.
In the near future, the EIT Community will continue expanding their footprint beyond Europe and establish additional EIT Community Hubs in Tel Aviv (Israel) and Beijing (China).