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EIT a model for European innovation: Commission Report

EIT mid-term evaluation

European Commission’s EIT Mid-term Evaluation Report released

The European Commission today published the Mid-term Evaluation Report on the EIT – Europe’s largest innovation community. The Report was carried out to assess the work of the EIT, and examined how the EIT fulfils its mission of boosting innovation and enabling an effective innovation model for Europe.

It confirmed that the reason for the setting up of the EIT and the EIT innovation model remain both valid and unique. Additionally, the Report highlights that the:

  • EIT is the only EU body that fully integrates business, research and education and that this integration is crucial to effectively boost innovation in a pan-European way
  • EIT has the potential to be a thought leader and a source of knowledge and good practice for policy makers and the broader European innovation community
  • EIT Community delivers ground-breaking results, has supported hundreds of start-ups across Europe, enabling growth and innovation, and this will lead to important societal impact through job creation and an economic boost
  • EIT’s existing Innovation Communities bring innovative solutions to key challenges in the areas of climate, digitalisation, energy, food, health and raw materials

The Report presents a number of key findings that provide strong encouragement to the EIT. With two new Innovation Communities planned for 2018, the Report concludes that the EIT is on the right track, and its good practices should be rolled out across Europe.

Responding to the Report, EIT Governing Board Chairman, Peter Olesen, said: ‘The EIT welcomes the results of this Report. We have built an innovation machine by creating Europe’s largest innovation community, with more than 1 000 partners and thirty innovation hubs. The positive remarks made in the Report provide the EIT Community with welcome encouragement just as we meet for our annual conference INNOVEIT on 16 to 17 October, bringing together more than 600 experts from the European innovation community to discuss the EIT’s plans for 2021 to 2027 and to celebrate the EIT Awards.’

EIT Interim Director, Martin Kern, said: ‘The Mid-term Evaluation Report shows that the EIT works. We now have a unique and strong Community that has made significant progress in the last few years. The Report and its valuable recommendations show that our efforts are benefiting European innovation with an increasing number of emerging results that bring solutions to citizens. I am particularly proud of the recognition of our success in supporting unique innovation hubs, start-ups and scale-ups as well as entrepreneurial graduates, and that there is recognition that the reason for setting up the EIT remains fully relevant. This is a strong foundation for us to build upon.

Accompanying the publication of the Report was a European Commission document, the Staff Working Document (SWD), which presents and summarises the main results of the Report. The SWD also provides the European Commission with evidence and data that will be used to shape the future activities of the EIT and innovation in Europe. The European Commission will now create an action plan that identifies the steps the EIT needs to take to put its experience into practice.

Download the evaluation report

What are the next steps?

The European Commission’s (EC) proposal establishing Horizon Europe, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2021-2027, sets out the proposed budget for the EIT for the next period as well as its rationale, including the EU's added value, areas of intervention, broad lines of activity and performance indicators. However, the Horizon Europe proposal itself does not provide the legal basis for continuing the EIT operations beyond 2020. Therefore, the EIT Regulation is currently being revised, in particular those provisions related to the:

  • EIT mission
  • objectives and tasks
  • EIT bodies, activities and selection of Innovation Communities
  • financial resources or provisions related to programming and reporting.

The proposal for a new Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT for 2021-2027 will be submitted alongside the proposal for the revision of the EIT Regulation.

The impact assessment that will accompany the EC proposals for the revision of the EIT Regulation and the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT for 2021-2027 will be based on vast amount of available evidence collected in the past years.

Background information

So far the Innovation Communities have supported more than 2 200 business ideas, and these start-ups helped to indirectly create more than 6 000 jobs.

More than 1 200 people have graduated from EIT degree programmes, and more than 430 new products and services have been supported.

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