The EIT's Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) - Investing in Innovation beyond 2014

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT) Governing Board submitted the EIT’s Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) – Investing in Innovation beyond 2014 to Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Multilingualism on 15 June 2011. In the SIA, the Governing Board outlines the EIT’s vision for the future as an innovation impact investment institute driven by entrepreneurship. This vision underpins its proposed strategy for strengthening Europe’s innovation capacity and competitiveness.

The SIA describes how the EIT will cement its position within the EU innovation landscape by building on the successes and lessons learnt since its inception in 2008. “The EIT and our current three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) are proving that there is a need for a new European innovation approach. We are committed to stepping up the efforts necessary to ensure Europe remains a key competitor on the global stage” says Martin Schuurmans - Chairman of the EIT Governing Board.

The EIT fosters a culture of cooperation between the actors of the knowledge triangle (business, education and research). With entrepreneurship as its key driver, the institute capitalises on Europe’s underused potential to exploit skills, technology and business innovation. The EIT was set up to serve as a role model within the EU innovation landscape: its focus on simplification and leadership could perhaps be emulated by other EU initiatives.

Entrepreneurship is the central driving force of innovation in the EIT and its KICs. By educating a new generation of entrepreneurially minded talent, the EIT and its KICs are paving the way towards a more entrepreneurial labour force and continued growth for Europe. “The SIA presents our vision for increased EIT impact through more KICs, new themes and a wider geographical coverage” states Anders Flodström - Vice Chairman of the EIT Governing Board and Chairman of the SIA Working Group. “Through the proposed new KIC themes we do not only address today’s Grand Challenges but also provide viable and sustainable solutions”, he adds.

European innovation cannot thrive on the current contribution to the KICs and cannot afford not to significantly step up its investment. Shifting from a system based on control of expenditure towards a trust-based system, focusing on outcomes and rewarding performance is perceived as “the” next major challenge for the EIT. In the years to come and through the implementation of the SIA and its increased budget request, the EIT will focus on becoming an entrepreneurially driven innovation impact investment institute.