Innovation is essential for Europe to thrive, to boost its competitiveness and to ensure the health and well-being of its citizens.
Innovation shapes markets, transforms economies, stimulates changes in the quality of public services and is indispensable in creating solutions to the most pressing global challenges. The European Commission unveiled the New European Innovation Agenda on 5 July, 2022 set to make Europe a global innovation leader. The EIT as Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem, with its far-reaching network and decade of experience has a big role to play in the flagship strategy.
The New European Innovation Agenda leverages the many talents and skills Europe already possesses while focusing on the importance of harnessing a new wave of innovation on its way: deep tech. Deep tech is rooted in cutting edge science, technology and engineering, often combining advances in the physical, biological and digital spheres. The deep tech innovations that are emerging from a growing cohort of innovative start-ups in the EU have the potential to drive innovation across the economy and society. They have the power to transform the EU’s business landscape and associated markets and help address the most pressing societal challenges, including achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Building on this transformative power, the New European Innovation Agenda will launch five flagship actions:
- Flagship #1: Funding for deep tech scale-ups
- Flagship #2: Enabling deep tech innovation through experimentation spaces and public procurement
- Flagship #3: Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide
- Flagship #4: Fostering, attracting and retaining deep tech talents
- Flagship:#5: Improving policy making tools
EIT Community Support
The EIT’s mission is to drive innovation forward, thanks to its unique approach – building sustainable innovation ecosystems through Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) – the EIT boasts Europe’s largest innovation network, and has proven success in identifying and nurturing start-ups and innovators at all stages of their innovation journey. The EIT Community, with its 3 000 partners and 80 innovation hubs across Europe, have supported thousands of start-ups including deep-tech innovations that have gone on to become global leaders in the field, such as Swedish Northvolt (EIT InnoEnergy) manufacturing the world’s greenest battery.
The EIT will support the five flagships of the New European Innovation Agenda and continue its work in carving out a more inclusive innovation landscape by offering targeted support to female-led ventures and entrepreneurs. This includes supporting women leading deep-tech innovations and connecting the European Innovation Council’s Women Leadership Programme to the EIT network. Programmes such as the EIT’s SuperNova with its four core activities will also further support efforts to increase diversity by helping investors connect and recruit from a more diverse pool of talent, identify new opportunities, offer mentorship and venture investment.
The EIT will support Flagship #3 - Accelerating and strengthening innovation in European Innovation Ecosystems across the EU and addressing the innovation divide, by continuously expanding the EIT's Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) focused on developing innovation ecosystems in low-innovation performance regions across Europe and in linking these ecosystems to local and regional smart specialisation strategies. The EIT RIS Programme boasts over 655 organisations connected to the EIT network and dozens of regional hubs across 18 RIS-eligible countries.
The EIT will also be instrumental in Flagship #4 - Fostering, attracting and retaining deep tech talents. The EIT will lead a new programme targeting 1 million deep tech talents over a 3-year period across all Member States. The institute will update and scale up its talent and skills development programmes based on the needs of deep tech fields ranging from new materials and synthetic biology to cleantech. Scale-up companies alongside other industry representatives will inform curricula and ensure that they accommodate changing labour market needs in respective technology areas.
To compliment this, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the EIT will also launch an innovation intern scheme in the third quarter of 2023, to create opportunities for over 600 researchers and EIT-labelled students and graduates to gain an innovation experience by 2024. The interns will gain work experience in successful EIC and EIT supported companies, with researcher and associated company needs informing individual internships.
Support will also continue to the next generation of young entrepreneurs through the EIT Girls-Go-Circular project which due to its success so far, will be expanded to cover participants from all EU Member States equipping over 40 000 school girls with digital and entrepreneurial skills.
The EIT Community is committed to taking its innovation ecosystem to the next step and will support the work of the New European Innovation Agenda in leading the new wave of deep tech innovation.
Come join us and make innovation happen!