As part of the EU’s collective efforts to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the EIT launched the ‘EIT Crisis Response Initiative’.
The EIT Governing Board decided on 14 May to mobilise EUR 60 million of additional funding to innovators powering high-impact solutions that tackle this unprecedented social and economic challenge. The financing will allow the launch of new innovation projects to address the immediate crisis as part of the ‘Pandemic Response Projects’, and will support highly innovative start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs crucial to the economy’s fast recovery to benefit from additional funding under the ‘Venture Support Instrument’.
On 8 September, 207 innovation projects and ventures from 32 countries were awarded funding from the EUR 60 million.
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What is the EIT Crisis Response Initiative?
The COVID-19 pandemic and unfolding economic crisis have brought unprecedented changes and challenges to our societies. For its recovery, Europe needs strong collaboration to develop, identify and implement solutions. The EIT has a responsibility to answer these needs with innovation at the heart of solutions to resolve the crisis.
What types of activities will the EIT support as part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative?
The new EIT initiative consists of two main tracks of activities to be implemented by the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities across Europe:
- Venture Support Instrument: start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs have been enormously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, with investment drying up and significant cash flow issues emerging. Additional EIT support (financing, technical assistance and network) will help highly innovative ventures weather the crisis and accelerate their growth.
- Pandemic Response Projects: More than ever, innovations and new solutions are needed to tackle the current crisis and prevent its resurgence. The EIT ecosystem is agile and will mobilise innovators to address the COVID-19 crisis impact, both in terms of the immediate health concerns and the wider response needed.
In a time of crisis such as we are facing today, we have to ensure that resources are targeted to deliver results expeditiously. We are ensuring financial support is increased and dispersed more quickly to those who are working on the most promising answers to the difficult questions Covid-19 poses. Thanks to the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, innovators in the EU will benefit from additional support helping them to overcome this unprecedented situation and continue delivering innovative solutions for Europe and its citizens
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, responsible for the EIT
The EUR 60 million financing will power innovations in health, climate change, digitisation, food, sustainable energy, urban mobility, manufacturing and raw materials. Reflecting the EIT innovation model’s flexibility, the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities have responded decisively to the crisis and will launch additional pan-European calls for these activities.
To win the fight against the disruption COVID-19 has wreaked on Europe, we must work closely together and mobilise our resources. I have been impressed by entrepreneurs’ resilience; the EIT Crisis Response Initiative will ensure they benefit from financial support at a critical time. It will also help the recovery focus on creating a healthier, greener and more sustainable future for our planet and its people
Dirk Jan van den Berg, Chair of the EIT Governing Board
Where can entrepreneurs and innovators find information?
All calls for innovators and entrepreneurs under the EIT Crisis Response Initiative will be launched by the EIT’s eight Knowledge and Innovation Communities. These can be found on their websites as well as the EIT website in this dedicated COVID-19 activities section and the Opportunities page.