The EIT was created to increase Europe’s ability to innovate, by nurturing entrepreneurial talent and supporting new ideas. Working closely with EU Member States (MS) is crucial to achieve this objective. We work hand in hand with national, regional and local authorities to generate innovative products and services, propel trail-blazing ventures forward, and train the next generation of European innovation leaders.
The main platform for cooperation between the EIT and EU Member States during 2014-2020 was the EIT Member State Configuration (MSC). MSC members met annually to discuss the EIT’s achievements, provide constructive input into the EIT’s work, and ensure complementarity between the EIT Community’s activities and national programmes.
As of 2021, in line with the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda for 2021-2027, the EIT reinforced its engagement with Member States via two main vehicles, the EIT Member State Representatives Group (MSRG) – at institutional level - and the EIT National Contact Points (NCPs) – at operational level.
EIT Member States' Representatives Group
The EIT Member State Representatives Group (MSRG) advises the EIT Governing Board and Director on strategically important issues to the EIT. It, furthermore, facilitates synergies and complementarities of EIT and Knowledge and Innovation Communities activities with national or regional programmes and initiatives, and share information about the potential national and regional co-financing of those activities.
National Contact Points
National Contact Points (NCPs) are support structures that have become an essential component in the implementation of successive EU Research and Innovation Framework Programmes. A system of NCPs has been established for Horizon Europe, and for the first time an ‘EIT NCP’ in each Member State, Associated Country and several Third countries.
NCPs provide information and on-the ground advice to potential applicants and beneficiaries, through the project life cycle, in their own language, in a manner that would be impossible for the EIT and its KICs to do alone. Combined with the EIT KIC Co-location Centres and RIS Hubs, all across Europe and beyond, they are important multiplier for stakeholders on the ground, increasing awareness about what EIT is about as well as opportunities offered by the EIT Community at national and EU level.
Horizon Europe Associated Countries
Horizon Europe, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation, allows third countries to gain access to its actions and funding through an arrangement called association. Associated Countries conclude agreements with the EU to join the framework programme as partners. The EIT has worked closely with the Associated Countries to Horizon 2020, the EU’s previous framework programme for research and innovation, through programmes such as the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS), the EIT Global Outreach, and broad integration into the EIT Community’s activities. The EIT continues this close cooperation with Associated Countries in full alignment with Horizon Europe provisions. Since 2021 and fully in line with the European Commission Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, the EIT Community enhances cross-sectoral cooperation to tackle common challenges in the Western Balkan region.