The Member States of the European Union are crucial stakeholders of the EIT. 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.
EIT Member State Configuration
The main platform for cooperation between the EIT and EU Member States is a special configuration comprised of representatives from EU Member States. The Member State Configuration takes place within the context of our annual EIT Stakeholder Forum. Norway and Switzerland, members of the EEA and EFTA, are also represented in the Configuration. It meets annually to discuss the EIT’s achievements, provide constructive input into the EIT’s work, and ensure the complementarity between the EIT Community’s activities and national programmes/initiatives. In line with the EIT Regulation, the members of the EIT Member State Configuration are regularly updated on developments and opportunities within the EIT Community to enable synergies with national and regional initiatives. The European Commission’s proposal for the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) for 2021-2027 foresees the EIT’s reinforced engagement with Member States through a dedicated Representatives Group.
Memoranda of Understanding
To sharpen its engagement with EU Member States considered to be modest and moderate innovators, the EIT offers the possibility of forging structured bilateral cooperation agreements, in the form of MoUs, with individual governments that express an interest. These MoUs serve as a platform for enhanced bilateral cooperation, joint activities, and national co-financing of EIT KIC activities. Through the process of forging these agreements, EU Member States and the EIT can align with one other’s strategic priorities and enhance innovation at the national and regional levels. The MoUs are implemented through jointly drawn-up annual Action Plans, which establish a detailed path forward in terms of timelines and indicators for measuring success. So far, the EIT has signed MoUs with four EU Member States. Numerous additional MoUs are currently under consideration.
EIT Awareness Days
The EIT organises EIT Awareness Days to raise awareness of the EIT Community among stakeholders, innovators, and citizens. Awareness Days are interactive, informal events that showcase the EIT Community’s activities and promote opportunities for cooperation with national stakeholders. Organisations and individuals from all sides of the Knowledge Triangle (business, research and education) are invited to participate in these events and contribute actively to our discussions. EIT Awareness Days are organised in response to the requests of national authorities, who also act as co-organisers of the event.
Horizon 2020 (future Horizon Europe) Associated Countries
Horizon 2020, 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 works closely with these partners through programmes such as the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (EIT RIS), the EIT Global Outreach, and broad integration into the EIT Community’s activities.
Here’s a glimpse into our cooperation with Associated Countries:
- In the framework of EIT RIS, several KICs work with partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Serbia, while EIT Hubs have been established in the latter.
- In December 2019, as part of the EIT Global Outreach Programme, the EIT launched a hub in Tel Aviv to support EU priorities in Israel.
- In 2018, Belgrade hosted an EIT Awareness Day to facilitate networking with the EIT Community.
- As of 2021 and fully in line with the European Commission Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, the KICs will enhance cross-sectoral cooperation to tackle common challenges in the Western Balkan region.