The Council today agreed on amendments to the regulation on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The regulation sets out the EIT's mission and objectives and provides the rules on the governance of the EIT.
Today's agreement is a further step towards reaching Horizon Europe objectives. By integrating research, innovation and education, the EIT has already brought added value to strengthening the innovation ecosystems across the EU.
Katri Kulmuni, Finnish minister of Economic Affairs
The EIT supports the integration of education, research and business in the European innovation ecosystem. It finances Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), which are partnerships between higher education institutions, research organisations and industry, which work together to address major challenges facing society today.
The key amendments to the existing regulation concern financial sustainability and openness of KICs, stronger principles for monitoring and evaluation, and the role of the member states in the governance of the EIT.
More specifically, the EIT will establish performance-based mechanisms for the granting of financial contributions to KICs in order to enhance their capacity to attract other investments and to finance their activities independently of the EIT's contributions.
The enforcement of these provisions will be supported by stronger monitoring and evaluation principles: the continuation of existing KICs will be subject to comprehensive assessment, which should include the monitoring of progress towards financial sustainability as well as openness to new members. A group of representatives of member states will be consulted on strategic decisions, such as the extension of partnership agreements with KICs.
The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an integral part of Horizon Europe, the future EU framework programme for research and innovation. The EIT's leading mission since 2008 is to contribute to sustainable European economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of the member states and of the EU as a whole through innovation-driven knowledge integration between higher education, research and innovation. It brings together leading universities, research labs and companies to form pan-European partnerships, the so-called Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), to help innovators and entrepreneurs across Europe turn their ideas into products and services for the market.
The Commission proposal, tabled in July 2019, is accompanied by a proposal for a decision on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the EIT. This is still under examination in the Council's preparatory bodies.
On the basis of the agreed text, the Council will explore the possibility of an early agreement with the European Parliament for the swift adoption of the regulation at first reading.