EIT selects 26 projects to boost Europe’s innovation and entrepreneurship potential

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is pleased to announce the 26 winning consortia selected to join the EIT HEI Initiative. Nearly 300 higher education institutions (HEIs) and their partners from 38 countries will receive up to EUR 31.2 million to strengthen their innovation capacities.

Joining a network of over 270 organisations, the selected partners will be the second cohort to participate in the EIT HEI Initiative designed to support educational institutions with expertise, funding, and access to the EIT innovation ecosystem. Launched in 2021, the EIT flagship programme helps HEIs develop and implement action plans to improve their entrepreneurial and innovation capacity across all institutional levels.

Over the past year, the EIT HEI Initiative has built up great momentum to make higher education institutions more innovative and entrepreneurial by linking them with businesses and research centres. 294 additional organisations will benefit from expertise, coaching and knowledge exchange. This support will help them to build local innovation ecosystems and achieve real institutional change.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

The HEI sector is preparing for the shift of Europe’s transition to a circular green economy

A total of 56 consortia representing over 680 organisations from across Europe applied for this year’s EIT HEI Call, which closed in March 2022. As a result, 26 projects involving 147 HEIs and 147 non-academic organisations (companies, research centres, public authorities and associations) will benefit from maximum funding of over EUR 31 million.

The well-balanced distribution of organisations shows that the initiative is on the right path to achieving its goal – creating synergies between industry and HEIs to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe. The HEI sector is keen to be prepared for the shift of Europe’s transition from a linear brown to a circular green economy. This transformation will lead to scales of innovation not seen before that Europe needs to start preparing for.

Over the past year, the EIT HEI Initiative has dedicated a lot of manpower to promoting the Knowledge Triangle philosophy that encourages HEIs, businesses and research centres to join forces and collaborate more on innovation and entrepreneurship strategies. Through this initiative, organisations exchange knowledge and best practice in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, boosting their capacity and strengthening their ecosystems.

Dr Didier Zimmermann, Education and Innovation Director at EIT RawMaterials

Organisations involved in the selected projects include, among others, the University of Udine (IT), Baltic Innovation Agency (EE), Trakia University (BU), Pannon Business Network Association (HU), Lunar Explorers Society (NL), Medical University of Lodz (PL), University of the Basque Country (ES), Odense Robotics (DK) and Health Capital Helsinki (FI). More details on the selected projects can be found here.

The EIT HEI Initiative aims to reach 550 Higher Education Institutions by 2027

Over the past year, the EIT HEI Initiative has seen its projects develop creative and original approaches to innovation and entrepreneurial capacity-building in higher education. The established links between over 270 HEIs and companies, research and public bodies have led to vibrant ecosystems in which HEIs act as hubs that create systematic impact and drive innovation around Europe.

The EIT HEI will announce the third call for proposals in late 2022 for projects that will start in 2023. The EIT HEI Initiative aims to reach 550 HEIs by 2027 to boost European innovation in higher education and support the twin transition towards a more sustainable, digital and competitive Europe.

Download factsheet on selected partners
Discover the 26 projects