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A delegation of MEPs from the Industry Committee met with representatives of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), in Hungary and Austria, from Monday to Wednesday.

The delegation, led by Maria da Graça Carvalho (EPP, PT), discussed how the EIT contributes to the fabric of European innovation. Discussions focused on the work and functioning of the EIT, including its governance structure and funding models. Members were also interested in the impact that the Institute is having on European innovation ecosystems and citizens’ lives, in particular in the societal, digital, manufacturing and climate dimensions. The delegation took place in the context of the new legislative proposal for the EIT legislative package (2021-2027) under the Horizon Europe programme.

“The European Parliament has always been a strong supporter of the EIT.” said Ms Carvalho. “Our task, as co-legislators, is now to ensure that the EIT can continue its work and step up its ambitions, while strengthening transparency, openness and geographical balance.”

During its three-day visit to Budapest and Vienna, the delegation met with Mr. Dirk Jan van Der Berg, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, Mr. Martin Kern, Director of the EIT as well as CEOs from the various EIT Knowledge and Innovation communities (KICs), innovators, partners and students. The delegation concluded with a visit to the Austrian Institute of Technology.

The delegation was composed of members András Gyürk (EPP, HU) Edina Tóth (EPP, HU), Maria Manuel Marques Leitão (S&D, PT), Ivo Hristov (S&D, BG), Susana Solís Pérez (RENEW, ES), Ivars Ijabs (RENEW, LV), Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel (GREENS/ALE, DE,) and Andrea Caroppo (IT, ID).

Background

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) was set up as a tool for strengthening innovation in Europe. The core idea of the EIT was the integration of the three dimensions of the knowledge triangle – education, research and innovation – into a single operator. However, the EIT Regulation adopted in 2008 established it as a funding body, not as an institution. Today, the EIT can be described as a European entity investing in a new kind of public-private partnership: the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).