Parliament upgrades “lab to market” innovation scheme 

Press Releases 
Plenary session 
 
 
  • New strategic agenda for the 2021-2027 period agreed
  • Knowledge and Innovation Communities aim to address societal challenges
  • Scheme will also focus on tackling the COVID-19 crisis and recovery

The update of the European Institute of Technology, adopted by Parliament on Tuesday, aims to better transform European research into successful applications.

The EIT is the instrument bringing together the needs of innovators and researchers with higher education actions – the so-called “knowledge triangle”. It provides its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) with grants, monitors their activities, supports collaboration and disseminates results and best practice.

Under the new rules, the EIT’s new priorities for the 2021-2027 period will be to contribute to the realisation of EU objectives and policies such as the European Green Deal, the European post-COVID recovery plan, strategies for small businesses and industry, the Union’s strategic autonomy and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The provisions will give more flexibility for KICs working on the COVID-19 recovery, broaden the geographical coverage of KICs, bridge the funding gap between western and eastern EU Members States, and bring a stronger focus on projects involving small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Quotes

“This legislation brings financial sustainability to the Institute and all its KICs” said Maria da Graça Carvalho (EPP, PT) rapporteur on the decision on the Strategic Innovation Agenda. “We will have a better balance in terms of geographical diversity, gender representation and within the knowledge triangle itself – education, research, and innovation. We will also achieve simplification at the administrative, financial and structural levels” she said. “Finally, we will have two new knowledge and innovation communities (KICs) in the coming years. One on cultural and creative sectors and industries and another one on water, marine and maritime ecosystems”. Ms. Carvalho's report was adopted on Tuesday with 673 votes to 6, with 20 abstentions.

“Today’s vote will reinforce the important role of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology in order to better integrate research, education and innovation in decisive areas for Europe” said Marisa Matias (The Left, PT), rapporteur on the EIT regulation. “For the first time, resources were approved for cultural, creative sectors and industry, an area which is particularly affected by the pandemic and the economic crisis” she said. Ms. Matias' report was also adopted by Parliament on Tuesday, with 663 votes to 17, with 19 abstentions.

Background

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology was created in 2008 and is located in Budapest. It has become an EU body and aims to increase economic growth and job creation by promoting knowledge triangle activities (i.e. higher education, research and innovation). It operates through 8 knowledge and innovation communities (KICs) addressing societal challenges (such as digitalisation, urban mobility, climate and raw materials). The provision of KIC grants lasts up to 15 years.

Currently, there are 1500 partners in business, education and research and more than 50 co-locations across Europe involved in the EIT network.

For the 2021-2027 period, the EIT is an integral part of the Horizon Europe programme. The budget of the EIT will be of 2,96 billion euros.