23 May 2023 – Budapest, Hungary – The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is pleased to announce the 16 winning consortia of this year’s EIT HEI Initiative. Nearly 180 organisations from higher education institutions (HEI), business and civil society from 38 countries will benefit from up to EUR 12 million of funding to support their innovation capacity, with a particular focus on deep tech.
Deep Tech innovations are indispensable in creating solutions to the most pressing global challenges facing Europe. The EIT HEI Initiative is committed to working together with universities and partners to boost knowledge in Deep Tech fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cleantech to power new technologies for a brighter Europe. Through the EIT HEI Initiative, partners will have access to Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem and enhance the quality of their entrepreneurial education programmes, further developing the talent pool of European deep tech innovators.
Since being established, the EIT HEI Initiative has granted over EUR 55 million to support 260 HEIs and 100 non-academic organisations across Europe. These organisations have trained over 39 000 students, academic and non-academic staff on innovation and entrepreneurship and have supported over 900 start-ups and scale-ups.
Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice-President said:
‘Fostering, attracting and retaining deep tech talents is crucial for Europe to complete the green and digital transitions. This will allow us to harness a new wave of innovation in line with the New European Innovation Agenda. With hundreds of project partners across Europe and beyond, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its HEI Initiative can help ensure that Europe plays a centre-stage role in the global innovation ecosystem.’
Nektarios Tavernarakis, Chair of the EIT Governing Board, added:
‘We are delighted to welcome these new deep tech projects, and we are excited to see how these HEIs will broaden their horizons and become regional engines of entrepreneurship and innovation. We congratulate the selected consortia on their ambitious proposals, and we are looking forward to seeing their ambitious plans come to fruition.’
A total of 48 consortia representing over 510 organisations from across Europe applied for this year’s call, which closed in February 2023. As a result, 16 projects, involving 100 HEIs and 79 non-academic organisations (companies, research centres, public authorities and associations), will benefit from maximum funding of EUR 750 000 each. With an even distribution of academic and non-academic organisations, the EIT HEI Initiative is determined to achieve its goal of creating synergies between industry and higher education institutions to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe.
Some of the organisations involved in the selected projects include Graz University of Technology (Austria), Innovation Centre Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Aarhus University (Denmark), and venture capital firm, Building Global Innovators (Portugal). More details on the selected projects can be found here.
Since 2021, EIT HEI Initiative projects have delivered creative and original approaches to innovation and entrepreneurial capacity-building in higher education. The links established between HEIs and companies, research and public bodies have led to enhanced ecosystems in which HEIs act as hubs that create systematic impact and drive innovation around Europe. Some projects have even teamed up to launch their own initiatives. For example, the OASIS and PROMETHEUS projects have signed a memorandum of understanding to participate in collaborative teaching, training, mentoring, research, and other entrepreneurship support activities.
The selected EIT HEI Initiative projects announced today, directly support the Deep Tech Talent Initiative, EIT’s new flagship programme that will train 1 million deep tech talents by 2025.
EIT – Making innovation happen!
About the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
The EIT strengthens Europe’s ability to innovate by powering solutions to pressing global challenges and by nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The Institute supports dynamic pan-European partnerships, EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities, among leading companies, research labs and universities. Together with their leading partners, the EIT Community offers a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities across Europe: entrepreneurial education courses, business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.
EIT powers innovative solutions to global challenges
The EIT’s nine Knowledge and Innovation Communities work to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy (EIT Climate-KIC); bring innovation to the European cultural and creative sectors and industries (EIT Culture & Creativity); drive Europe’s digital transformation (EIT Digital); lead the global revolution in food innovation and production (EIT Food); give EU citizens greater opportunities to lead a healthy life (EIT Health); achieve a sustainable energy future for Europe (EIT InnoEnergy); strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EIT Manufacturing); develop raw materials into a major strength for Europe (EIT RawMaterials); and solve the mobility challenges of our cities (EIT Urban Mobility).
EIT facts and figures
- Europe’s largest innovation network: 3 200+ partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in 60+ innovation hubs across Europe.
- Making innovation happen: powered more than 5 600 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 1 670 new products and services that have gone to raise more than EUR 6 billion in external capital. More than 4 600 students have graduated from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes and over 10 000 have participated in EIT Community entrepreneurial trainings.