Full partners

University of Porto (Lead partner)


INOVA+ Innovation Services


Science and Technology Park of University of Porto


TTK University of Applied Sciences


University of Pardubice


University of Santiago de Compostela


University of Sheffield

United Kingdom

Valahia University of Targoviste


Max. funding Phase 1
€ 400,000
Max. funding Phase 2
€ 800,000
Supported by
EIT Manufacturing
Coordinated by
EIT RawMaterials

Project description

INVENTHEI envisions that by 2025 a critical mass of highly educated young entrepreneurs and innovators will be trained by the participating higher education institutions (HEIs), contributing to the emergence of highly dynamic innovation districts and favouring the setup or inshore of knowledge-intensive companies offering cutting edge technologies, added-value products and services, and innovative business models. Innovation districts also have enhanced capacity to provide students with new ideas, skills and entrepreneurial talent. Students are the new generation of professionals, but they can also be trained and encouraged to become innovators and entrepreneurs, contributing to the creation of jobs and economic growth.

INVENTHEI builds on existing practices and infrastructure to enhance regional innovation ecosystems and promote innovationdriven research. One of the objectives is to setup a HEI-driven European network of innovation districts. The consortium will build on existing experience and explore synergies with research and innovation activities to nurture and foster an innovation and entrepreneurial culture in the participating universities.

INVENTHEI will implement an Innovation Vision Action Plan (IVAP) built around three dimensions connected to the EIT pillars:

  • learning and mentoring programmes, focused on training, mentoring and engaging students and staff (education pillar);
  • learning and teaching structures, focused on providing testbeds and innovation-driven research (innovation pillar);
  • learning and collaboration, focused on programmes for collaboration and exchange between industry, research and academia (business pillar).

INVENTHEI’s methodology is inspired by the ‘lean start-up’ and will be used to define and implement the IVAP by partner HEIs. INVENTHEI will develop the IVAP during Phase 1 of the project and combine the development of a hypothesis that will be experimented with by the partner HEIs. The findings from the experiments will be used to prepare a second release which will guide Phase 2 of the project. During Phase 2, the project will use a ‘build-measure-learn’ approach, using the lessons learnt from applying the IVAP to improve it every six months. INVENTHEI is organised in three ‘build-measure-learn’ work packages: designing the innovation vision, the minimum viable innovation vision, and scaling the innovation vision.

INVENTHEI’s replicability and transferability strategy will adopt a lighthouse/follower model, where the involved faculties from partner HEIs will act as lighthouses to other faculties of the same or other HEIs.

INVENTHEI will achieve the following KPIs:

  • 40 start-ups/scale-ups supported (10 in Phase 1);
  • 1,390 students trained and 76 mentored (290 and 20 in Phase 1);
  • 84 academic staff members trained and 32 mentored (26 and 10 in Phase 1);
  • 51 non-academic staff trained and 23 mentored (12 and 8 in Phase 1).

Project coordinator

Gil Gonçalves, Assistant Professor, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto (contact)

Project website


Project timeline

EIT HEI Timeline March 2021