European Institute of Innovation and Technology

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is an independent EU Body created by the European Union in 2008 to strengthen Europe's ability to innovate. [1] The EIT is an integral part of Horizon 2020[2], the EU's Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
Established11 March 2008
Mission1. Increase Europe's competitiveness, its sustainable economic growth and job creation by promoting and strengthening cooperation among leading business, education and research organisations. 2. Power innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe by creating environments for creative and innovative thoughts to thrive.
FocusInnovation & Technology
ChairmanDirk Jan van den Berg (Governing Board) and Martin Kern (Interim Director)
Budget€2.4 billion for 2014–2020
Budapest (headquarters) and across the EU countries


The Institute drives innovation across Europe by integrating business, education and research organisations to collaborate and find solutions to pressing global challenges.

The EIT support the development of dynamic, long-term pan-European partnerships among leading companies, research labs and universities. These are called EIT Innovation Communities (Knowledge and Innovation Communities - KICs) and each is dedicated to finding solutions to a specific global challenge.

By creating opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs across Europe, the EIT creates jobs and delivers sustainable economic growth for Europe. Together with its leading partners, the EIT and its Innovation Communities offer a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities: education courses that combine technical and entrepreneurial skills, tailored business creation and acceleration services and innovation driven research projects.

EIT Innovation Communities

The EIT’s Innovation Communities (Knowledge and Innovation Communities - KICs) bring together businesses (industry and SMEs), research centres and universities as partners. They allow:

  • innovative products and services to be developed and launched on the market
  • new companies to be started and existing ones to be scale
  • a new generation of entrepreneurs to be trained

There are currently eight Innovation Communities and each focuses on a different societal challenge:

  • EIT Climate-KIC: Innovation for climate action
  • EIT Digital: For a strong, digital Europe
  • EIT Food: Addressing sustainable supply chains from resources to consumers
  • EIT Health: Together for healthy lives in Europe
  • EIT InnoEnergy: Pioneering change in sustainable energy
  • EIT Manufacturing: Leading manufacturing is Made by Europe
  • EIT RawMaterials: Developing raw materials into a major strength for Europe
  • EIT Urban Mobility: Smart, green and integrated transport

Each of the EIT Innovation Communities operates in Innovation Hubs. These hubs are spread across the EU to increase the impact of the EIT’s activities. There are currently 50+ innovation hubs across Europe that include co-location centres, where education, research and business meet and interact.


Since the EIT was set up in 2008, it has delivered[3]:

  • 8 Innovation Communities
  • 50+ innovation hubs across Europe
  • 1250+ start-ups and scale-ups supported
  • EUR 890+ million in external capital raised by EIT supported ventures
  • 6100+ jobs created
  • 1700+ Master and PhD graduates
  • 640+ new products and services created


The EIT was officially established on 11 March 2008 following the adoption of the EIT Regulation [1] by the European Parliament and Council.[4]

The EIT Governing Board designated the first three EIT Innovation Communities (EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital and EIT InnoEnergy) in December 2009.

In January 2014, the EIT became part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014-2020. Since then the EIT Community has grown to eight Innovation Communities:EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials - 2014; EIT Food - 2016; EIT Manufacturing and EIT Urban Mobility - 2018.

In May 2018, the European Commission put forward its proposal for Horizon Europe, the next research and innovation framework programme for 2021-2027. It is proposed that the EIT will be part of Pillar 3 - Open Innovation.


An initial budget of €308.7 million has helped launch and will continue to support the EIT network during the 2008–2013 period.

The EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda[5] and the EIT's amended regulation[6], adopted by the European parliament and Council in December 2013, define the framework of the EIT's operations from 2014 to 2020. The strategy proposed a budget of EUR 2.4 billion within Horizon 2020.

The annual grant to the Knowledge and Innovation Communities is allocated on a competitive basis and may not exceed 25% of the global expenditure of the Innovation Communities. The remainder of the Innovation Communities' budget must be raised from other sources of financing.


Governing Board

The EIT Governing Board is the principal governing body, entrusted with the strategic leadership of the Institute and the overall direction of the operational activities implemented by the EIT Headquarters. It is independent and autonomous in its decision-making and is responsible for the selection, evaluation and support of the EIT Innovation Communities.

The EIT Governing Board has 12 members as well as one independent observer from the European Commission.  


The EIT Headquarters [7] are located in Budapest, Hungary, in the 11th district's Neumann Janos utca (Infopark, Budapest Science park).

EIT House

In 2017, the EIT officially opened the EIT House in Brussels. The EIT House serves two purposes, to increase awareness of the EIT among its stakeholders, and provide a space for members of the EIT Community to network and interact.

See also


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